It’s kind of special when you have a family recipe that is just sort of word of mouth and never really gets captured until some Grandchild like myself wants to give it a go, right? As is the case with my Oma’s hüttenkäse pfannkuchen recipe that I have always loved. We grew up enjoying these absolutely delicious, but not too sweet, stuffed cottage cheese pancakes on special days like birthdays and holidays. Sometimes my mom would make them for dinner when feeling a little extra kind to us and I have to say, those times were extra good! When little, your world is a bit more linear, and I suppose you just assume that everyone does things like you. As I grew older and recalled this yummy treat, not many people knew what the heck I was talking about and I always thought, “oh, you are definitely missing out!”
So, I figured that it must be another one of those “German-European” things again, just like my family’s love affair with open-faced sandwiches, Wurst & Sauerkraut. If you are of German or Polish heritage and reading this, you’ll definitely get what I mean. After a little googling, I realize this is definitely a central European tradition and has it’s variations found within the region. So maybe you’ve had something like this, but do not be mistaken, these are by no means crepes!
A few years back, my mom passed on the recipe to me but it’s really just a list of ingredients. This Christmas I decided it was a must to master this recipe and carry on the tradition in our home. And after waking up to a beautiful blanket of fresh snow on Christmas Day morning,it seemed like the perfect slow morning to let myself indulge in the mastery. While the kiddos played contently (a miracle & gift to momma, by the way) with the new discoveries from Santa under the tree, and after a little trial and error, I finally got it! Of course I added my own touches to this dish I’ve always cherished, but why not? And you should experiment, too. I added a little more cinnamon, then topped with pomegranate seeds & fresh mint for a festive look and taste. Another delightful variation would be to add sliced cling peaches and top with powdered sugar…obviously this is definitely on tap for next time. So, here I share a family tradition from our kitchen to yours, enjoy!
For the cottage cheese filling:
- 1 pound cottage cheese (1 carton)
- 4 egg yolks (save the whites for the pancake batter)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the pancake batter:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 whole egg
- 4 egg whites
- 2 cups milk (more or less depending on how thick you like the pancake – keeping in mind these are meant to be thicker than crepes)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch x 13 inch pyrex dish and set aside for later.
- Mix ingredients for the cottage cheese filling in a medium bowl. Separately, in a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the pancake batter.
- Heat skillet to medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter to the skillet or spray with cooking spray. Add about a ¼ cup of the batter to the center of your heated skillet. Once the bubbles to start to form, flip the pancake to cook on the other side for another minute of two, or until golden brown on both sides. Repeat until you have at least 8 pancakes.
- Begin to fill each pancake with about a ¼ cup of the cottage cheese filling along the center and roll up into a log shape. Repeat and line each pancake next to one another in the pyrex dish until the dish is full, about 8 pancakes.
- Place filled pyrex dish into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until edges are just slightly more golden, which allows for the eggs to be fully cooked.
- Remove and serve with your favorite syrup and toppings.
Makes 8 pancakes, about 4 servings
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Author: Jennifer Kuhar