Showing posts with label Spekpannenkoek (Dutch Bacon Pancakes). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spekpannenkoek (Dutch Bacon Pancakes). Show all posts


All this talk about spekkoek last week left me with a taste for bacon! Luck would have it that yesterday, on March 30th, the Netherlands celebrated Pancake Day. The centuries-old tradition stems from the onset of Lent, a forty day fasting period that would lead straight into Easter. The Tuesday before Lent would be the last day that the believers were allowed to consume luxury items such as eggs, milk, butter, and meat. That day is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, but has no particular name in Dutch.

And so neither is Pancake Day celebrated on that famous Tuesday, like in many other countries, but almost a month later, on March 30th. Schools engage in baking pancakes for the retirement homes in their neighborhoods, parents will bake pancakes for dinner that day, and kids are thrilled that there will be no Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or sauerkraut on the menu.

Lent or no Lent, pancakes are always a welcome sight at a lunch or dinner table, whether that's at home or at one of the many pancake restaurants around the country. The traditional flavor is sweet, with plain pancakes, apple pancakes or chocolate spread pancakes as the main favorites, but often savory pancakes are eaten as well. The most traditional of those savory delicacies is the spekpannenkoek, or the bacon pancake.

Choose your favorite bacon (thick sliced, peppered, hickory smoked, honey maple......the varieties are endless!) and experiment! This is a basic spekpannenkoek. To make it more interesting, you could sprinkle a handful of grated Gouda cheese on the pancake right before serving, or fry slices of apple with the bacon before adding the pancake batter.

10 strips of your favorite bacon
2 cups (250 grams) flour
2 1/2 cups (500 ml) milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons (30 grms) butter, melted and room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 gms) butter for the frying pan (you may need more)

Cut the slices of bacon in three or four pieces, if desired. Stir the flour, two cups of milk, and the eggs together. Beat until the batter is smooth, and thin it with the remaining milk. Melt the two tablespoons of butter, let it cool a little bit, and stir this into the pancake batter. You are looking for a pourable batter. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat a 12-inch skillet, and add in ½ tablespoon of butter. Brown the pieces of bacon in the butter, turning them over as they crisp up. Remove them from the skillet and pour off any surplus fat, you want just enough to grease the bottom but nothing more. Add the bacon back in the pan, arranging it so that it's distributed evenly. Pour in half a cup of batter and carefully swirl the skillet so that the whole bottom surface is covered with a thin layer of pancake batter. Bake the pancake until the surface is dry, about two minutes. Then flip or turn the pancake over and cook the other side for another two minutes. Repeat until the batter is finished. If there is no more bacon left, bake plain ones, they are great with a bit of jam!

Stack the pancakes as you go and cover them with a clean kitchen tea towel while you bake the rest. Serve the spekpannenkoeken with appelstroop or pancake syrup.  Makes about ten large pancakes.