Friday, March 1, 2013
Aebleskivers came into my life with my husband. They are a Christmas tradition in his family, so when we started merging holiday traditions, aebleskivers entered my home. And boy am I glad they did! If you have never seen an aebleskiver before, they are sort of a mix between a pancake and a popover. They are solid like a pancake but they are light and fluffy like a popover. And yes, they are shaped like little spheres. They are Danish, and come from Mr. Clever Mom's mother's background. Oh, and we pronounce them ay-bel-skee-ver. I have no idea if that is accurate or not, but that is how it's done in my house!
I find aebleskivers to be fun, as they provide you with a complete variety of things you can do with them. Start with what to put in them - they can be plain or you could drop some fruit or jam in the middle and let the sphere form around the fruit. You can also serve them with a myriad of topping choices - cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, jam, syrup, peanut butter, truly anything you devise!
The one thing you must have in order to make aebleskivers is an aebleskiver pan. A while back, I purchased one at Williams Sonoma, but they are readily available in kitchen specialty shops or probably on Amazon. That particular pan is light-weight and has a non-stick coating. We recently acquired another aebleskiver pan, which is cast iron. Both work really well. I find that I need a bit more butter in the cast iron one (and it is awfully heavy) but they seem to create equally good aebleskivers. If you are not ready to increase the number of random pans in your kitchen, you can also use this batter in a waffle iron. The recipe makes lovely puffy waffles! I used a traditional waffle iron (not a Belgium waffle iron).
The batter for aebleskivers is very similar to traditional pancake batter. You start by separating eggs and beating the whites until stiff but not dry.
This year we (Mr. Clever Mom and I) used both pans at the same time, to expedite the creation and eating of aebleskivers. The pan on the left is the NordicWare one from Williams Sonoma, and the one on the right is the cast iron one.
Give them a little turn with your "tool" and they are ready to remove. I tend to lift them gently with my "tool" and then use my fingers or a second "tool" to get them totally out and onto a plate. You can also poke the aebleskiver with the "tool" and hoist it out like a lollypop. Whatever you prefer, just get them out of the pan and onto a plate so they can be devoured! These are best eaten while warm, so I generally make them and people eat them as we go along. You could try putting them on a cooling rack on a jelly roll pan in an oven set at 200F to keep them warm and then serve them all together, but I haven't tried that so I cannot promise what the results would be!
adapted from a variety of sources!
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (or regular salt)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-2 TB sugar
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
extra butter for pan
Separate the yolks and beat the whites until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except for the butter for the pan) and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites. Heat an aebleskiver pan over medium heat and add a tiny bit of butter to each depression (or brush each with melted butter). Pour about 2 TB of batter into each cup. When bubbly around the edges, carefully turn with a toothpick, wooden skewer, knitting needle, or other tool. Try not to puncture the balls! Continue cooking until done on both sides. You can also add half of the batter to the pan, add a teaspoon of fruit or jam, then cover with the remaining tablespoon of batter for a filled aebleskiver. Great with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, maple syup... Enjoy!
Though these have generally been Christmastime treats for Mr. Clever Mom's family, I have been known to make them at other random times throughout the year, to spice up a weekend morning. I like to add some cinnamon apples in the middle, or diced pear. The clever girl thinks they are so fun to eat and has a great time trying the many different topping options.
Have you taken on any new family holiday traditions?