December 21, 2007

AEbleskivers

I don't know how on the computer to make a capital A and E flow together with the right line in the A as the vertical line in the E, but that's how it's written. English spellings are usually just Ebleskiver. 'Aebleskiver' is Danish for 'apple slices', which used to be (or applesauce) put in the middle of these spherical pancake balls.

You need a special pan that has hemispherical indentations in it. It's best with a heavy, like cast iron, pan. Over the years we've tried several kinds and I now just stick with the cast iron one.

How in the world did someone think of this? I read a funny speculation of the Vikings with their many battles having many indents in their shields and they loved pancakes. So without the convenience of frying pans, they greased their shields and poured the batter over them over the fire.

We make these for all holidays and birthdays and Heather requested them for her last morning home. So I made them last week and will do them again for Christmas brunch. Their taste is a cross between a pancake and a doughnut.

I always start preheating the pan while I'm making the batter.
Here's the recipe I've developed -
4 eggs separated
4 tsps sugar
1/4 C oil (I use olive oil or you could use melted butter)
2 C buttermilk (sometimes I just add buttermilk powder to water)
1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 C flour (I use white whole wheat or pastry flour I grind)
1 tsp soda
2 tsps baking powder

I beat the egg whites first till stiff and then put them in a dish while I mix up the rest in my Bosch bowl and then gently add in the whites.

In the preheated pan, and now set on medium, put oil in each indent about half full. I find the first ones always need more oil, but then can use less as we're making more. Put batter, about topping the indent, in each. You can use a skewer to turn them, but I've gotten used to using two little forks. When you turn them the middle batter, still liquid, spills into the indent to cook for the other side making actual pancake balls. I'm a clean cook, so I always push the stuff that spills out of the indent back into the balls as I'm turning them, so the pan stays pretty clean. It takes awhile to get the hang of this. But they are so good and worth making.

Years ago, growing up in Tucson, my mom made loquat jelly that we'd serve with these. We always serve them with real maple syrup, melted butter, and then some cooked fruit sauce, like berries. Traditionally they're dusted with powdered sugar, but I'm never one to add more sugar when it doesn't seem necessary. Then we always have bacon and/or sausage with them.

We often invite a family for Christmas day brunch. When our kids were young and we'd moved to Evergreen we had a family we developed a regular tradition with - them coming for Ebleskivers and cross-country skiing, then going to their house for supper, ice skate, and watch movies, and sleep over. Though we've not gotten together for years now, I've never forgot little Kim and Kevin calling them "Able skiers".

At Christmas time, I always have fruit soup and rice pudding around that we'll serve with these. I'm heading out today to get the ingredients for making fruit soup and potato sausage.



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