Well, here it is, my first chance to “guest post” on my lovely wife’s blog 🙂
This particular post was prompted by my 5 year old’s request for ebleskivers this morning. What are ebleskivers you ask? Well Æbleskiver (Danish meaning apple slices (singular: æbleskive)) are traditional Danish pancakes in a distinctive shape of a sphere. Somewhat similar in texture to American pancakes crossed with a popover, æbleskiver are solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover. The English language spelling is usually aebleskiver or ebleskiver. I like to consider myself open to new adventures, particularly culinary adventures. I had never made, eaten, or even heard of ebleskivers for that matter, until I came across the pan required to make them on sale, which led me to start digging into what they were, and how to make them. Ebleskivers are made using a specific pan that facilitates their fun spherical shape. Traditionally these were made of iron, but now are more readily found made of aluminum with a non-stick coating, such as this Nordic Ware version:
This posts title was born of the suggestion that most of us can think of something that our families did when we were children that became “tradition” even if an unspoken one. And often most of the memories associated with those traditions are good ones. My Grandma had a tradition (albeit not regularly scheduled it always seemed to occur on Sundays) that everyone I know whom ever experienced it, loved it. She would mix a big batch of batter to make what seemed an amazing amount of what we called “big pancakes”, which were her version of a crepe-like thin pancake. They were delicious! And as hard as I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to make them as good as hers. I’ve gotten close, but it’s just one of those things that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely replicate.
Well, when I came across the Nordic Ware Ebleskiver Iron on sale, I ordered it without Kim knowing. As much as she says she doesn’t like (or rather hates) surprises, I know she appreciates something thoughtful like waking up to happy boys and a fun breakfast after a late night at work. It’s not to say that this has become a weekly tradition in our house (I doubt that I would be as fast on my bike if it were) but it certainly seems to be universally enjoyed when I do make them.
The best part about these little spherical pancake balls of joy is that you can literally put anything in them. Our boys like being part of the process by deciding what ingredients to use, and thankfully they haven’t gotten any crazier with suggestions than this mornings “chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces” idea. We have used a broad spectrum of internal ingredients, from ham with Emmentaler, to stawberry with kiwi, to peanut butter and banana, or my personal favourite and perhaps least healthy option, peanut butter and Choco Dream (this may sound like sacrilege but it’s better than Nutella, trust me).
There are two recipes that I typically use. The one listed below is the easier, and thusly quicker, of the two.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (I use whole grain pastry flour currently)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (I only use sea salt)
- 1 Tbs granulated sugar (I use raw cane sugar or turbinado)
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cups milk
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted (you will need a little more with which to cook)
First, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar. Then in a separate bowl, gently whisk the egg yokes and whisk in the milk and 4 Tbs melted butter. Whisk the eggs yoke mixture into the into the flour mixture until well combined, but don’t overdo it. Next, it’s suggested that you use an electric mixer with whisk attachments to beat the egg whites for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. I do that by hand but it requires a bit more effort. Then, fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter in a couple of separate additions. I use a small cooking brush to add a swipe of melted butter to the wells of the pan before adding batter. The pan should be heated on medium, then you can add enough batter to fill a little less than half of each well. Immediately after that, you can add any delicious ingredient that you’d like. Our 4 year old likes to drop in the pieces of fruit (and he is quite careful to place them correctly without getting a burn). Then I usually cover what was just added with another Tbs (approximately) of batter. The only part that may take a bit of practice is the last step of flipping the ebleskivers over to cook on the other side, which is accomplished using two skewers. Took me a bit to perfect it, but now I’ve got it down pretty well. There are some tasty (yet not very healthy) recipes for frostings that you can use to drizzle over your ebleskivers, but I find that if you add things that you like to the center, you don’t need to add the unnecessary sugar.