Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku

A rich, easy to make breakfast treat.  Perfect for a Snow day.

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku | Farm Fresh Feasts

I want to talk about Snow days.

First of all, you need a bit of background.  Where I grew up, in a suburb outside of Washington, DC, schools closed for the threat of snow.  That's right--no actual flakes needed to fall before school was cancelled.  And this was before the meteorological advances that now tell me to the quarter hour when precipitation will start or stop in my zip code.

When my kids began schooling, in Hawaii, there were no Snow days.  Nor, for that matter, were there any Excess Heat days.  The schools there were built for the climate--single story with cross ventilation.
Insert curmudgeonly grumbling about kids these days, and how we walked to school, up hill both ways, in snow 10 months out of the year or some such thing . . .
After that bit of tropical paradise, however, we lived in a different suburb of Washington DC and my kids finally experienced Snow days.  Snow days rocked as a kid and they rock as a parent!  Sure, it's a hassle to get where you need to be, but often you don't have to be there right away.  It's Mother Nature giving you an opportunity to pause, catch your breath, and take in the beauty of the world.

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku | Farm Fresh Feasts

While living in Virginia I started our family tradition of the Finnish Oven Pancake Snow Day Breakfast.  You may know this as a Dutch Baby, but I've seen many Dutch babies (Thomas and Emily come immediately to mind) and while I'd love to nibble on chunky baby thighs, they didn't look a thing like this.

No, this will always be a Finnish oven pancake or Pannukakku to me simply because I first ate one while working on a dairy farm in Finland.  One of the heifers delivered her first calf very prematurely, and my 21 yr old self was horrified that the calf was not given all of the rich colostrum (first milk).  Instead some of it was used to make a pancake such as this one.  Sort of like garlic scapes--make the most of this delicacy while it's available, you know?
Please note, I am not suggesting you start stalking heavily pregnant women to make this dish out of colostrum.  I used eggnog, like in the post title, and suggest you try it my way.  (Though if you do . . . I'm terribly curious how it turns out--lemme know!)
Years after I left Finland my mom gave me a copy of Fantastically Finnish (Amazon affiliate link).  The headnotes of Gerry Kangas' recipe back up my experience in Finland.  There are 3 Finnish Oven Pancake recipes in this slim volume, also ones by Helena Iloniemi and Mal Rowe.  My version is a mix of all 3 recipes plus my own twist.  Since the ingredients are all common and readily available right now, consider this the next time you've got a Snow day.

Note:  This recipe is awesome if you have a stand mixer.  If you're standing there, holding your own mixer or whisk for 10 minutes, choose a different recipe for your oven pancake.  No eggnog?  Use whole milk, or evaporated (canned, not sweetened condensed) milk, or half milk and half cream instead.

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku | Farm Fresh Feasts

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku

2 teaspoons butter
3 eggs
2 cups eggnog, any flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Divide butter between 2 round cake pans (mine are 9 inches, but 8 or 10 would also be fine) and stick the pans in the oven while it is preheating so that the butter melts.
In a stand mixer (see Note above) beat eggs until thick and foamy.  Add eggnog and vanilla, mix well.  Add dry ingredients and beat 5 minutes, then scrape down the sides and beat another 5 minutes until smooth.  (This long beating time is why I love my stand mixer for this recipe--I'm off putting away the flour and sugar and stuff while the mixer is working hard).  Divide the batter between the two cake pans, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pancake is lightly browned and has risen on the edges.  It will deflate upon standing, while you're dithering about cutting it for a serving photo or leaving it in the snow or what.  That's OK.  Serve wedges of pancake with butter and jam or powdered sugar or syrup.  Or Cranberry Honey Butter.

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku | Farm Fresh Feasts
For the record, we did get more snow and the kids got a snow day!
This post is shared on What's Cookin' WednesdayFrom The Farm Blog Hop,  Clever Chicks Blog HopTasty Tuesdays.
Update:  I made this using freshly ground soft white wheat flour and forgot to beat the eggs separately before adding the rest of the liquid ingredients.  The result is below--a weirdly lumpily puffed pancake.  The taste was the same, though there was a slight graininess to the pancake texture once it came out of the oven and deflated.  I'm betting it was a result of my grinding my wheat berries (not uniformly ground) and suspect that using whole wheat pastry flour would result in a smoother batter that would rise uniformly.

Eggnog Finnish Oven Pancake or Eggnog Pannukakku | Farm Fresh Feasts

22 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. An oven pancake with eggnog. Perfection! We might just have to have that on Saturday for breakfast. Lucky kids to get that every snow day!

    And I so hear you about the dithering about the photo. Perfect to put the pan in the snow. I love the snowy grass as a backdrop for the pancake. Brilliant!
    Sarah

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    1. Sarah,
      Because the pancake deflates so quickly, to set up the photo was like a military operation as the oven timer counted down.
      Me: Ok, I'll bring the pan outside to the trivet, you get the camera and the reflector.
      My assistant: Why can't we just eat the pancake?
      Me: You'll eat when I'm darn good and ready! Besides, there's another one in the oven. My assistant: Fine, Mom.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Oh! I haven’t made PannuKakku in years -- but am on a Finnish tear right now so am adding this to the winter list! PS I have the same cookbook!

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    1. Alanna,
      Is your cookbook as dog-eared as mine?
      I'm having my seasonal craving for pulla.

      Delete
  3. What a great memory - thanks for sharing it!

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    1. Alyssa,
      It's always nice when I have something to add besides 'hey, this was good, you should make it', you know?

      Delete
  4. I love dutch (finnish?) pancakes, but eggnog sounds like a delightful twist, especially around the holidays. My husband, who has the misfortune of a birthday right before Christmas, loves loves eggnog! And since we do try to squeeze in a special celebration just for him, I think this would be a wonderful birthday breakfast. And while it is baking in the oven, I can still be running about doing all the last minute things I have forgotten :)

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    1. Sherri,
      I had a roommate whose birthday was on Christmas day--and her family's plan was brilliant. Christmas eve and Christmas morning/lunch were all Christmas, and then for dinner it was purely Anne's birthday.
      On a regular school day this recipe is too involved, but on a Snow day (or a holiday or a weekend) the hands off baking time is appreciated.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I've never made an eggnog pancake but I am sure I would love it, since I love eggnog. Looks like a great holiday season breakfast. Thx for sharing on From the Farm blog hop!

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    1. Janet,
      I like drinking eggnog in small amounts (it's a bit too rich for me--a few sips are perfect, but there's usually more in the cup) so I'm always glad to find reasons to bake with it.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for sharing on the From the Farm blog hop! I am choosing your post as my favorite for this week, so be sure to come back next week to grab your badge! I am of FInnish descent and lived there for a year as a child. I love trying Finnish recipes and will try this for sure!
    Lisa
    Fresh Eggs Daily
    www.fresh-eggs-daily.com

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  7. I just had to click on this post when I saw it on The Farm Blog Hop. My father in-law is Finish, and my mother-in-law, who is Polish use to make Finish pancakes. This is the first time I have seen anyone else make these. I thought it was cool that you made them with egg nog. The recipe I have calls for six eggs, so yours is half, and also less sugar. Pinning to my breakfast board.

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    1. Joyce,
      Just like any recipe with simple ingredients, there are many variations--6 eggs sounds wonderfully rich and custardy to me! Very worthy of a Snow Day breakfast.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. This sounds like a perfect snow day breakfast! Unfortunately, it pretty much needs to blizzard here in WI for me to get a snow day... I may have to make this on a random Saturday (or perhaps New Year's Day) instead.

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    1. Beth,
      My dad is from WI, and it continues (nearly 50 yrs later) to make him chuckle to see all the folks up in arms around the DC area about flakes of snow.
      New Year's day also sounds like an excellent idea--while you're taking it easy, the mixer and oven are doing all the work!

      Delete
  9. I'm a huge fan of Snow Days because " It's Mother Nature giving you an opportunity to pause, catch your breath, and take in the beauty of the world." Amen to that. While I haven't gotten a snow day from work in years (it's a sad thing this stops when you're an adult) I took a snow day of sort on Saturday. As you probably already now, it was very snowy here in Ohio and we got about 8 inches outside my front door. I decided to toss the plans for the day, especially those which involved leaving the house and relax instead. I also made a fabulous dinner with the Hubby's help and it was all in all a lovely day. A snow day at that.

    There's a pancake restaurant in Buffalo that makes a Dutch Boy. It's served with a pint of freshly cut strawberries, powdered sugar, butter and real whipped cream. It's dessert for dinner and ridiculously good. I suspect your dutch boy will be even better, and I can't wait to try it, although I will most definitely be using eggnog and leaving the pregnant women in peace. ;)

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    1. Meghan,
      I think choosing to take a snow day as an adult is even cooler than getting one as a child!
      And now I want fresh strawberries. Curse you! Actually, I have some in the freezer I could probably figure something out with . . .

      Delete
  10. I read this post shortly after receiving a pint of real maple syrup. I stopped everything and made this. It sure fills the kitchen with a heavenly smell. Like pancakes on steroids. I used whole wheat flour and didn't leave it in long enough. It must take longer because of how dense the flour is. I'd already turned the oven off when I realized it wasn't all the way done. I put it back in for 10 more minutes and it still seems slightly doughy, but good:) Does anyone have tips for making this with whole wheat flour?

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    1. Diane,
      What a wonderful gift--real maple syrup.
      Thank you for letting me know how your pancake turned out--I'm glad you were able to pop it back in and finish the cooking.
      Because of the lack of leavening ingredients there won't be the bubbles and light texture of a traditional pancake--it's more like a firm custard.
      I've never tried this with anything other than all purpose flour, but I've got soft white wheat berries and will grind and use those to make it for the family over the holidays--then I'll report back and let you know how that went.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  11. I've been making Dutch Baby pancakes for years (I can do that because I don't know any real live Dutch babies with nice fat thighs!). I really appreciate the instruction for beating this baby for 10 minutes! I'm sure the texture is improved! I'd like to toss in my suggestion to add fruit before baking. I bake mine in a single iron skillet (yes, it rises way up there), and just before I pop it in the oven, I place thin slices of apples on top, and gently pat them to make sure they sink under the surface. This is our favorite variation. Other variations I can recommend are sliced bananas, or blue berries. Hmmmm......I have some apples, maybe I'll go put one together for this morning! See, I am now retired (whew!), so I get a "snow day" every day! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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    1. Lynn,
      Your fruit suggestions sound just wonderful to me, and even though I just finished breakfast I'm getting hungry again. Thanks!

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