“It’s a ball!” “It’s a CAKE!” It’s, it’s.. “Æbleskiver“!?
Æbleskiver, or “Pancake Puffs” are a traditional Danish-style sphere-shaped pancake. Pronounced “aye-bill-ski-ver”, the name literally translates to apple slices in Danish. Funny enough: apples aren’t actually used in this dish at all! Cooked on a stove-top pan with half-spherical molds, Æbleskiver are nowadays made in cast iron (which allows for good heat retention). The earliest known aebleskiver pans are more than 300 years old, and were made from hammered copper that looked like this:
The legend of Abelskiver is pretty fun, in a Norse kinda way. It went something like this: Back in the day, when the Vikings were ‘visiting’ up and down the coasts of Europe, one of the B.A.M.F. Viking troupes had been hit particularly hard in battle. So, when the ragtag band of warriors got back on their ship with their helmets and shields all dented and dinged, they decided to have one of their favorite meals to help rouse their spirits– pancakes!
Fast-forwarding to Modern day Denmark, æbleskiver are commonly eaten at Christmas time and are often served with gløgg, a Scandinavian mulled wine. Traditionally plated in threes, dusted with powdered sugar, and topped or filled with tart jams of Nordic berries– these are sure to delight the senses. And if gløgg isn’t your thing, you can also have these bad boys served with a mellow Scandinavian coffee.
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t soda
2 T sugar
4 T melted butter
Jam of your choice (To be used as a Topping/Filling)
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Mix the egg yolks and all other ingredients together in a bowl and beat until smooth. Allow batter to set for 30 minutes to let baking powder work it’s magic.
Then, beat the egg whites until stiff peak (as seen above). If you happen to have a stand/hand mixer, by all means, use them. Sometimes I am a old-school masochist and whisk things by hand.
Once your egg whites are ready, go ahead and fold them into the batter, taking care not to over-mix.
Next, heat your aebleskiver pan on Medium. Put 1 tsp. canola oil into each divet and then fill almost completely with batter. You will want to leave just a little bit of space, lest the batter overflow as it rises. Let them cook until slightly crusty on bottom, with bubbles starting to form.
Depending on how hot your pan is, you may want to cook them for about 3 minutes on first side 1-2 on second. To turn, slightly poke the centers with a knitting needle (or toothpick/skewer) and lift them up, repeating as needed. It is also important to note that you should try to flip theses in order that you poured them.
Continue cooking and turning the ball to keep it from browning too much in any one spot. Typically, you will want to aim for a ball shape within three ‘turns’. To check for doneness, as with any sort of cake, check the center via the knitting needle/skewer. When it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
Serve aebleskiver hot with powdered sugar and jam.
The jam I used for this was Lingonberry. If you have never had it, I highly recommend giving it a try. It is similar in taste to cranberres, but way more interesting. I.e: smaller, jucier, more complex of a flavor.
“Bursting with natural preservatives and pectin, lingonberries were invaluable to earlier generations of Scandinavians, for they could be kept for months at room temperature simply by placing them in jars of water (vattlingon) or by stirring the raw berries with a small amount of sugar to make rårörda lingon (lingonberry jam).”
Tyttebær (in Norwegian and Danish), rauðber (in Icelandic), puolukka(in Finnish), and lingon (in Swedish).
*** If you cant seem to get the hang of forming these little beauties, here is a VERY useful info-graphic that helped me achieve a bit more of a spherical shape.