On a typically rainy Zeeuwse eve, we decided to scope out the Night Market in Middelburg, Zeeland. Zeeland is a peninsula province on the south west of Holland and, because of it being situated well below sea level, it, and other low-lying provinces, were devastated by the flood of 1953. Fortunately technically impressive dykes were designed and implemented and can be thoroughly examined at delta park Neeltje Jans. The beautiful city of Middelburg was saved from the flooding and hence we went there.
Amidst a less-than-typical night market, we perused the stalls selling 5 Euro African print clothes, apparently jammer pants are all the rage this year. We passed a queue of people adamant of buying a plateful of Churros, which, oddly enough, are also huge in Europe. Something typically dutch also drew quite the crowds however and that was the poffertjes stall.
Every well-adjusted Dutch home has a poffertjes iron. Poffertjes are a mini dutch pancake, and are a favoured Dutch treat. We watched as a Zeeuw’s woman artisanly made them.
The cook waits for the little cakes to heat up and for bubbles to form at the surface. This takes a few minutes and allows for invasive photography. While she waits for this she swipes away the connecting dough bits in between the cakes.
Agile as a jungle cat, which are rare in this part of the world, the iron chef pricks and flips each mini pancake. The salivating on-lookers must wait a few more minutes for the b-side to bake. Once they are done, they are plated and given a generous dusting of icing sugar.
Here is a recipe for poffertjes dough:
250 gram self-raising flour
1 large egg
400 ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
melted butter for brushing the pan