The Conserva’s Matthew Baldridge takes on his grandmother’s Finnish custard pancakes
“Pannukakku is a traditional Finnish custard pancake that my mother and grandmother used to make for my brother and I when we were young,” says Matthew Baldridge of The Conserva in Ferndale. “My mom gave me one of my grandma’s old cookbooks a few years ago, and I found this recipe.” He has made it at home for years and sometimes served it at The Conserva when the restaurant offered brunch. He’s discovered that patrons are enthusiastic about the dish, too.
Pannukakku (Serves 4)
2 cups cream
1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
Toppings of choice (fresh berries, whipped cream, nuts, honey, maple syrup, any marmalade or jam)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the eggs, cream, and vanilla (blend with hand mixer until fully incorporated). In a separate bowl combine the flour and sugar.
Add butter to an 8 inch by 10 inch baking pan, and place in oven until butter is melted and slightly browned (this adds a very nice subtle nutty flavor). Combine the dry flour/sugar mix to the cream and eggs while mixing until smooth. Mixture will be similar in consistency to a crepe batter. Pour batter into the hot pan with the melted butter and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Check after 15 minutes, then rotate. The Pannukakku will be golden brown around the edges and begin to pull away from the sides slightly. Remove from oven. Let cool for approximately 5 minutes to set the custard. Cut into portions and serve. You can customize this dish with anything you like. Top with fresh berries, whipped cream, nuts, honey, maple syrup, and any marmalade or jam!