Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Around the World with Pancakes: Croatian Palacinke



We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food

A few months ago, we "sauntered off for the morning to Croatia" for some pancakes (and I'm finally posting about it). My mother was joining us for brunch and these seemed like the perfect pancakes to share and enjoy. And enjoy we did - these are rich, delicious and filling. The girls wished there had been more to hoard  share.

We started off by locating Croatia on a map, and perused a few of these stunning photos of lush landscapes and dreamy ancient coastal cities.

You can find 88 strange & intriguing facts & myths about Croatia here.
Sea view of Rovinj, Croatia
Photo Credit: Andrey (CC - adapted from original into collage)
Palacinkes are essentially stuffed and rolled crepes. In Croatia, palacinkes are served many ways: sometimes with a savory or sweet cheese filling, with rosehip jam, or savory with meat or mushrooms. We chose to try the sweet cheese filling, made with cottage cheese, and baked with a topping of sour cream, that are also eaten as dessert in Croatia. 


The crepe batter recipe is different in that it uses club soda - something I hadn't come across before - instead of melted butter or oil, which makes them particularly light. Kids can help with most steps, especially making the filling and assembling the palacinke. This isn't a quick recipe - the batter needs to sit for 30 minutes, and once assembled, they still need to bake. It is worth it though, especially when enjoying brunch with people you love.


Croatian Palacinkes

Makes 8 -10

Ingredients

Crepes:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup club soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • butter, for cooking
Filling:
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • zest from 1/2 a lemon
Topping:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Icing sugar, to taste (optional)
1. Make the crepe batter, as it needs to sit for 30 minutes. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and club soda. Sift the flour and salt over the wet ingredients, then whisk until there are no clumps. Let sit for 30 minutes. 

While the batter rests, make the filling and topping, and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. And learn a little bit about Croatia :)

2. For the filling, whisk the egg until smooth. Add the cottage cheese, sugar and lemon zest, and stir to combine well. For the topping, stir the sugar into the sour cream.

3. Make the crepes. Heat your pan to medium high and melt a tsp of butter on the pan. Give the batter a good stir and pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto your pan. Those adept at making crepes (or with a lighter pan) can swirl the pan until the batter covers most of it. We have a cast iron pan, which makes it much too heavy for any of us to do crepes justice by swirling it. Here's our trick: pour the batter onto the pan, trying to cover a decent surface area. The take the back of a spatula, and spread the batter thinly until it covers the pan. Cook the crepe for two or three minutes until the bottom is browned, then flip and cook for another minute or two. Use up all the batter to make approximately 10 crepes.



4. Assemble the palacinke. Pour 1 heaping tbsp of filling into the center of the crepe. Fold two sides over onto the filling. Then take the end and roll up the crepe, as below.
Elle assembled the palacinke for our brunch.
Place filled pancakes into a buttered dish. Top with sour cream and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. 


Let them cool for about 10 minutes before serving. 

Baked Palacinke 
We started with two each, with a sprinkling of icing sugar on top. Delicious!




Learn more about Croatia at Around the World in 12 Dishes, and find more recipes and crafts at their link up.

Find more posts exploring culture, geography and history with kids at

Find more pancake recipes on our page:



8 comments:

  1. Those look very interesting! We may have to give them a try :-)
    Thank you for sharing, I'm off to look at more of your worldly pancakes now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's kind of hard to go wrong with pancakes for kid pleasing food - for the most part :) Great way to introduce a new food culture!

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  2. My mouth begins watering every time one of your pancake recipes lands in my inbox, Marie. Just looking at that photo of your table so nicely laid and the orange wedges... mmm! My good friend went on holiday to Croatia last summer. She said it was the best holiday she's ever had - so beautiful, and good value too. I've never heard of putting soda in pancakes - how interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Croatia does look beautiful, doesn't it? I think it would be a lovely holiday. And they have street stands and shops dedicated to palacinke! Wonder how mine would compare...

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  3. I'm almost salivating but not wanting to sound like a dog I will stop myself from doing so. They look delicious, even with the cottage cheese

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    Replies
    1. As long as salivating remains in your mouth, not like a dog at all! If you don't like cottage cheese, they can be made with ricotta cheese as well.

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