Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions – Aebleskivers

If you're a long-time reader, you may remember that my family spent a generation in Denmark. One of the family recipes that came across the Atlantic when they immigrated to America was for aebleskivers.

Aebleskivers are a cross between a pancake and a popover and are cooked on the stove in a special pan with round wells where the batter is poured and turned as it cooks, giving them their distinctive shape. Most aebleskiver pans are cast iron. There are two varieties available, one for gas stoves and one for electric stoves. The electric stove variety either have a flat bottom or a ring surrounding the wells to better distribute the heat and avoid “hot spots” on the bottom each pocket.

In Denmark, aebleskivers are commonly served before Christmas. In North America, there are several festivals throughout the year that celebrate the aebleskiver and Danish culture.

My mother never made aebleskivers that I remember. Her grandmother made them all the time and became quite famous for them, however. Over the last couple of years my own family has resurrected the old family recipe and the traditions that go with it. I don't use my great-grandmother's old recipe, though. It's a bit too heavy on the eggs. This is another recipe I found in my grandmother's recipe collections, that I like much better, with just a bit of modification to make it easier.

Equipment needed:
Aebleskiver pan
Measuring cups and spoons
Mixing bowls
Hand mixer or whisk
Chopsticks, spoons, or skewers to help turn the aeblesivers while cooking

3 large Eggs, separated
1 cup Milk, or Half and Half
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
butter, as needed
powdered sugar as needed for dusting

Separate the egg yolks and whites. In a small bowl, beat the yolks until smooth. Mix in the milk and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the egg yolk mixture and thoroughly mix together. Gently fold in the egg whites.

Heat an aebleskiver pan over medium heat and melt 1/4 teaspoon butter in each well. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons batter into each well. Begin turning over gradually using a teaspoon or skewer, as soon as the aelbelskivers begin to brown. Keep turning until nicely browned and cooked on all sides (you won't need to turn them over more than once or twice).

Remove from the pan and serve hot, sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are also good with jam or syrup.

You can also stuff these with small chunks of apple, a scant teaspoon of applesauce, bits of ham, cheese, green onion, or whatever suits your fancy. Just drop them into the batter after you put it into the wells, but before turning.

Photo credit: WikiCommons


Tucker Stoffers said...

I love Aebleskivers, even if I don't know how to spell them. My wife's family is from Denmark and so we have them regularly as a breakfast treat. Down in Ephraim Utah they have a Scandinavian festival every year where you can usually find a good Aebleskiver as well.

John Newman said...

Hey Tucker! Long time no talk to. I hope you and your family are doing well and had a great holiday. Thanks for sharing the link to the Scandanavian Festival! I may have to head down to Ephraim this year.