Monday, May 26, 2014

Vegan pannukakku (Finnish baked pancakes) with blueberry chia compote

finnish baked pancakes with blueberry chia compote

As I write this, millions of Americans are attending Memorial Day parades and visiting the gravestones of fallen soldiers and remembering in their hearts the valiant efforts of our armed forces to protect our nation. For one day, millions will put aside their differences—whether political, religious, or otherwise—and acknowledge our bravest citizens with heartwarming songs and belly-aching barbecues. Every hot dog eaten symbolizes the freedom we share and the blood put forth to preserve it. A noble tradition, it is, to have a day set aside for these patriotic exercises.

Washington dreamed of a nation where all men could freely enjoy hot dogs. source


And still I think of Finland.

It’s blasphemous, it’s hearsay, and I’m sure the NSA is going to blacklist me after I hit “publish”. Yet I can’t help but look forward to when I can get out of this country and go somewhere…different. A place where I don’t feel as troubled by the uncertain future, where I am not plagued with guilt because I benefit from systemic oppression of the less fortunate, whomever the less fortunate may be.

Yeah. I’m a fat-assed jealous America-hater. Bite me.

Right now, you are probably about to close this tab, erase your history, and forget you ever saw this preposterous little blog. I would know—my second cousin’s twice-removed great-grandmother is psychic, so I have a bit of supernatural insight to your thoughts.

But wait. Please. Give me a chance.

Most ‘Muricans, it seems, have experienced at least some degree of disillusionment with the land of the free; but in the past few years, I’ve begun to feel, shall we say, a wee bit of bitterness towards my home country. More than the norm. But where can one go? What country is “better” (whatever that may mean) than the United States.

Finland. Yes. Finland. I’ve seized upon that country, and now that it is the chosen one my mind will not be changed.

I considered Singapore for a moment, but it's, I don't know, too far away for this sheltered white girl.

Haha, well June, you can go shove a skyscraper up your ass. source

So once I’m an independent and responsible adult, I’m heading off to Finland. How to prepare?

Learning Finnish is a start, but, you know, that takes effort and learning and studying and ugh—too much. How about familiarizing myself with the cuisine? Yes. That’s just fine. 

Mmm. Lots of game animals and fish. Very vegan friendly. source

After some research, I found a recipe for pannukakku, a sweet breakfast pancake that is baked in the oven. The Recipe Critic describes it as a combination of “a crepe, a custard, a pancake and French toast”; and having eaten it myself, I completely agree with that explanation. It’s slightly eggy, slightly pancake-esque, and totally unique. I’ll also mention that the large proportion of sugar makes it quite sweet on its own, but the blueberry chia compote adds that extra hit of flavor to make this an awesome breakfast. 

You can hardly taste the tofu beneath all of that sugar.

Be a rebel. Try some Finnish food for Memorial Day.
_____________

Vegan pannukakku (Finnish baked pancakes) with blueberry chia compote

Makes one 9 x 13 pan
_________________

Baked pancakes (adapted from All Recipes)

Ingredients

186 grams ● silken tofu ● ¾ cup

100 grams ● sugar ● ½ cup

6 grams ● salt ● 1 teaspoon

488 grams ● nondairy milk (such as soy) ● 2 cups

156 grams ● all-purpose flour ● 1 ¼ cups

27 grams ● coconut oil, melted ● 2 tablespoons

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking sheet and set aside.

Place tofu in a food processor with sugar and salt, and blend until smooth. Slowly add nondairy milk while processor is running. Add all-purpose flour and blitz a few times until combined. Add coconut oil.

Pour batter in the baking sheet and bake for about thirty minutes. The pancake will puff up in the oven and flatten when cooled. Serve with blueberry compote, a pat of Earth Balance, or any other topping that your heart desires.
_______________

Blueberry chia compote

Ingredients

148 grams ● blueberries ● 1 cup

20 to 40 grams ● maple syrup ● 1 to 2 tablespoons

10 grams ● chia seeds ● 1 tablespoon

15 grams ● water ● 1 tablespoon

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken up. That’s all.
Smear it all over the pancakes and nosh like a true heretic.
______________

The batter will be thin, almost as thin as crepe batter, but not to worry. It’s gonna be all right.

No, June, that's not all for you.

I’d say it serves about four people, depending on how hungry you are. I’m nearly always ravenous, so I gobbled my portion right up.

"Making progress": an upside-down picture.

If I was more determined to make this authentic, I would have used lingonberries in the compote since those are more commonly used in Finnish cuisine than blueberries. But, you know, I’m lazy. So blueberries it is.

Wow, Baby June, getting all fancy-like with that pancake.

So does that qualify me for Finland citizenship?

Maybe not. But I have more Finnish recipes to come, and trust me when I say they will kick ‘Murican food’s ass.

P.S. I confused Singapore with Dubai for some strange reason, so I edited that glaring error out. Tells you a lot about my knowledge of geography. 

24 comments:

  1. Wow, pancakes with tofu! I've never seen any of those before, but I love anything with blueberries in or on so I'm in!
    I've visited Finland before, just Helsinki for a couple of days, and had a really great time. I've heard that the rest of Scandinavia is pretty cool, too. Good luck with your move. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! In case you were wondering, tofu is a good egg substitute so I just used those instead of eggs to make them vegan. They came out just fine! And it's cool you've been to Finland, I've never been but am just infatuated with the place right now. :)

      Delete
  2. I've never used tofu for pancakes either! Love the blueberry compote. I've never been to Finland, but I a friend who is from Finland and I just adore her. She fell in love with an American serviceman stationed there, married him, and moved here. That must have been 40-something years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How nice! I'm glad you like the blueberry compote idea, it's great for using up fresh blueberries.

      Delete
  3. Hey June. I've used silken tofu in chocolate tarts and mousse before, but never pancakes. Sounds intriguing and delicious. I have a Finnish Aunt, that kinda makes me Finnish, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I guess so. :) Tofu is actually good for replacing eggs, you can't taste it at all and the texture is nice.

      Delete
  4. These look fantastic - and different to any pancakes I have had! I love the blueberry topping too :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Crazy - tofu in pancakes. Might have to give it a try one day. I usually use tofu in cheesecakes for my vegan friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should try it, it is very good! :)

      Delete
  6. I will save this recipe for sure. Whenever my vegan cousin comes to visit I never know what to make for breakfast. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! That makes me happy. I hope you like it if you do make it.

      Delete
  7. I will leave being the rebel to you, but the pancakes, I can do that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi June, what a great recipe you have here, love the fact there is tofu and blueberries. Would love to learn more about Finnish cooking and traditions. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to do more posts about Finnish food in the future. Glad you like it!

      Delete
  9. Clever recipe! I love that you used tofu to make them vegan. I actually made something very similar, but used flax meal in place of eggs. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's another good substitution, it's always good to have more tricks up one's sleeve. Glad you like it! :)

      Delete
  10. This is a very original recipe, and I love the blueberries on top!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it :)

      Delete
  11. The things one finds from the depths of the browser bookmark folder.... I'm actually Finnish and this was texture- and taste-wise the most "authentic" veganized pannukakku I've ever made. Must've been that addition of tofu, it really seems to work wonders as "eggs" here. Oh goodness. Thank you so much for this, I really missed pannukakku and all the other vegan versions I've tried were dry, flat, disappointing disasters. Thank you thank you thank you.

    p.s. actually, I think the most authentically Finnish way to serve this kind of pancake would be first "sprinkling" (more like pouring) sugar on top of the squares and topping them with the cheapest-in-the-entire-store, horrifically sugary strawberry jam, but admittedly that doesn't sound as "Nordic", "exotic", etc., so I kind of understand why they would leave that out of the "Visit Finland" brochures.... And I think most people secretly or not so secretly prefer blueberries over lingonberries, at least with desserts - lingonberries are more of a *cough* old people *cough* thing with cabbage casserole and other savory dishes. (Okay, I'm done rambling on old posts. Such typical Finnishness to immediately jump at the chance to babble about Finnishness. Sigh. Thank you once more, the recipe will stay bookmarked for sure. :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome!! I'm so glad you liked these! High praise from a Finnish person :D Tofu really is an amazing egg substitute, isn't it? I'd love to try making this again with the strawberry jam and sugar, authentic or not it sounds delicious :)

      Delete