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Poffertjes

I find it amazing that after almost two years of blogging, I’ve never put up a Dutch recipe.  I have a handful that I always tell myself I need to cook, but for some reason I have yet to put pan to stove and do it.  You see, the Netherlands and I share a bit of history.

It all began way, way, WAY back my during my senior year in high school when we had a rotary student from Holland come study in my hometown for the year.  Her name was Elvira and she and I instantly hit it off.  When the year ended and it was time for her to leave, I had a hard time saying goodbye.   I decided then and there that I would head overseas the following summer and spend some time with her family on the other end of the pond.

Elvira (in the middle) and her two sisters

I spent a month overseas and learned how truly American I was.  From the languages to the customs to the people, my eyes were opened to many new adventures and lifestyles. I instantly fell in love with the country.  Upon coming home, I signed up to spend a semester overseas through my university.   I studied the Dutch language and a few months later, I was back on a plane to Utrecht, Holland; this time for six months instead of one.

Me posing in front of a tulip field.  Gotta love 90’s fashion.

Anyone who’s ever studied abroad can share with you what an incredible and life changing experience it is.  I could practically write a novel about my time there, but I’ll save a few of the stories for later posts and future Dutch recipes, of which I have many.

Of all my European memories, the ones that stick with me the most revolve around the food.  Every Wednesday and Saturday I would wander down to the Utrecht farmers market and smell the fresh scent of baked goods wafting through the afternoon air.  Fresh stroop wafels, gevulde kookjes and these little treats, poffertjes, filled the bakery carts.  When you walked up to the stand they would make them there as you watched and hand a small bucket over, still warm and steaming from the cool winter air.

The Entrance to the Weekly Farmers Market

Typically poffertjes are served up with powdered sugar and butter, but being the precocious food blogger that I am, I decided to take a slight deviation for the norm.  I think you’ll be happy that I did.

Start out by warming up a bit of milk in a small saucepan until it’s lukewarm and no hotter.  You’ll add in a packet of yeast next and we certainly don’t want to kill those tasty little critters by subjecting them to scalding temps.  Set your milk mixture to the side.

In a separate bowl combine together some flour and a pinch of salt.  Traditional poffertjes call for buckwheat flour, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used all purpose.  If you have buckwheat, feel free to do half and half for a more classic dutch treat.

Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour your milk in, stirring as you go.

Once the milk is incorporated, stir in an egg, a little lemon zest and a splash of almond extract.

Now set that beautiful batter to the side and let it rest covered for about 45 minutes.

While your batter is resting, you’ll grab up a few handfuls of your favorite berries and a little maple syrup.  Toss it into a small saucepan and heat it up for about 5 minutes to incorporate the flavors.  You can use a spoon to mash up the berries a bit and release all that fab flavor into the syrup.  Emulsify if desired, strain out the skins/seeds and keep your syrup warm.

Once the batter is ready to cook up, heat a poffertje pan on medium and add a little butter to each pocket.  If you don’t have a special pan, you can also use a pancake griddle.  They won’t be as round, but trust me, they’ll still be plenty tasty.

Spoon in a bit of the batter to each pocket and let it cook up for a minute or two on each side.

Drizzle a little of the warmed syrup over the top and dust with a sprinkle of powdered sugar to finish it off.   Smakelijk Eten!

Poffertjes

Yield: about 30 poffertjes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 min

Ingredients:

11/2 Cups Milk
2 1/4 tsp Yeast (1 Packet)
2 Cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 Lemon, Zested
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Cup Berries (Fresh or Frozen)Black, Blue or Strawberries all work well
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
Powdered Sugar, For Dusting

Directions:

In a small saucepan, warm the milk until it's lukewarm.

Remove it from the heat, add in the yeast and set to the side.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour and salt.

Form a well in the flour and slowly add in the milk mixture, stirring to incorporate.

Add in the egg, lemon zest, and almond extract.

Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.

If you have a poofertje pan, that works best, but you can also just make mini pancakes on a griddle. Melt a bit of butter in your pan (or on the griddle) and spoon a small amount of batter into each hole. Cook for a minute or two on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

In a small saucepan, heat the berries and maple syrup for about 5 minutes or until the juice begins to release. You can smash them a bit with a spoon to help the process along.

If desired, emulsify, strain out the berry seeds/skins and serve syrup warm over poffertjes.

Dust with powdered sugar if desired.