We call it a Dutch Baby in this house. Not sure why, or where the recipe came from, but i make this every Saturday for my daughter:
Cast iron into a 425° oven as it preheats.
While you're waiting:
-whisk 4 eggs.
-Add half cup of flour.
-Half cup of milk (almond, oat, whole milk all work), warmed up to room temp.
-Dash of salt
Whisk until smooth. When oven is ready, pull out cast iron, add 2 tbls of butter and make sure it gets all the sides. Pour in mixture and bake 12 minutes. Turns into a billowy beautiful eggy pancake. Good with maple syrup or savory with cheese and ham.
When my wife makes crepes, she mixes the recipe the night before in a jug. I don't know why (sorry!) but they turn out delicious and she swears this step is important. Lovely and thin, with a good consistency. I've also no idea if they are legit 'French crêpes'.
The recipe is:
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/3 cup milk (half milk half water usually too!)
- 2 tblspoons of melted butter
The first 3 are combined the night before and whizzed up, then left in the fridge. The melted butter you do on the morning of -- melt it in the pan then tip it into the other mixture and stir it a little. Having made it the night before is ideal if you're visiting a friend in the morning, too.
Your pan technique sounds identical to us : ) ... enjoy!
The main reason you prepare crêpe batter long before you want to use it is two fold:
1. Allows a bit of gluten development (like cold ferment in bread)
2. And (i believe) most importantly: it allows all the air that was incorporated during whisking to escape, resulting in an even batter
Always wondering if you could just stick it in a vacuum pump...
Letting the batter rest after mixing allows the flour to fully absorb the moisture and for the gluten to relax. Ends up with a better texture. No need to rest overnight as a single hour is enough time. However no one wants to wait an hour in the morning so they make the night before.
For the way me and my wife do thin pancakes, we avoid sugar, I think it makes the pancake stick more to the pan. Less milk is also better and we fry on olive or sunflower oil. And lately we've been using dinkel (spelt) flour instead of plain white flour. I sometimes put in some baking powder, but my wife avoids it.
Same, every sunday is pancake day in our house. It has to be normal butter. The smell, mixed with coffee, is amazing. But we just switched from gas to induction and I'm still dialling the process in again.
They are all breads. Waffles have a higher fat content. American pancakes should have butter milk in them and must have baking powder so they rise. American pancakes usually don’t have savory versions like crepes or Asian onion pancakes. I’m sure there’s a savory regional out there.
While the pancake itself is never savory you find pancakes in savory American stuff often enough. The two egg breakfast with meat and pancakes; pancakes used as buns for breakfast sandwich a la the McGriddle. And given the ubiquity of chicken and waffles I would imagine someone has swapped out the waffles for pancakes on a whim.
In order to get close to how these might have tasted in Locke's time, one shouldn't be using modern white flour which is a 19th century development. Using (stone-milled) whole wheat might come closer to how things were in the 17th century. (Also better for your glucose levels)
If you want it on the cheap, go purchase Atta at your local Indian convinence store. Similar for stone milled cornflour (I've found Hispanic store prices have been going up lately compared to Asian stores)
I believe John Locke spend much of his time between 1683-1689 in the Netherlands as he had fled England for being under suspicion of bad things.
As mentioned in another reply, this is indeed a Dutch pancake recipe. And the recipe does contain an 85 (or is 86?) in the top right corner. The addition of nutmeg, while very decadent, would have made sense when considering that Locke traveled between the cities of Holland, at that time the heart of the Dutch overseas trading empire. It spanned to such places as the island of Java, where you could pick the nutmeg right off of the tree.
Yes, it seems like an insane amount of butter and heavy cream. Maybe butter in those days wasn't 80% fat and heavy cream wasn't 40%? Also, and it was covered by other commenters, but that amount of nutmeg, wow.
I believe 'sweet cream' just means not sour cream. Similarly I imagine 'sweet butter' simply means unsalted.
'Heavy cream' I think is a mistranslation in the reformulated recipe, that's a modern American higher fat (a bit less than double cream, but roughly substitutable) cream; I expect at that time it was a cruder process & product, more literally creamed off raw milk, resulting in something unhomogenised probably on the milky side of single cream. Which would make sense, since it's typically milk one makes pancakes with anyway, not any sort of standardised modern cream.
> Also, and it was covered by other commenters, but that amount of nutmeg, wow.
I don't follow you there though, I think that description ('exceptional, expensive amount') in OP meant for Locke at the time. These days it's (probably top-25 percentile of spices but) relatively cheap, half a nutmeg for 10 pancakes doesn't seem remarkably excessive to me? I mean, assuming it's 'nutmeg and orange blossom pancakes' that you're going for anyway.
I'm also noticing a lot of "heavy whipping creams" in my part of the US come with a thickening agent like xanthan gum in them to make them whip into whipped cream quicker. So there might be significant differences there.
Interesting. In the UK we have 'whipping cream' & 'double cream'; the former is actually closer to US 'heavy cream' (we don't have something named as such) at almost 40% fat (double would be about 50%) but even that doesn't contain such things, despite being named specifically for the purpose I mean. I think the purpose is probably stabilisation post-whipping though, rather than to whip faster?
I guess I'll have to try it. Apparently 1 nutmeg yields about 2-3 tsp ground nutmeg, and modern nutmeg pancake recipes seem to use about as much as Locke's recipe does.
The only thing I add nutmeg to on a regular basis is mashed potatoes, and then it's just a few swipes of the grater -- can't be more than 1/3 tsp -- for a family-sized portion, and the aroma is still very distinct. A single nut lasts me year or so.
I think based on some inexpert googling that what Locke calls "sweet cream" is what a British person today would call "single cream" (or just "cream"). Based on comparing fat content (about 18%) this is roughly between what Americans seem to call "half-and-half" and "light-cream".
On the other hand the butter content in this recipe is bonkers. The only way that makes sense to me is if you lose a lot of butter in the process of clarifying it, which is a step in the original recipe which isn't mentioned in the translated version in the article.
I don't know how wealthy Locke was, but people generally ate less back then cause food was less readily available. Meat was more of a special occasion rather than everyday staple like it is for a lot of Europeans today.
In 1621 The Dutch waged a bloody battle to secure control of the Banda Islands, which was for the west the only known source of Nutmeg, and prior to knowing the source Europe paid exorbitant prices for Nutmeg that came to Venice via Arab traders.
The colonial history of the Banda Islands is fascinating and terrible:
How close or far is half a nutmeg from hallucination and death territory? Seems like an awful lot of nutmeg!
Edit: So I looked into this. A single nutmeg is 5-10 grams. That means the pancakes will have 2.5-5g between all of them. According to a reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/nutmeg/comments/nd5d9q/nutmeg_effec...), it seems like 5g of nutmeg could be enough for a trip, but it won't come even close to killing you.
So if you make this recipe and eat _all_ the pancakes yourself, you might go on a trip.
It may be that myristicin(the active compound in nutmeg) breaks down during cooking. Additionally myristicin is not very well absorbed, and the fact that it's mixed into food would likely reduce its absorption significantly.
Also, I just want to mention that tripping on nutmeg is not something I'd recommend to anyone. It may not kill you outright, but it will make you delirious enough that you're no longer aware of your surroundings, what you're doing, and you may end up harming or even killing yourself. It's a deliriant, not a psychedelic. You're also likely to get intense muscle aches that will make it thoroughly unenjoyable even in sub-hallucinogenic doses.
Apparently there have only been two recorded deaths from nutmeg. One was an eight year-old boy who consumed at least two whole nutmegs and the other a college student who consumed 4 tablespoons (28g) of powdered nutmeg.
Although there are cases of much much more nutmeg being consumed that were not lethal. There is one case in historical literature where a pregnant woman consumed 10-12 nutmegs (70-84g) to induce intoxication.
This leads me to hypothesise that perhaps historical nutmegs were smaller, or that they were grown in unoptimal conditions so produced less myristicin.
Transport by ship (probably not in a very good container) could have made a difference, there may also have been changes in the harvesting or drying process in the time since. Storage containers were also likely less well-sealed.
A strange state of capitalism that a day on which the religiously observant would use up things that could not be consumed during Lent, has been turned into an event where people go out and buy things for it specially. Which reminds me, we're out of nutella...
Strange (or should I say typical) that the author should give us an updated recipe that partly shows the weights in grams and then proceeds to use cups and tablespoons without specifying the actual volume.
> Take sweet cream 3/4 + pint. Flower a
quarter of a pound. Eggs four 7 leave out two 4 of
the whites. Beat the Eggs very well. Then put in
the flower, beat it a quarter of an hower. Then
put in six spoonfulls of the Cream, beat it a litle
Take new sweet butter half a pound. Melt it to oyle, &
take off the skum, power in all the clear by degrees
beating it all the time.
As wonky as English orthography is, I'm still very glad it has been largely standardized.
I remember seeing this recipe a couple of years ago, but I still haven’t made them. They just seem so expensive and unhealthy compared to a regular crepes recipe.
7 eggs for a 100 grams of flour, usually it’s 1 egg per 100 g. There is double the butter to the flour, my crepes recipe has 10 g of butter to 330 g of flour. I just can’t justify the experiment. Maybe I will make a 1/7 portion, but I can’t see it working out.
Eggs were much smaller. For instance, my grandmother had free range chickens in the 70's and the eggs were all what would be labelled "small" with a few "medium" mixed in. Most modern recipes assume large eggs.
I think it mostly makes sense except for the amount of butter. Maybe in the process of clarifying butter back when this was written you'd lose a lot more butter? I don't know if modern butter has changed that much.
In the final photo, the pancakes appear to be somewhat dry and thick. This might be more characteristic of Slovenian or European styles, where we typically cook them until they're just lightly browned and thinner. :)