When I stopped by an Oregon yard sale during a recent road trip, I was stumped when I came across a strange, cast-iron pan with seven grooves. The lovely lady hosting the sale insisted that I use my dollar to purchase this mystery pan to make an even more mysterious dessert – aebleskiver. With my love for cooking and a challenge, her persistence caught the best of me. Now, I can confidently share with you what she shared with me, the traditional Danish dessert in all of its delicious glory!
Aebleskiver is more than just your run-of-the-mill recipe; it has a traditional style of preparation which I followed to the best of my ability. Believe it or not, one of the tools required to make traditional aebleskiver is knitting needles! Find the recipe, along with my variations, and a sprinkling of tips for beginner aebleskiver makers below!
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com. Makes about 25 aebleskivers.
2 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups buttermilk
Vegetable oil or butter for frying
2 apples, chopped into small cubes
Cinnamon to taste
Sugar to taste
1. First, the filling! If you want aebleskivers with the traditional filling in them, mix your apples, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. However much cinnamon and sugar you want to add is up to you and your taste buds! (I also experimented with bacon and goat cheese, mixed berry jam, and good ol’ Nutella. All four fillings were delicious, and I encourage you to test out your own!)
2. In a glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they can hold a stiff peak. Set aside.
3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, egg yolks, melted butter, and buttermilk and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites last.
4. Put about a teaspoon of vegetable oil or butter in the bottom of each pan cup and heat over the stove until hot. If you’ve never cooked aebleskiver before, I recommend starting with just one at a time! This way, you can get the feel of the technique needed to make one to perfection, working your way up to using the whole pan.
5. Pour one tablespoon of batter into a cup, add about a teaspoon of filling, followed quickly with the second tablespoon of batter. You can use a spoon, but I used a pastry bag for better control and speed when distributing the batter. It also helps if you can have a helper in the kitchen to put the filling in the batter for you. When the sides start to bubble, gently slide your knitting needles (I didn’t have any, so I used chopsticks) around the sides of the rising batter, gently and slowly in a turning motion to lift, and rotate the aebleskiver.
6. Once the batter is cooked, rotate the aebleskiver to its side to distribute the heat, making sure each is thoroughly cooked. It took me about four times making a single aebleskiver at a time to get the technique down after which I worked my way up to making multiple at a time.
While I recommend serving most dishes fresh, my aebleskivers kept for days in the refrigerator without deflating or becoming stale. They made for a great breakfast on the go the next few days! All the work you put into figuring out this recipe definitely pays off in the end.