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Serbian-Croatian Pancakes (Palacinke)

Serbian-Croatian Pancakes (Palacinke) 4.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Jul 1, 2020

The batter for this pancake features a higher ratio of eggs to flour and milk than similar items, such as blini and crepes, which yields a tighter, shinier and slightly denser result. Try other flours, such as whole-wheat, einkorn, spelt, buckwheat, rye and millet. Your pan should be hot enough to cook the palacinke quickly, but not so hot that little bubbles appear on their surface as you cook.

Serve with whipped ricotta sweetened with a spoonful of honey or drizzle with a honey-citrus juice mixture; or go savory with whipped ricotta and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, bitter greens and spring peas.

Make Ahead: The batter can be made up to 5 days ahead and refrigerated until needed.

4 - 5

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-5 servings; makes 8 to 10 pancakes

  • 2/3 cup (180 milliliters) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (37 grams) all-purpose flour (see headnote)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 small pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons clarified butter or neutral oil, for cooking
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed


In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk and butter, stirring a few times, just until the butter melts. (Do not let the milk bubble.) Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes. (Alternately, you can warm the milk and melt the butter in the microwave in 15-second bursts.)

In a small bowl, using a fork, very lightly stir the eggs just to break them up; do not whip too much air into them. Gradually, add the warm milk and butter, stirring to combine. The eggs might start to cook a little, but they shouldn’t curdle. (If they do, you can strain the batter later.)

Put the flour in a medium bowl, then slowly pour in the milk-egg mixture, stirring gently with a fork. Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. The batter should have the consistency of heavy cream. If needed, strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any large clumps.

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight in an airtight container. If you’ve refrigerated the batter, let it set at room temperature for about 1 hour before proceeding.

When ready to cook, lightly stir the batter and have a clean, damp kitchen towel at the ready. In a 7- or 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of the clarified butter (or heat 1 teaspoon of the oil until shimmering). Pour about 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan as you tilt the pan in a circular motion, coating the surface evenly and going up the sides about 1/2 inch. Your first pancake may turn out lumpy.

Cook the pancake for about 1 to 2 minutes; as the pancake cooks, its surface should be shiny, taut and slightly rippled. (If tiny bubbles appear on the surface of your pancake, the pan is a little too hot.) When the pancake is ready to be flipped, its edges will be lacy and the bottom light brown. Loosen the edges with a spatula, then flip to cook the other side for 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If you want to fill and bake the palacinke, then cook to a pale golden color. If you want to eat them without baking, you can let them go until they’re a patchy bronze.)

Transfer to a flat surface to cool. If you’d like a thinner pancake, stir 1 to 2 tablespoons water into the batter. If your pan was too hot, set it on the damp towel for a few seconds to quickly cool it down before proceeding. (Add more butter or oil to the skillet only if the palacinke begin to stick.)

Repeat with the remaining batter; if tiny bubbles keep appearing, keep adjusting the heat. As you turn out finished pancakes, lay them out separately on a flat surface for about 5 minutes before stacking them on a plate (otherwise they may stick together).

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Recipe Source

Adapted from chef Robbie Tutlewski of Little Donna's in Washington, D.C.

Tested by Kara Elder and Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 10): 122

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 8g 12%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 92mg 31%

Sodium: 80mg 3%

Total Carbohydrates: 7g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 4g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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