If you like crepes, you’ll love this old family recipe for German Pancakes. I first learned to make these as a young bride, taught by my mother-in-law, whose ancestry traces back several generations to a royal baker for the ruling house of Bavaria — back when there was a ruling house of Bavaria. Whether this recipe’s roots stretch back that far, I can’t say. I only know it’s been a favorite of my husband’s family for generations.
Nevertheless, they’re not crepes. The ingredients are the same, but proportions and cooking techniques differ just enough to create noticible differences. I’ve made both, and I’ve made a lot of other types of German pancakes, most of which include potatoes and applesause in some way or another. They’re good, but I like this old family recipe better. I have, however, been unable to resist adding my own little twists.
Like serving my German Pancakes with fresh peaches and whipped cream when peaches are in season. (Or strawberries in June, chopped apples & pecans in the fall, and apple butter just about any time of the year.)
They’re easy to make, and require no exotic ingredients unless you want to get wild and crazy and sprinkle exotic ingredients on them after they’re cooked.
Start by measuring out 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup milk and mix well. I toss it all into the blender and puree until it’s smooth with no lumps or bits of flour sticking to the sides. Melt 1/3 stick of butter. Ten to 15 seconds in the microwave should do it. Drizzle the melted butter into the mixture while blending so that it mixes thoroughly and remains smooth.
Using a medium setting, heat a skillet, and lightly coat with butter to keep the pancake from sticking. My favorite pan for cooking German Pancakes is this stainless steel electric skillet, set on 325 degrees F. I set it up on a table on the front porch when I want to avoid heating up the kitchen any more. I’ve also used this skillet to make this recipe in a camper and even in the break room at the office. It’s that simple and portable.
Add about a third cup batter to the skillet.
Quickly, before the batter sets up, tilt and turn the skillet around to spread the batter into a large circle. Cook until the bottom browns slightly. The edges should lift easily without sticking. If the pancake does stick, you’ve not used enough butter.
Carefully lift and flip the pancake. It should feel loose and floppy, and it’ll tear easily. I usually mangle one or two from each batch. Fortunately, the messy ones still taste wonderful.
Fold the cooked pancake into thirds and remove from the skillet. Lightly oil the skillet and repeat until batter is gone. When I make them, I get 7 full pancakes and a small one. Others in the family like to skip that last little one and just dump what’s left into the skillet for a final fatter German pancake. To each his own, I suppose.
You can dust lightly with powdered sugar or drizzle with syrup at this point. That’s how I was introduced to this dish many years ago. Or eat it plain. I can rarely resist snacking on the first one that comes out of the skillet, and I don’t need all that sugar anyway. German pancakes are particularly good with apple butter or applesauce, or just about any type of jam, actually.
I particularly like them with whatever fresh fruit is in season. Today we’re having our German pancakes with peaches.
And whipped cream.
Doesn’t that look tasty?
The recipe —
German Pancakes with Fresh Peaches
Ingredients:1 cup flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 1 1/2 cup milk 1/3 stick butter additional butter for oiling skillet between pancakes
Measure out 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, and milk. Mix well. Melt 1/3 stick of butter. Add to mixture and mix thoroughly.
Warm the skillet using medium heat and lightly coat with butter to prevent sticking. When butter bubbles, add 1/3 cup batter to the skillet. Quickly tilt and turn the skillet to spread the batter in a large circle. Cook until the bottom browns slightly. Flip over and cook until lightly browned. Fold the cooked pancake into thirds and remove from the skillet. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve with fresh fruit, syrup, or lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Makes 7-8 pancakes. Serves 3-4.