Sunday, November 4, 2007

Kropsua or Pannukakku: Finnish Oven Pancake

On a cold November morning, what could be better than a hearty Sunday breakfast? I decided to try a recipe for "Finnish Kropsua" from the Lane's Cove Cookbook. I cannot find the translation for the Finnish word "kropsua", however, the recipe appears to be very similar to other recipes for "Pannukakku" or oven pancake. Kropsua or Pannukakku appears to be a close cousin to the German apple pancake -- a puffy pancake, baked in the oven, with a kind of eggy flavor.

This recipe calls for melting the butter in a deep dish pan, then pouring the batter into the melted butter and baking. As you may note from the first picture, my Kropsua finished with a large amount of melted butter pooled in the middle. That was kind of unappealing -- I spooned the butter out into a small dish.

The consistency of the baked Kropsua was very dense. We put some maple syrup on it, as one would with a "regular", flat pancake. It seemed much denser than the German Apple Pancake recipe that we have tried from "Cook's Illustrated". It made me wonder how the recipes are different from one another. And also how this recipe differs from other Pannukakku recipes.

Our Cook's Illustrated German apple pancake recipe has considerably less flour -- 1/2 cup, as compared to the 2 cups in this recipe. It also contains 2/3 cup half and half, to lighten the batter. I think perhaps that I should have used a larger pan when I made this recipe -- I used a tall sided Corning dish which was perhaps 8 inches in diameter.

The Pannukakku recipe in Beatrice Ojakangas' "The Finnish Cookbook" does not call for any butter, and considerably less flour too -- just 1/4 cup. I think that reducing the amount of flour in the future will made the dish less heavy and dense. I will need to try the recipe in "The Finnish Cookbook" to compare.

The Original Recipe: Finnish Kropsua
source: The Lane's Cove Cookbook, 1954 - Gloucester, MA

2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tb. sugar
3 Tb. butter

Beat eggs, add milk. Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Sift together and then then add egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Beat with egg beater. Melt butter in deep dish pie plat, and pour above mixture over it. Butter will come up along sides and on top of batter. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. Serve plain or with maple syrup.


Anonymous said...

hey, you need a large, about 3 cm deep dish in order to get the tastiest pannukakku. the real kind is flat but still airy, a real treat! no wonder yours was really dense, its waaaay too thick!

- a real finn ;) -

Shannon said...

It sounds more like a Yorkshire pudding. Try a long flat pan next time, make sure the butter gets good and hot (it makes a lovely crispy crust)before introducing the batter. Then eat as a side with meat and gravy. Try with Makkara and brown sauce.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

The yorkshire pudding used to be used as a trencher or plate and you'd serve the food right on top of it. It's great with stews too.

Lo-Ass said...

My mother used to make the kropsua in her 12-inch cast iron pan. She also used 2x milk to flour. your recipe has it backwards. No sugar. Eggs, milk, flour and a bit of salt. melt butter in preheated pan in oven. when beginning to brown, pour in the batter. bake at 425 for 30 minutes. serve with more butter and real maple syrup.

Amy said...

Try this version of Kropsua...It has been in my family for years.

3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 375. You can use a metal, which is traditionally used or a glass baking dish. Melt the butter while mixing all of the ingredients above. Use a blender or a hand held mixer on high to thoroughly mix. This will make the batter nice and smooth and incorporates air into the mix. Thsi will cause it to rise very nicely. Pour half of the melted butter into the mixture and mix again on high. Pour the batter into the hot baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Simply the best!!! Serve with syrup, sugar, jam or eat plain.

Michele Bonna said...

I am from that area and my Nana was Swedish, so I found this very interesting. It could be a regional thing, trying to make things as filling as possible when the fish weren't coming in.

Anonymous said...

The recipe that my Grandmother passed on to me is quite different than yours. (she was from Viipuri, Finland)

4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup flour
4 T butter
3 T sugar (or less !!)
1/4 tsp (or less) salt

We always use a cast iron skillet (12" diameter)

directions are the same as "Amy's:

Anonymous said...

Karen & Greg: The reason your oven pancake is so dense is because you used too much flour. I got my recipe from a Finnish woman of Upper Michigan where it is commonly made; you need one cup of flour to two cups milk. Though you have it right on adding just a bit of sugar, you need to add a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of salt in order for it to rise properly.

Anonymous said...

An iron skillet works best. That's what we used to oven-ize the Kropsua