Thursday, April 6, 2017

Danish Æbleskiver

My Danish Nana used to make these little æbleskiver on special occasions. Their name means "apple slices" (you say it something like "EB-le-ski-va") and I'm not sure why, since they don't usually have apples in them…but they're good with applesauce! Maybe they LOOK like little apples? I've thought of posting the recipe before, because they're SO good (and one of the cutest foods), but you have to make them with a special pan, and it seems like if you HAVE one of those pans you already have a recipe, and if you DON'T have one of those pans you aren't going to make them anyway. Or maybe you got a pan for your wedding like my friend Emily did, and gave it away because you thought you'd never use it!

But, maybe these will look SO good to you that you'll decide to buy yourself a pan. Or three. (We have three. It's the only way to keep up with the eaters around here.) If you have Danish heritage, isn't it kind of your duty

They aren't hard to make; it's a batter like pancakes or waffles. You beat the egg whites separately and then fold them in to keep the batter light. And Nana said you turn them with a knitting needle (but we just use skewers). Then you break them open and put lemon curd or Nutella or strawberry sauce inside, with whipped cream if you can stand how good it is, and close them up again and eat them, NOT in one bite (as I'm always telling my boys)—but maybe four. :) Other toppings you can try: applesauce, cinnamon, any kind of jam, syrup, or berries.

Æbleskiver

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T sugar
2 c milk

2 eggs, separated
4 T melted butter

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar with a whisk. In large measuring cup, measure out the milk. Separate the eggs and drop the yolks in with the milk, and put the whites in a separate bowl. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they are light and fluffy and form soft peaks. Beat the egg yolks and the milk together with a fork. Then make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg-milk mixture and the melted butter into it. Stir together until just combined. With a spatula, fold in the egg whites gently so they don't deflate. It's okay if there are some lumps in the batter.

(We always double or triple this recipe).

For cooking instructions, see below.
With the tip of a knife, put a tiny bit of butter into each cup of the æbleskiver pan and heat it till the butter melts and sizzles. Then fill each cup not-quite-full with batter. The batter will puff up a little as it heats. Just like when you are cooking pancakes, you want to watch for the bubbles to start to come to the top and pop, and the edges of the balls to start looking dry.
Poke the pointy end of your knitting needle or skewer right down into the center of the batter, and slide to the left (or right). You want to turn the ball about a quarter-turn in the pan. It sounds more complicated than it is. Your hemispheres will now turn into little Pac-man guys, as above. Let the batter cook this way for just a minute, until the edges of the batter start to look dry again.
Then put your skewer in from the outside (cooked side) and turn the next quarter-turn, the same direction you turned the first time. Now your æbleskiver are in their proper ball shape! Just tuck the edges down into the cup as you turn, so they stay nice and round. 

At this point you just need to make sure the balls get cooked all the way through. I usually keep them turning around a bit so they don't cook too much on one side. They're easy to turn at this stage since all the outside is cooked. You can take one out and break it in half to make sure it's done before removing the others from the pan.

I do use a tiny bit of butter each time I cook a new pan, but you really don't have to with a non-stick or cast-iron pan—I just like the nice crust it makes on the outside of the æbleskiver.
They're so soft and tender inside.
Abe and Seb take great pride in crafting the perfect æbleskiver.
Lemon curd and cream is my favorite, personally.
Like a baby cream puff. But better.
Speaking of baby cream puffs! Try not to get whipped cream on your nose when you eat these. But if you do…that's okay.

If you want to try these, and you live close by, you can borrow my pans!

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