With Mother’s Day on Sunday, it seems like a fitting time to introduce to you my mom, Andrea! She was born and raised in sunny South Africa. Before moving to the U.S., she attended a cordon bleu cooking school in Cape Town. I owe so much of my love for the kitchen to her, so I’m inviting her to share a South African recipe and a story with us every so often. Please join me in welcoming her to Feast + West! Oh, and don’t forget to plan something special for your mom. (One of these gifts, perhaps?) Now, take it away, Mom! // susannah
Hello there! I’m so excited Susannah asked me to share some stories and recipes from my native South Africa with you. I recently returned from a trip “home” to see my mother, brother, Susannah’s sister and other family. While I was there, I made my mom one of our family favorite dishes, pannekoek. Fresh on my mind, I decided to make a batch for my first guest post!
Growing up in South Africa, my first memories of pannekoek (pronounced pun-uh-cook) were at church bazaars. To raise money, the ladies of the church would stand over hot, one-burner gas stoves and flip the pancakes. They’d place one on a paper plate, cover it in cinnamon sugar, roll it up and serve it with a lemon wedge. My dad’s mother used to make them for him, so they were his favorite. He loved it when, at an early age, I learned to make them for him. And so continues a family tradition!
Pannekoek is the Afrikaans word for pancake, but this is not like an American pancake. Flat and thin, it is more like a sightly thicker version of a French crêpe. The batter is runny and not sweetened — one pancake generally fills up the whole pan. It is cooked on both sides and then it can be filled with savory or sweet fillings for either entrées or desserts.
The traditional pannekoek is generously doused with cinnamon sugar and topped with fresh lemon juice. In South Africa, we usually eat pannekoek as a treat or as a Sunday supper. But now that I’m in the U.S., I’ve adapted it to a breakfast dish for our family, sometimes serving it with blueberry compote or another fruit topping. Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, and this would be a perfect breakfast or brunch idea for your mother. (And maybe serve it to her as breakfast-in-bed?) // andrea
See Andrea’s recipe for pannekoek after the jump!
SOUTH AFRICAN PANNEKOEK
Makes 25-30 pannekoek, depending on the size of your pan (Mine is 8 inches)
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups ice cold water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus another 2 tablespoons for pan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Cinnamon sugar (recipe follows)
- Lemon cut into wedges for squeezing
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, water and 1/2 cup oil.
- In a large bowl, sift flour and salt to get out any clumps. Make a well (a hole) in the center of the flour mixture. Pour egg mixture into the well in a steady stream, whisking together as you pour. Mix until well combined; batter will be very runny. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil on high heat. Do not leave pan unattended. When the oil starts to smoke, remove immediately from the burner and cool down. Pour off the excess oil and use a paper towel to wipe out the pan. This “seasons” your pan and keeps the pannekoek from sticking.
- Reheat the frying pan on medium-high heat. Spoon in the batter, allowing a thin layer to coat the bottom of the pan. When bubbles form on top and the pancake pulls away from the sides of the pan, use a spatula and flip the pancake. It is done when the pancake firms up and has browned slightly. Transfer to a plate.
- Sprinkle cinnamon over the center of a pannekoek, then roll into a narrow roll. Place on a serving dish, lining up the pancakes as you go.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you’re out of batter. If needed, keep pancakes warm under some foil in a 175-degree preheated oven until serving.
- Sprinkle more cinnamon sugar over the rolled pannekoek. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice just before serving.
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. With a small whisk or fork, mix together until evenly distributed.
- Store in a jar or other airtight container.