In food, like in so many other areas, everything is typically bigger in the United States than in other countries. Pancakes are one of the few exceptions. German pancakes, the kind my grandmother fed me for lunch (unlike in America, pancakes are usually not eaten for breakfast in Germany), are as large as a dinner plate. They are thicker and quicker to prepare than French crêpes. Because they are so large, they are easily filled and rolled up.
We are not big breakfast eaters but once in a while, when I have time in the morning and feel very hungry, I take out my good old Dr. Oetker cookbook (the German equivalent to The Joy of Cooking) and make German pancakes.
Today was such a rare pancake day. I layered two pancakes and filled them with a mix of fresh raspberries and blackberries from the garden and a cut-up peach from a local orchard. Then, very un-German, I mixed in a few tablespoons of maple syrup – enough of a breakfast to fill up two people.
German Pancakes with Fresh Fruit
¾ cup + 3 tablespoons (4½ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ cup + ½ tablespoon (6½ ounces) low-fat or fat-free milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
¼ cup seltzer water
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh fruit for filling
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
You also need:
A large pan with a lid
1. Beat the flour with the eggs and the milk in a bowl with a wire whisk or with an electric mixer to a smooth batter without lumps. Add sugar, salt and seltzer water.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick pan until is sizzles but does not turn brown. Pour half of the batter into the skillet and wiggle the pan a bit so the batter is evenly distributed. Cook the pancake over low-medium heat until set all through the center and golden brown at the bottom.
3. Flip the pancake over using the lid and cook until golden brown from the other side. Place the pancake on a large plate.
4. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and bake the second pancake the same way.
5. Distribute the fruit over the first pancake and top with the second pancake. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.