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I make Swedish pancakes for my family every Thursday, as per Swedish tradition. Fresh from the frying pan they are crisp at the edges and very slightly crisp on the surface where the batter has caramelised.

If I fry and serve while everyone else eats, we get to enjoy pancakes at their best. The disadvantage is that I don't get to sit and eat with my family.

If I make a stack of pancakes in advance, as I often do, most of the pancakes have become rather limp and lost all of their crispiness by the time they are served. Those at the bottom of the pile are also noticeably cooler.

Is there some way to serve pancakes en masse where each pancake is hot and crisp through to the last?

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Convert to "Mexican tradition" and have tortillas; which are just great when not crisp :-) –  TFD Dec 29 '12 at 21:26

3 Answers 3

You have this same problem with most fried foods that you want to serve fresh. Anyone who makes latkes for Hanukkah knows this problem well. So it's similar to this question What technique should I use to make latkes for a party so that I don't have to stay in the kitchen?

You can try what I do for latkes - I put them on a drying rack, sheet pan, skillet, etc. in the oven set at around 250°F. You may want a lower temp for Swedish pancakes, like 200, since they are less dense. They will not be the same as fresh from the frying pan, but they will stay warm and crisp.

For reheating, put them in a dry cast iron or non-stick skillet or in the toaster oven on 375-400 for 4-5 min, more or less time depending on thickness and initial temperature.

If you do this a lot you could also invest in a heat lamp/warmer set up like they use at fast food chains to keep the fries warm. Cheap one on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Home-HL100SV-Culinary-Heat-Lamp/dp/B0043M5N08

Many a Top Chef participant has been felled by this problem though - fried foods, blinis, etc. are never the same as when taken out of the fryer fresh, but they are still quite good out of the warm oven.

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@Joe I tried out three suggestions yesterday: drying rack, sheet pan and rolled up in the oven at 100ºC. They dried out too much on the drying rack and became a bit tough. The sheet pan and rolled up pancakes were better but still a tad dry, rather than crispy at the edges. My wife preferred the ones from the sheet pan while I thought the rolled up pancakes had the edge. Not much in it though. –  Chris Steinbach Jan 4 '13 at 14:00
    
So I don't have a heat lamp. I do have an in-oven broiler, and I'm thinking maybe it would work to have the broiler on at a low setting and put the pancakes at the bottom of the oven. Might try this next Thursday. –  Chris Steinbach Jan 4 '13 at 14:08
    
Ah, very interesting, thanks for posting the results! –  paul Jan 4 '13 at 17:37

For American pancakes, my mom would always warm a plate or two in the oven, and then stash them in there as they were done cooking ... but American pancakes don't suffer as much from losing a crispy edge, and you'd run the risk of them steaming. You might be able to counter this somewhat by a clean towel in between them.

When I do dutch pannekoeken, which are really similar to swedish pannkakor (which I assume is what you mean by 'swedish pancake' and not plättar, as you mention 'stack'), I find that they keep their texture better if I roll them up as I make them, and then put the rolls on the plate in the oven. This results in more surface area exposed in the oven, and they won't steam quite as quickly.

The only other suggestion I have is that if you're not already -- cook two at a time. It requires getting the temperature dialed in correctly on both pans, but you basically coat one pan, then the other, wait about 30 seconds (depends on how dark you like 'em), flip the first, count to about 15, flip the second. (It might be possible for some people to do three at a time, but I only have two pans that are appropriate, and I wouldn't be able to fit a third pan that size on my stove) This might not work if you've got something else on the stovetop at the same time, but if it's pea soup, you could get that done earlier, and move it to the oven to keep warm.

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I think your last suggestion is definitely the way to go, although I would have to invest in an extra electric ring and pancake pan just to have two on the go. Could be worth it though. –  Chris Steinbach Jan 4 '13 at 14:15

The other way is to make ungspannkakor, which you cook in a non-stick deep baking tray in an oven at 180, that way everyone gets to sit at the table and eat together. this is also delish reheated in a non-stick fry pan so you cook it in advance, reheat it and serve in in a spectacular pile in the middle of the table. for this you use the same recipe as you would for pannkakor.

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