These thin, crepe-like pancakes – called pönnukökur – are a beloved staple of Iceland and are often served throughout the day – for breakfast, tea time, or dessert. But would pönnukökur make for a good camping breakfast? We made a batch the other day and the answer is an emphatic já!
We haven’t had the chance to visit Iceland yet, but we’ve long been captivated by images of the country’s stunning landscape: black volcanic beaches, rolling green pastures, and deep blue glaciers. While we’ve seen many awe-inspiring places in North America, over there, it seems like nature and fantasy have blended together in perfect harmony. So when we were contacted about working with the Iceland-based food company, we were intrigued, to say the least. Icelandic Provisions is a producer of another one of Iceland’s favorite foods: skyr (pronounced: skeer) a cultured dairy product that is unique to Iceland. Not quite a yogurt and not quite a cheese, skyr is made using heirloom dairy cultures that have existed on the island nation for centuries. It’s similar in texture to Greek Yogurt, but instead of a strong tangy afterbite, skyr has a smooth creamy finish.
We wanted to create an Icelandic take on a classic American camping dish and discovered pönnukökur – a traditional Icelandic pancake similar to a crepe. They are usually served with jam or whipped cream, but we opted to fill them with some of Icelandic Provision’s berry flavored skyr to make them more suitable for breakfast.
For this pönnukökur recipe, we adapted a version from The Nordic Cookbook, an encyclopedic and beautifully photographed resource of Nordic cuisine. Unlike thick American pancakes, which are designed to sop up as much maple syrup as possible, Icelandic pancakes are much thinner and better suited for wrapping up delicious fillings. We won’t venture to say which is better, but pönnukökur does offer a few advantages at a campsite.
To start, the batter uses a lot of eggs, so instead of just a short stack of carbs in the morning, you’re actually getting some fuel for the rest of the day. (We stuffed ours with skyr, which is also loaded with protein.) Since the pancakes are so thin, they cook really fast. Once we got our skillet hot, we were cranking out a pancake every minute. And because the Icelandic pancake is used as more of a wrap, the whole thing can be eaten in hand, meaning fewer dishes to clean up in the morning.
That being said, pönnukökur does require a unique cooking technique. Once the batter is poured into the middle of the skillet, you’ll want to grab the pan by the handle and swirl it around until the batter coats it evenly. When it’s time to flip (after about 30-45 seconds over medium heat) you have two options. If your pan has a nice non-stick surface, you can loosen the pancake by lifting the skillet up by the handle, and quickly rock it back and forth. When the pancake slides loosely, you can flip the pancake mid-air and land it back in the pan. For the more risk-averse (like us), you can also flip the pancake with a knife. Take straight table knife, flip back an edge of the pancake, lift it up with your finger, and then slide the knife underneath. Lift and flip is a single motion, as the pancake is fragile and will break if “left hanging” for too long. If you roll with a crepe pan in your camp kitchen, this would be a great time to pull it out (if you don’t – neither do we! – your standard skillet will work just fine.)
We used Icelandic Provisions’ strawberry with lingonberry and blueberry with bilberry flavored skyrs with our pönnukökur and chopped up some fresh fruit to go along with it. Taking a bite of one of these skyr filled pancakes on a cool sweater-weather morning might be as close as we’re going to get to Iceland for the foreseeable future. But thanks to Icelandic Provisions & the FeedFeed, you might be able to make a trip out there yourself!
Side note: We get approached all the time by companies to promote contests for them. Occasionally we agree, but most of the time we turn them down. That’s because most of the time we don’t feel they offer any real value to you, our readers. While free coupons and sample product are nice, that’s not really what this website is about. But a free trip to Iceland for two? That’s a legit prize.
We were super lucky earlier this year and won an online contest for a trip to Cuba, and it was an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives. So go enter Icelandic Provisions’ giveaway. People really do win these things! (If we were eligible, we’d already have our names in the hat!)
Pönnukökur - Icelandic Pancakes with Skyr
Recipe by Fresh Off the Grid
Pönnukökur is an Icelandic pancake, similar to a crepe. They are great for filling with skyr, fruit, or jam, and are high in protein, making them a filling breakfast food!
Strawberries, blueberries, or fruit of choice, cut into bite sized pieces
Beat the eggs, milk, and salt together in a bowl until frothy. Slowly add the flour, whisking to incorporate until a smooth batter forms. Set aside.
Heat a nonstick or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a little butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour in just enough batter to coat the pan (about 1/3 cup if using a 10” skillet) and pick up the pan, tilting it to all sides so that the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
Once the pancake has set and the bottom is golden brown (30 seconds to a minute), use a spatula or knife to carefully flip the pancake. Cook the other side for an additional 30 seconds to brown, then tilt the pancake out of the pan and onto a plate.
Repeat, using more butter as needed, with the remaining batter.
To serve, spread a heaping spoonful of Icelandic Provisions skyr on one half of the pancake and sprinkle in some fresh fruit. Fold the pancake in half over the filling, and then in half again. Enjoy!