If you ask my husband about his ethnicity, he will say that he is Italian. He was born and raised in Southern Italy, it is the culture he knows and the language he speaks. Yet, my husband is actually half Italian and half Dutch. His Mom is Dutch and his Dad is Italian. They met 50 years ago when she was working at an orphanage in his village in Basilicata and they fell in love got married and the rest is history.
My husband may say that he is Italian, but he makes the best Pannenkoeken ever. Hands down. The best. I can’t really give you his precise recipe because he just kind of does it by eye, measuring what feels about right. But I can give you the recipe for what I have observed him making, and what I have learned to make myself. Pannenkoeken are the Dutch version of a crepe. They are usually thicker than a crepe and often have things baked into them such as cheese, ham, or thinly sliced apples. They are quite delicious and quite filling. My husband’s version is a little thinner and lighter. I prefer them because they are light, fluffy and you can eat a few (my son can eat 10!).
You will only need a few simple ingredients. Flour, Milk and 1 egg. The basic principle is that you will need twice as much milk as you do flour. So if you measure 500 grams of flour on your scale (I recommend using a scale when making these!!), then you will need 1 kilo of milk.
Begin by measuring your flour and weighing it on the scale. You will need 500 grams. Next measure your milk. You will need 1 kilo of milk. Twice as much milk as flour.
Place your flour into your mixing bowl. Add 1/2 of the milk and begin mixing. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. When it is well blended add your egg. Then slowly begin to add the rest of your milk. You may want a splash guard at this point because the batter will become very liquid. That’s good. It is supposed to be.
Heat up your frying pan on the stove. Melt a small cube of butter in the pan about 1/2 tsp). Make sure that the pan is well coated. Lift the pan off the heat and with a large pasta ladle (large if it is a large pan) begin to pour the batter into the pan.
Rotate the pan in a circular motion as you pour the batter, allowing the batter to spread evenly around the entire frying pan. It will appear very thin. That’s good. If you want a thicker crepe, just add a little more batter. Be sure to add the batter into the pan with the pan raised in the air. If the pan is on the heat then the batter will stick to the pan right away and will not spread evenly. Once it is spread around the pan set it back on the medium-high heat.
The edges will begin to harden and look a little browned. That is your signal that it is ready to be flipped. My husband does it with only the pan. I use a spatula. You can decide how brave you are! LOL. The second side does not take as long so keep a close eye on it. If you think it is close then flip it, no worries if it is not quite done, you can flip it back over again.
While you are baking turn your oven on low for 10 minutes. Turn it off again and set an oven proof pan in the oven. Once they are done place them on the plate in the oven to keep them warm until you are ready to serve them. You can fill them with toppings and roll them, or fold them into triangles. We usually roll ours. The topping possibilities are endless. I prefer my savory… with cheeses, arugola, zucchini and other salty treats. The kids love theirs with Nutella, jam, sugar or peanut butter. Or you can go crazy and cover them with caramel sauce, or my personal favorite with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Experiment and find your favorite topping!