Everyone knows the delicious French crepes, but in Austria, we have our own kind. The Austrian type is closer to the French crepes than the thick American Pancakes and yet a little thicker than the French version.
At home, this is is a dish, traditionally served for lunch – not for breakfast, not for dinner. But honestly: They make a great breakfast too. They are either eaten for dessert or main dish. I totally prefer the latter approach. And since I have pancake batter in my genes, Palatschinken is by far one of my favorite dishes – filled with apricot jam (or banana-nutella, yeah).
Palatschinken are ready within minutes, all kids love them and so I grew up eating a lot of Palatschinken. Traditionally, they are kind of thicker than the very thin French crepes, filled with apricot jam and then rolled (jelly-roll like). And that’s the way they are served in typical Austrian restaurants (“Wirtshaus”).
Besides with apricot filling, they are often served with a chocolate-walnut filling or sweetened quark/fresh cheese (“Topfenpalatschinken”). But the important thing is, that you would never see them folded like crepes – so please don’t judge me for those pictures where I show them … aaahmmmm … folded like crepes. I just like their folded look, but still: They should be rolled!
Since this recipe is for neutral tasting Palatschinken, you can also add a savory filling. With a mix of tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil you can’t do wrong.
The recipe is very easy and forgiving and usually you should have all the ingredients on hand: eggs, milk, flour and salt. Some chefs add vanilla sugar (¼ teaspoon vanilla extract) or 1 tablespoon of butter – but that’s really optional.
Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until lightly beaten. Add salt and about 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the milk (just eyeball) and beat until combined. Add the flour and whisk until you get a smooth batter. The batter should be so thick that you can barely whisk it—the thicker the batter, the fewer lumps you will have (see pic above).
If the batter is too hard to stir, add a little of the remaining milk while whisking.
After you’ve whisked the batter smooth, slowly add the remaining milk while continuing to whisk the mixture (This is my mother’s secret for smooth Palatschinken).
Heat an 8-inch (or larger) nonstick pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of butter or ghee, or oil as needed, and spread it carefully with a spatula to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. This is important; otherwise, the butter will disturb the batter.
Pour 1/3 cup of the batter (for an 8-inch pan, more for larger pans) into the center of the pan and swirl the pan to spread the batter evenly.
Once the bottom side is golden in color, flip it with a spatula and cook the other side for about 15 seconds.
Invert it onto a plate so that the browned side is touching the plate and the pale side is face-up. This way, the nice looking side will be outside when you roll it.
Repeat with the remaining batter, adding 1/2 teaspoon of butter or oil for every crepe. If the batter thickens over time and makes it harder to spread the batter in the pan, add some milk. You can keep the ready pancakes warm in the oven at a low temperature.
Spread the apricot jam on the Palatschinken …
and roll them from one side to the other.
Dust the Palatschinken with confectioners’ sugar and serve with a fork and spoon, using the spoon as a knife, the traditional way of serving them. Enjoy!
You can also find the recipe in the Small Batch Column on Food52.
Update 04/23/2018: I added some additional pics as well as some additional explanations in the instructions.
Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org User Ana did a Palatschinken experiment: "I first tried the basil/tomato/mozzarella suggestion which was great. This morning I decided to try a sweet version, which ended up like an experiment as I had coconut milk in the fridge! So, I also added a couple of peaches that I cooked in coconut oil. Once the crepe was ready I covered it with a thin layer of caramel spread, then put the peach slices, and added some vanilla ice cream in top. The flavour is smooth actually, it is nothing rich. Palatschinken are a great base for all sorts of combinations indeed. Thanks for sharing the recipe!"