The last couple of weeks have been busy. To be more exact, I've been busy with life trying to spend as much time outdoors and with friends as possible (now that the weather finally turned as it's supposed to be in summer) and avoiding spending time on the computer or the phone. Summer is prescious and short here, so it always feels like one must make the most of these long days - we'll all miss them once darkness returns.
Picking a highlight of my summer isn't easy, but as some of you may have seen on Instagram, I spent a week in Finnish Lapland and Norway in the end of July. We had planned to hike the 55-km-long Hetta-Pallas trail but the weather was forecasted to be extremely rainy, so that we changed our plans on the very last minute and decided to head further north. Yeah, if there's one thing that I (once again) learned from this trip, it's that things don't always go as planned. But why should they? Often unplanned stops in life are the very best ones. And let me tell you, this trip was no exception. So after spending a day in the Pallas' fells, we drove to Saana, a glorious fell located only a couple of kilometres from the Norwegian border. The hike to the top of the Saana fell wasn't an easy one but definitely worth it. And oh Norwegia - it left us speechless and thankful for all the moments we had there. I've been traveling the world for quite a lot and feel absolutely confident saying that the scenery in Norway is one of the most stunning I've ever seen. I can't wait to discover this country even more.
Another highlight of this summer (every summer to be more exact) have been the countless hours spent picking Nordic berries in the forest. Especially wild blueberries, called bilberries, have grown in abundance this year. I've freezed some for later use, made jam, used them in baked goods, and enjoyed them both plain and as toppings for yogurt, ice cream, etc. These blue fellas are full of flavor and one can get quite addicted to them.
Today, I want to share a true childhood favorite with you: Nordic Oven Pancake. It's basically our version of a Dutch baby, baked on a baking sheet instead of a pan. I like when the center is barely set and still custardy making it an unresistable treat. Oven pancake is perfect when you're too lazy to make crêpes that require much more effort and time; the oven pancake batter is super easy and quick to make and your oven does most of the work. As the pancake itself isn't very sweet, the toppings are what truly makes this dish shine. You can top your slice with whatever you like - fresh berries and/or homemade jam are always a good choice but I also love to enjoy a slice with nothing more than granulated sugar. If you want to get wild and deliscious, add some whipped cream or an ice cream scoop or two.
Wishing you all wonderful late summer days! Enjoy.
Nordic Oven Pancake
makes 1 sheet (size: 39x32,5cm / 15,4"x12,8", measured from the bottom of the pan, excluding rims)
This is a true summer favorite with a custardy center. Be super careful when placing the sheet in the oven making sure not to splash any batter!
1 liter (4 ¼ cups) whole milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp fine sea salt
4 eggs (European M; U.S. L)
30 g (2 tbsp) butter, melted
250 g (4 ½ dl; 2 cups minus 1 ⅔ tbsp) all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a rimmed baking sheet (at least 2 cm / ¾" deep) with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, and melted butter until well combined. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. The sheet will be filled to the rim with batter, so be extra careful when placing the sheet in the oven. Bake on the middle rack for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown with darker spots here and there and the bottom is golden brown. The batter will rise in the oven (and look like the Ural Mountains) but falls quickly after being removed from the oven.
Let cool down before serving, so that the center sets proberly. Serve cold or at room temperature with toppings of your choice.