Post by Alison Hein.
One of my favorite pastimes is browsing the discount shops. I’m not looking for splashy, red-heeled Christian Louboutins, or even a chic Balenciaga bag. Rather, I’m searching for the new and unexpected. The inspirational and one-of-a-kind. Like pepper-shaped grill racks, old-timey cast iron cornbread pans, and even Pacman oven mitts! Imagine my delight when I recently stumbled upon the perfect aebelskiver pan, at a fraction of the retail cost.
Aebelskiver means “apple slices” in Danish. With our usual laissez faire regarding foreign languages, Americans apply this term to all little spherical pancakes, whether filled with sweet and creamy apple middles or not.
Back to the pan. Usually made from cast iron, the heavy pan contains seven small, rounded wells. The pan is heated, batter poured, and the aebelskiver are carefully flipped. Instructions suggest using two skewers, but I asked my Danish friend Helen for the real low-down: “Some use apple pieces, which are added after they are baked a little time on the first side, and a lot like them with prunes .. and I use knitting needles to turn them ;-)which I learned from my mom … we normally eat them at Christmastime, with a little sugar or marmalade alongside.”
My Chinese-American friend Yane weighed in saying she uses chopsticks to flip her aebelskiver. Eureka! We’re a cultural melting pot that allows us to prepare Danish cuisine with Asian cooking utensils, and then serve it up for America’s big birthday breakfast in bed.
Happy Fourth of July!
1 cup unbleached flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 eggs, separated
Cooking spray (or melted butter)
8 ounces (1/2 cup) strawberry jam
1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate small bowl, mix together milk, cider vinegar and egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into batter.
Place aebelskiver pan on burner over medium heat. Spray each well of the pan liberally with cooking spray (or brush with melted butter). Spoon about 1½ teaspoons of batter into each well. Then place about ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam in the center of each aebelskiver. Finally, pour another 1½ teaspoons of batter on top, being sure to entirely cover jam.
Cook for about 2 minutes, until bottom of aebelskiver is dark golden brown. Carefully flip using two skewers, or a knife and spoon, or knitting needles as is common in Denmark, or chopsticks. Continue cooking until flipped side is also golden brown, another one to two minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm while making the remainder of pancakes. Adjust heat and regrease pan as necessary while cooking. Sprinkle aebelskiver with confectioner’s sugar, garnish with berries and serve immediately.
Makes 20 to 30 aebelskiver