Friday, January 27, 2012
I have to begin this post by saying that my mother-in-law is Danish. This recipe for Æbelskiver (pronounced "able-skeever") is her recipe. Æbelskiver are a traditional Danish breakfast food, usually made on special occasions. They are essentially pancakes, but in the shape of a ball. They have to be cooked in a special pan, which you can currently purchase at Williams-Sonoma, and which looks like this:
These are so delicious. They are like pancakes, and yet are different somehow. Plus, the whole fact that they are shaped like a ball makes them fun. You can also put things inside of them while cooking. Æbleskiver actually translates as "apple slice," because traditionally a small piece of apple would be placed in the middle during baking. I've tried that, as well as pear, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry. All of them are fantastic. Williams-Sonoma touts filling them with jam or even decadent chocolate fillings while baking. My mother-in-law dismisses this as foolishness, and says it is very NOT Danish. We generally break them open after cooking, and put a little jam in the middle. My kids dip them in maple syrup. But any way you eat them, they're delicious.
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional, but very good)
Zest from one lemon (again optional, but very good. I've also used lime and orange zest.)
2 cups buttermilk (no substitutions!)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and lemon zest. Add buttermilk and mix to form a thick batter, then mix in eggs and finally butter. Transfer to a pitcher and let sit for 5 minutes while you heat up the pan.
Heat Æbelskiver pan over medium heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray, being sure that each well is coated. Pour batter into each well, coming within 1/4" of the top of the well, but not filling it up completely. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, or until you can see the outside edges setting up, and the middles getting puffy. Using a wooden skewer or a fork, grab the outside rim of each Æbelskiver and quickly pull it to the other side, turning it over. This is how the ball is formed. Let cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the Æbelskiver is browned and the inside is cooked through. Remove from pan, respray with cooking spray, and pour in more batter. Repeat until no batter remains.
Makes about 40 Æbelskiver, which serves about 6 people.