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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Aebleskiver – Danish Pancake Balls...

12:02 pm - 38 degrees - raining...

The kids and I were at my parents’ house yesterday when my dad started rummaging through their kitchen cabinets, pulling out extra cast iron pots and pans and asking if I would like to have them.  Of course I would!  Dad pulled out this odd looking pan, I had no clue what it was for, and Mom tells me that it’s an æbleskiver pan.  Of course it is.  As I’m Googling what an æbleskiver pan is used for, Dad whips up a batch of Aebleskiver! 

Aebleskiver (pronounced: aye-bill-ski-ver, singular and plural) are like a melt-in-your mouth... donut?... beignet?...  popover?... or something else entirely?... that is formed into the shape of a ball.  Whatever they are, we all loved them!

As it turns out, Aebleskiver is nothing more exotic than a Danish pancake ball.  That’s right – pancakes shaped into balls – although this does not adequately describe the distinctive taste and texture.  And for this shaping feat, only an odd-looking pan (Lodge Cast Iron P7A3), some manual dexterity, and a little initial patience are required.

The name Aebleskiver which literally means “apple slices” in Danish, makes people believe that there are slices of apples inside, which is correct – if you put apple slices inside!  There are hundreds of ways to make Aebleskiver, and everyone has their own favorite recipe and way of serving them. 

Just a few of the many ways to make Aebleskiver!

My parents just happened to have an æbleskiver pan (which came home with me by the way), and knew how to use it!  Why have I never heard of or tasted these before?!  I can see these becoming a staple in our house hold!  They are unbelievably quick to make and oh so delicious!  So of course, I just had to share this wonderful discovery!

Here is a basic Aebleskiver recipe that you can tweak and add to...

~ Aebleskiver ~
4 eggs separated
1 tbsp. sugar
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups milk
Aebleskiver pan

Beat egg yolks until light.  Add sugar and beat until thickened. 

Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together and add to the yolk mix, alternating with butter and milk. 

Beat egg whites until soft and fold into batter.  Your Aebleskiver batter should be similar to pancake batter in consistency.  You must be able to pour the batter into the cups on the pan.

Fill each cup of the æbleskiver pan 2/3 full.  Cook over medium heat until bubbly, turn with skewer or fork and cook on other side until golden brown.  (Note:  For round, rather than oval Aebleskiver, make four quarter-turns, rather than only one half-turn.  After you get the hang of turning the Aebleskiver, you will find the process quite easy.)

If desired, a small piece of cooked apple, dollop of jam, or other filling can be pressed into the center of each cup of batter before turning.

Serve with powdered sugar, syrup, honey, jam or whatever your taste buds desire.

~ Enjoy!

{Fun Fact:  How were these tasty pastry balls invented?  One theory goes something like this... Back in the good old days, when the Vikings were roaming up and down the coasts of Europe and the waters of the Atlantic, one band of these Vikings had been particularly hard hit in battle.  So, when they got back to their ship with their horn helmets and shields all dented and banged up, they decided to have one of their favorite dishes to help them regain their strength – pancakes!  In those days they did not have modern conveniences such as frying pans, so they greased their dented and dinged shields and poured the pancake batter on them over the fire and ended up with Aebleskiver!}

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