One of my Christmas presents was an æbleskiver pan and some wild blueberry jam courtesy of my youngest sister. I love learning about new culinary treats, so part of the fun was looking up the history of this foreign treat.
The origin is believed to be Denmark, roughly around the time of the Vikings. The word æbleskiver is plural meaning apple slices, believed to be the original filling; although other sources claim it's an ode to the spherical shape of the pancake. Either way, it's delicious.
The Danish usually enjoy their æbleskiver as a dessert or snack in December, with fillings ranging from pieces of fruit, to jams and jellies, to chocolates. The batter is also perfect for savory fillings, such as meats or marinated vegetables. In America, æbleskiver are more often made for breakfast and drenched in maple syrup.
For my version, I used wild blueberry jam and some orange marmalade. The wild blueberry was our favorite. The orange marmalade was too tart for our taste buds.
The batter reminded me of thick eggnog and smelled wonderful. This was also my first time beating eggs whites by hand. It took a few minutes of furious whisking, but I did it! I found it helped to pace back and forth in the kitchen throughout the process.
I didn't realize how many æbleskiver would result from the recipe, and it turns out we ended up with 42 for just the two of us! Since æbleskiver do not keep very well, we'll be eating these all weekend. Next time I'll just cut the recipe in half.
The æbleskiver do taste similar to a pancake, but the nutmeg brings a lovely warmth to the flavors. I would recommend eating these warm, right as they come off the pan. Try them plain or with just powdered sugar first before they become drenched in syrup and the flavors become overwhelmed.
The only catch to making these is you have to have an æbleskiver pan (or a takoyaki pan), otherwise you'll just be making pancakes.
4 eggs, cold, yolk and whites divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp turbinado
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
stick of butter
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Place the egg whites in a medium sized metal bowl and whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through salt) and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together the egg yolks and turbinado. Add the buttermilk and vanilla to the mixing bowl, and then slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined (some small lumps may remain).
Using the whisk, add the egg whites to the batter and carefully fold together.
Place the æbleskiver pan on the stove on medium-low heat and allow it to get warm. Take the stick of butter and quickly rub into each divot. Using a spoon, pour 1 tbsp of batter into each divot. Next add 1/2 tsp of filling to each divot, then top with 1 tsp of batter, making sure to cover the filling completely (try and keep the filling from touching the sides, otherwise the æbleskive will have a hole in it). Do not fill each divot to the brim as it needs room to puff up.
After 2-3 min, use a pair of chopsticks to quickly flip the æbleskiver over to finish cooking. The second side will only need 1-2 min of cooking. Remove to a plate and top with powdered sugar.
~Yields 42 æbleskiver.
~Recipe from The Æbleskiver Cooking Page.