Some Finnish culture for ya, with a twist.

Let’s go straight to business today. Know crepês, the thin French pancake-thingies? You should, everybody knows. Check the link if you don’t for some reason.

We have a similar thing in Finland too, called lettu. They are very common, and that’s the understatement of the century, by the way.

Indeed, just a mention of these delicacies is enough to send literally any Finn on a nostalgia trip back to childhood. Maybe to their grandparents’ cottage, maybe simply to their mom’s apartment kitchen. Maybe they were enjoyed with strawberry or raspberry jam, with or without whipped cream. Or maybe simply with some sugar and some fresh wild berries.

All Finnish grandparents live like this. Photo by samulili.
All Finnish grandparents live like this. Photo by samulili.

Matters not. Lettus around here are almost synonymous with childhood, happiness and all that.

Indeed, they were awesome as a kid.

And they still are. Too awesome. Too awesome indeed.

They taste exactly as good as they used to, but now you don’t have your mother limiting the number of lettus you are going to stuff into your fly trap. So you eat until you hate yourself, and then some more.

Calorie-wise, that’s the equivalent of I don’t know, one month or so? Lettus tend to be quite dense in fat and eggs and carbs and everything. And then they are fried in more fat. And maybe eaten with cream to top things off.

Upgrades

Luckily, I found (meaning my wife did) an awesome recipe for simpler and much more diet-friendly lettus. Now, I’ve already mentioned I’m no fan of violating perfectly good desserts in the name of squeezing out a few calories. I like to keep the quality and (try and usually fail to) drop the quantity.

This recipe an exception, however. The taste is slightly different from the traditional one, of course. It’s a different recipe after all. But, it’s by no means worse. Simply different. Here goes.

Diet-friendliness

  1. Mix together 4 deciliters of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and half a teaspoon of salt, cinnamon and vanilla sugar each.
  2. Add half a liter of milk or water.
  3. Yes, add the milk to the dry flours. Otherwise, it all goes to hell, because of chemistry and crap like that.
  4. Let it be for half an hour or so. Fridge is fine. A table is also fine. Floor, not so fine. You’re gonna kick it over anyways.
  5. Fry on a pan.
  6. Enjoy.

About point number 5: use a Teflon pan. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to use a truckload of cooking oil or butter to keep them from sticking. With a Teflon, they’re perfect.

The dough is really thick, so one scoop of dough is perfect for one lettu. You’ll have to tilt the pan around a lot in the beginning to make it spread out evenly, to make it really nice and thing.

You could probably add some more water or milk to make the dough more fluid. But, I haven’t tried that myself so can’t really be sure about it.

All in all, that should yield you something like 10 pieces. Divided for 2 persons, you’re looking at approximately 500 kcals with 20 grams of protein. As far as proper desserts go, it’s actually quite hard to do better than that, unless you opt for the sadness option and have half a biscuit or so. But I digress.

Instructions

There it is. My phone sucks at taking photos.
There it is. My phone sucks at taking photos.

Here’s how to eat one, the right way:

  1. Spread some jam on top of it. Spread lots, now that we’re at it.
  2. Roll the entire thing into a tube.
  3. Ram at least half of it into your mouth at once.
  4. Bite in. Shoot jam everywhere. Done properly, it should really resemble a combination of a fountain and a blowgun.
  5. Eat ten. They’re a diet version, after all.

Okay okay, there are other ways to eat some, but they are not nearly as awesome as this.


-Antti


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The Upgraded Lettu (a Finnish crêpe)

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