Ever tried queuing up for poffertjes (aka mini Dutch pancakes) at events and festivals? Then you know it can be hard to get a look in…
Lines often stretch far and wide with eager customers reading out toppings from the menu, their mouths watering with anticipation of their first bite – and it’s no wonder. Poffertjes, however, have a long history, dating back to the eighteenth century.
Europeans were forced to get creative when a wheat shortage, brought on by the French Revolution, became widespread. Buckwheat became the saving grace as it was easy to grow, readily available and, when combined with yeast and milk, produced a light, fluffy batter.
Some say French monks made the mini pancakes as an alternative host for communion; others attest that we owe the treat to inventive friars at a Dutch abbey – either way, it’s largely agreed that these cloud-like treats have their origins in religious ceremony.
Ready to have a go?
- Victoria seasoned cast iron poffertjes pan
- Oxo Good Grips precision batter dispenser
- Measuring jug (we used this)
- Jam pan (we used this)
- Preserving jars (we used these)
Prep: 45 minutes (+1 hour resting)
Cook: 45 minutes
- 400ml warm milk
- 14g (2 sachets) instant yeast
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 250g plain flour
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g butter, melted
- Extra butter, to serve
- Icing sugar, to serve
For the blackberry jam:
- 500g blackberries
- 250g castor sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice, plus zest
- 2 x 350ml capacity jars, sterilised
HINT: We recommend making the blackberry jam in advance, especially if it’s your first time making poffertjes as they can be tricky to master initially.
- To make the poffertjes, combine the warm milk, yeast and sugar in a jug and whisk well to combine. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the wet yeast mixture and egg. Whisk well until the batter is smooth, then set aside, covered, for 1 hour or until the mixture has doubled in size. Transfer the batter to a batter dispenser
or a squeeze bottle.
- Heat a poffertjes pan over medium heat. Once warm, brush lightly with melted butter.
- Use the batter dispenser to fill each cavity with about 1 tablespoon of batter. Once you start to see bubbles and the surface is looking dry, it is time to turn them over. Use the tip of a long skewer between the edge of the pancake and the pan to swiftly flip the pancake over.
- Cook for a further 1 minute until lightly brown, then remove from the pan. The best way to do this without burning your fingers is by using the skewer to spike each pancake, removing
several at a time.
- Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Divide poffertjes between serving plates, dollop with extra butter and some of the jam and dust with icing sugar.
For the blackberry jam:
- Put three dessert spoons in the freezer to chill.
- Combine all of the jam ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well to coat. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the sugar to draw out the natural blackberry juices.
- Place the pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Skim any scum off the surface and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- To test if the jam has reached its setting point, put a dollop on a frozen spoon and draw a line through the middle. If the line remains, the jam is ready; if not, return the jam to simmer for a further 5 minutes and then repeat the setting test. Transfer the hot jam to sterilised jars and seal immediately.
There’s no end of decadent toppings but the classic butter and icing sugar combo really is divine. Also try:
- Salted caramel scattered with pecans
- Nutella with berries and whipped cream
- Chopped banana with dark chocolate chunks
- Raspberries and melted white chocolate
- Baked apple slices with cinnamon and syrup
Want more jam recipes?