“This is pancake weather”
In every South African’s life, they will make the announcement “this is pancake weather”. This means the skies are gloomy, perhaps it’s raining. Above all, the weather has dictated the need for comfort food.
Pancakes or pannekoek are sold in pretty much every sort of food market, cafe, coffee shop, outside retails shops on the weekend, at school or church fetes and festivals, farmer’s markets, and even in the local supermarkets.
Many South African’s will also eat Pancakes on Pancake Tuesday also known as Shrove Tuesday and Fat Tuesday as they prepare themselves for the upcoming Lent.
Pancakes/Pannekoek vs Crepes
When a South African talks about pancakes, they are referring to relatively thin, pancakes, similar to that of a crepe, but just ever so slightly thicker, and perhaps a bit smaller in diameter.
This variation of pancakes can also be found in England, Ireland, the Netherlands and surrounding areas.
How to eat pannekoek/pancakes?
Pannekoek/pancakes are usually served with a healthy (I use this term ironically) sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, sometimes with a bit of lemon juice. Traditionally the cinnamon-sugar mixture is spread over the entire pancake and rolled up for serving.
However, a pancake is a versatile beast. Your imagination is your only limit when it comes to pancake fillings. Slather her in caramel treat (dulce de leche), everyone’s favourite chocolate hazelnut spread, or jam.
But, these pancakes can also be used as a vessel for a variety of more savoury fillings. It’s not uncommon to walk into a cafe in South Africa and see savoury mince, bacon and egg, or even a creamy chicken and mushroom filling pancakes on the menu.
Pannekoek/pancakes from scratch
Pancakes are easy to make. The batter only consists of milk, flour, eggs, some oil, and a pinch of salt. The batter will take you less than 5 minutes to whip up. If you have a blender – I would highly recommend popping all the ingredients in there and blitzing it together to make sure all the lumps are taken care of.
Cooking pancakes require a little bit of patience. I like to cook mine over low-medium heat using a non-stick pan. To make sure the batter is evenly spread across the pan, use a plastic or silicone bench scraper to move the batter across the bottom of the pan. When the edges begin to brown, it’s time to flip. Be confident, be swift, be gentle. And if it flops or breaks…it doesn’t really matter. It’s still going to taste just as good.
- 240 grams flour 2 cups
- 600 ml milk 2⅓ cups
- 30 ml vegetable oil 2 tbsp
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cinnamon Sugar
- ½ cup brown or caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- Beat together the eggs, milk and salt until well combined.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl.
- Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour, whisking to prevent any clumps from forming.
- OR - place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz together until a thin smooth batter has formed.
- Allow the pancake mixture to rest for 30 minutes.
- Stir through the batter, if it has thickened up, add some more milk until the batter is back to its pouring consistency.
- Heat a non-stick 30cm frying pan over low to medium heat. Using a ⅓ cup measurer, pour the batter into the centre of the pan, spreading it to the edges. This can be done by picking up the pan and swirling the batter, or by using a plastic or silicon bench scraper lightly over the surface of the pancake.
- Cook on one side until the batter has just become solid, then flip over for another 30 seconds to a minute.
- Serve the pancakes with a cinnamon sugar mixture or your favourite filling.
Let your imagination run wild with filling ideas - Nutella, jam, dulce de leche, or go savoury with a curry mince or creamy mushroom.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary between brands and ingredients used.