Fleskepannekaker takes the humble Norwegian pancake to the next level and turns it into a full meal. In other words, it’s the pimped out pancake.
Pieces of fatty “fleske” pork cook into the eggy batter as it turns golden. It can be served simply with a couple snips of chives or topped with sweet sirup and a fruit compote or jam to unite the sweet and savory flavors in every mouthful.
While you can serve this anytime of the year, it’s an ideal dish to serve on Fat Tuesday (feitetirsdag), when people all over the globe are feasting on their variation of the pancake.
In Norway, this day is traditionally referred to as feitetirsdag or hvitetirsdag (Fat Tuesday or White Tuesday). If celebrated as Fat Tuesday, one would eat the best and fattiest foods in the house, as a way to empty the cupboards before the start of fasting. Many people would eat seven fatty and nutritious meals to ensure they were full and content before Lent. For others, one would begin the transition to eating meager fare and dine on white foods, such as milk and pastry, hence the name White Tuesday.
I typically use my basic pannekaker recipe for this recipe and then toss in a good amount of fried bacon. Some people keep the bacon in long strips, so use the size you prefer.
I also always have a good amount of blueberries in the freezer that I can use when whipping up a quick compote. They work so well against the salty and fatty bacon and eggy pancakes. If you finish it off with a drizzle of maple syrup, you get that beautiful balance of sweet and savory you want with a dish like this. Of course, if you are feeling like less is more, omit the blueberries and sirup and just toss some chives on top and call it a day.
Norwegian Pancakes with Bacon, Syrup and Blueberry Compote (Fleskepannekaker)
(Makes 6 large pancakes)
For the pancakes:
- ½ pound (about 225 g) bacon, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (500 ml) milk
- 4 large eggs
- Butter, for frying
For the blueberry compote:
- 2 cups (200 g) frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (lønnesirup)
Fry the bacon pieces over medium heat until brown and crispy (or your desired texture). Set aside.
To make the pancakes, in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly pour in the milk, a little at a time, until you have a smooth batter without any lumps. Add in the eggs and mix well to combine. Let the batter swell for 15 to 20 minutes.
While the pancake batter is swelling, make the blueberry compote. Place the blueberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Set aside.
Over medium heat, heat a large frying pan or skillet. Place some butter in the pan to evenly coat it. Ladle in some of the batter, moving the pan around to coat the bottom evenly. Top with a good handful of the cooked bacon pieces. You should get around 6 pancakes, so divide the bacon pieces accordingly. Cook until the bottom of the pancake has set and turned golden in color. Flip it over with a spatula (careful that some bacon pieces might be loose) to finish cooking the other side. Fold the pancake in half, and then half again, making a nice triangle. Transfer the pancake to a plate, toss any loose bacon pieces on top, and cover with foil to keep warm. Continue this process until all the batter has been used up.
Serve warm with a good dollop of the blueberry compote and a drizzle of maple syrup.
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