Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ålandspannkaka - Aland pancake

Aland pancake gets its distinctive  flavour from cardamom and lemon zest and is the best pancake on land or sea. 

* * * 

When I was a kid I couldn't think of a better place than my Grandma's house. When there, I got to wear her pearls and play fancy lady. She would invariably nod off early, which meant getting to stay up late and watching all the things on TV my parents would have never allowed me to watch like Twilight Zone (and quite rightfully so: after one episode of Twilight Zone I was too terrified to sleep for a week). 

She would also always get me Kalle's Kaviar (a Swedish smörgåskaviar made of roe) at the shop and never say anything when I would wolf the entire tube down in one sitting. And to top it all off Grandma made the best pancake in the world for which she, in a manner that seemed so exotic to me, would use porridge.

At the time I had never even heard the name Aland pancake let alone of the island that gave it its name (I grew up North. We didn't know much...)

You can make the pancake using either semolina porridge or rice pudding, in which case it's also gluten free, seeing how my recipe uses no flour at all. There are also different takes on the ideal thickness, but obviously mine, the "less is never more", is the only right one. So, pie dishes or lasagne dishes reign supreme over sheet pans. 

The recipe below is enough for a 20 cm diameter dish. 

Serves 4-6

Ålands pannkaka - Aland pancake:

5 dl full fat milk (yes, really. Step away from that fat-free variety and place your hands where I can see them...)
0,75 dl finely ground semolina 

2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla sugar)
4 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tl suolaa
1,5 tsp cardamom
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 

Start by making the semolina porridge. Bring milk to boil in a heavy-bottomed pan, whisk in the semolina and, over low heat, stirring every now and then, cook for 5 minuts until done. Leave to cool. 

Beat eggs with rest of the ingredients. Then whisk in the cooled porridge until smooth. 

Pour into a pie dish lined with baking parchment (or use the Scandinavian strick of smearig a coating of butter on the bottom and the sides and then sprinkling the dish with layer of bread crumbs). Bake in the lower part of the oven at 175 for 45 minutes until the pancake has set andis gloriously golden. 

Serve with jam and whipped cream.

Traditionally Aland pancake is served with loosely whipped cream and plum jam. My Grandma served hers with strawberry jam she made herself and even the memory of its sugary sweetness still makes my teeth cry.

So, try this rhubarb and orange compote or this heavenly toffee-like oven roasted apple jam

If baked in a square tin, you could cut them into bite size squares for a party treat.

I bet after this recipe you will never guess where our journey continued from Turku? And which destination I'll be intriducing you on the blog next...?



Rhubarb compote with orange and cinnamon      

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