It is fun getting ready for a holiday – especially when food is involved. So for our recent trip to Poland we just had to start the investigation by visiting a couple of our excellent Polish shops in Edinburgh.
We soon discovered some excellent fresh bread – the rolls with seeds in particular – and an astonishing array of hams, sausages and salads. On another expedition, we discovered gorgeous cake, moist with plenty of fruit and cream.
Mmm, we were going to enjoy our trip
I guess if you think of Polish dishes, it might be of meaty dishes such as bigos or pirogi. Certainly we came across these and we were lucky enough to taste the home made versions which were very good.
But what has stuck in our memories are the sweet things in life:
Imagine glorious pancakes (similar to French crepes) stuffed with soft cheese and drilled with fruit compote – bilberry, cherry or blackcurrant – far less sweet than UK jams. You’ll find this white cheese everywhere – a little like cottage cheese but softer and rather cheesecake-like in taste and texture. The pancakes are often served for breakfast.
Much thicker than the pancakes stuffed with jam are the delicious apple pancakes round or oblong and about 6 cm long. Apple is finely grated and added to the pancake mix.
I decided to make a Scotch pancake recipe and add blueberries (home grown) to capture some of the essence of the Polish ones – and they’re really delicious. The secret is in how you add the fruit. Once you’ve popped a tablespoon of mixture onto the hot pan, let it set a little then add the raw fruit. When the pancake is set, flip it over and cook it as long again. The juice may run a little.
If you’re near Edinburgh or if you’ve a Polish shop near you do dip in and sample the wonderful produce. Check out the juices and jams which are not too sweet – I highly recommend cherry or black currant all are very reasonably priced.
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar (or caster sugar)
- 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 egg
- Approx 200 gr Fruit: blueberries, cherries (de-pipped), apples, redcurrants, blackcurrants
- Oil for the pan.
- Add the baking powder and sugar to the flour.
- Combine the milk and egg
- Mix the milk and egg mixture into the flour slowly to make a smooth batter.
- Heat the pan. Wipe the surface with oil using a paper towel - it should be barely here.
- Test that it is really hot by putting spot of mixture onto the pan. It should set quickly.
- Try your first pancake.
- Pop tablespoon of mixture onto the hot pan, let it set a little then add the raw fruit. Watch for bubble to appear - this means it is time to flip it over with the pallette knife. Cook for the same amount of time as the first side. The juice may run a little.
- Watch the heat, it shouldn't be too fierce.
- When you're happy with the result, you can cook 3 - 4 at a time.
237 Leith Walk
Tel: 0131 555 1281
Pine Tree Bakery
64 Home Street