Video: How to make pancakes

Lee Vandervis shows how to make pancakes the way his Dutch mother taught.

Lee Vandervis.
Lee Vandervis.
Lee Vandervis was born and raised in Balclutha and moved to Dunedin with his Dutch parents in his last years at high school.
After living and working in Europe for some years, he returned to Dunedin and set up a sound and lighting hire business.
Now, he is a city councillor.

These pancakes are not as thin as French crepes nor as thick as American ones.

They can be served with sweet or savoury fillings.

His mother used to make pancakes like this, while he stood at her elbow asking when they would be ready.

She didn't measure the ingredients and neither does he.

When the mixture is thin enough for a ladleful to spread over the pan, it is right, he says.

He likes to make a big batch of batter to save time.

It keeps in the fridge overnight and pancakes are delicious for breakfast, he says.


Lee's mum liked to serve pancakes with mango and treacle. Photos by Christine O'Connor.
Lee's mum liked to serve pancakes with mango and treacle. Photos by Christine O'Connor.
Big-batch pancakes


1 dozen eggs
½ cup wholemeal flour
3-4 cups white flour
2-2½ litres milk
plenty of freshly ground black pepper (about 30 grinds)
1 tsp salt
finely scraped zest of a lemon or orange
butter for cooking



Break the eggs into the bowl of a mixer and whisk. Add about a litre of the milk and some of the flour. Mix and season with plenty of pepper, salt and citrus zest.

Add more flour and more milk until the mixture is smooth and fluid enough to spread across a pan.

Heat a large knob of butter in a large frying pan on high heat. When the butter is sizzling and starting to brown, pour a ladleful of batter into the pan and tip the pan around so the batter coats the bottom. It should be about 2-3mm thick.

When the pancake is browning underneath, flip it over or turn it carefully with a long palette knife. When the other side is brown, slide on to a plate, add the filling, roll up or fold into quarters and serve hot.

Meanwhile, melt another knob of butter and cook another pancake.


For a sweet filling, spread a line of treacle, syrup or golden syrup across the middle of the pancake. Top with fruit and dollops of unsweetened yoghurt and roll up.

For a cheese version, before flipping, place 4-5 thin slices of tasty cheese over the pancake and turn over to sizzle golden brown.

For a bacon version, sprinkle a handful of cooked speck (Dutch smoked bacon) over the pancake.

A pineapple curry with yoghurt is a nice filling, he says.



• Lee's mother used only white flour but he likes the nutty flavour of wholemeal flour in pancakes.

• His mother used to rinse the milk bottle with a little water to get the last of the milk out and used to scrape the egg shells to get every bit of egg out. It was a legacy of the war, he said.

• Once he flipped a pancake so high it hung on a dusty lampshade.

• Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.


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