Happy Monday, my dears. I don’t know about you, but yesterday I was all out of sorts. It may have had something to do with the previous evening’s antics which included almost being killed by a flying little person while Chris Brown celebrated his birthday mere inches away… but more on that
later never. Only in LA… I digress. When I get out of sorts like that, a few things have been known to help: Watching old Audrey Hepburn films, reading a new book, and baking.
Which brings us to this Finnish Pancake. I’d first spotted this recipe on Pinterest (are you on Pinterest? So addictive. You can find me here under bussbuss). It looked so pretty and tasty and simple, I couldn’t resist trying it. I had most of the ingredients on hand and just had to pick up some berries at Whole Foods across the street. I would have gone with raspberries (as the recipe suggests) or blueberries (my favorite), but at $7/pint (when did prices get so insane?), the on-sale strawberries it was.
Back home, I gathered my ingredients and then not-so-quickly realized that I was missing a few things. Like a measuring cup. And measuring spoons. And a baking dish. And a mixing bowl. Not to mention parchment paper. Oh, and a microwave in which to melt the butter (turns out you can just use the stovetop, but you knew that, right?). I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but baking is one of those finicky things where precise measurements tend to matter.
Ah well, I figured how much can you mess up flour, milk, butter and sugar?
In lieu of a baking dish, I used an 8 1/2-inch stainless steel pan lined with foil, and just kind of eyeballed the ingredients and hoped for the best. The recipe warned not to make it “too thick,” but I’d already poured the entire mixture into my smaller-than-suggested pan.
There was no turning back. And in LA, you fake it ’til you make it, right? And by make it, I mean make your Finnish Baked Pancake.
As the aromas began to waft from the kitchen, I wondered if I had made a mistake. Shouldn’t I have just skipped back over to the store to buy a measuring cup (ours, along with most of our cooking supplies, still sits in storage)? Why didn’t I just pony up the extra few bucks for the raspberries or blueberries? How did I almost have my teeth knocked out by a flying little person? That would have made it quite difficult to eat — and eating is one of my favorite pastimes.
Fortunately, luck was on my side. In the end, because I inadvertently made the pancake too thick, I ended up baking it for twice the cooking time (about 40-50 minutes). And you know what? It was good. Rather than being more like a Dutch or Finnish pancake (think funnel cake), the results were more like a quiche: eggy and thick and gooey and warm. With the strawberries, it felt like a breakfast version of Strawberry Shortcake. In fact, it would make a great brunch dish, served alongside some bubbly.
Sometimes happy accidents work out. And sometimes they involve painful hangovers and flying little people and Chris Brown. If that’s the case, make this instead. And take a long shower.
You can find the original recipe for Finnish Baked Raspberry Pancake here or try what I made using the recipe below:
Finnish Baked Strawberry Pancake
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tbsp sugar
A pinch of salt
½ tsp vanilla
Topping: fresh strawberries and some sugar
Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Using a wooden spoon, quickly mix everything in a bowl (except the strawberries and sugar for topping) until well combined (about 2 mins). (If you find yourself without a mixing bowl and a microwave, do what I did and melt your butter in a large pot. Once melted, remove the pot from the heat and then use that as your bowl. As Martha would say, it’s one less dish to dirty.) Pour the mixture into an oven-safe skillet (mine was 8 1/2 inches) or baking dish lined with parchment paper or foil (rub the foil with butter first to prevent sticking – though mine still did stick some). Sprinkle some sliced strawberries and sugar on top. Bake for about 40 min or until brown. Remove from oven and add a few more sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of sugar on top. Eat at once! (This does reheat nicely the next day, too. But go ahead and eat it all now – you never know when you might come this close to the end.)
[Photos by BussBuss taken with Instagram]