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Danish Æbleskiver

Ester & Aebleskiver 4

Earlier in December I met Ester, my new 93 year old Danish friend who showed me how to make Æbleskiver. Or rather brought out her cast iron pan and recipe and watched as I made it, offering tips and encouragement and told stories as I folded the whipped egg white into buttermilk batter and turned the dough balls in the pan as they puffed and turned golden. I kind of grew up with Æbleskiver – my best friend Sue’s mom would make them sometimes when we had sleepovers at her house in our teenage years, and I’ve been on the hunt for an Æbleskiver pan ever since. Pierre found one for me at a second hand store in BC around the same time I was making them with Ester, and so yay – I am now officially a person who makes Æbleskiver on weekend mornings. Particularly after sleepovers.

Making aebleskiver dough

If you’re not familiar with Æbleskiver, they’re most often described as pancake balls, often spiked with cardamom because of their Danish heritage, and not usually made with apple despite their name. (You could, of course, tuck bits of apple into the middle of the balls as they cook.) I’ve most often eaten them warm, with jam and sometimes whipped cream, but Ester’s mother, who had 12 kids and turned her Æbleskiver with the tip of a knitting needle, served hers with a dish of sugar for each person to roll their pancake ball around in, like a warm doughnut. With jars of jam and preserves for spreading once you split them open.

Ester & Aebleskiver 2

I’m usually against any breakfast bread formula that requires the whipping of egg whites – I avoid it at all costs when making waffles, but made an exception here. They’re worth a bit of extra effort. Cardamom is common in Danish sweets – you’ll likely recognize its aroma, but if you don’t have any in your cupboard, cinnamon makes a perfectly fine substitute.

Ester & Aebleskiver 3

If you don’t have an Æbleskiver pan, you won’t be able to make these – the round holes are what make them what they are, but if you come across a pan, now you’ll know what it’s for, and if you find one in your relatives’ basement, you may be able to borrow it indefinitely. Lodge cast iron still makes them, so there is the option to order one online for about the same amount as it would cost to go for brunch with a bunch of pals – just invite them over for Æbleskiver instead.

Ester & Aebleskiver 1

Danish Æbleskiver
Danish Æbleskiver

Danish Æbleskiver

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January 26, 2018

Ingredients

2 large eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

canola oil or butter, for cooking

Directions

1In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and melted butter.

2In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cardamom and salt. Stir in the buttermilk mixture, and fold in the egg whites.

3Heat a cast iron Æbleskiver pan over medium-high heat and brush generously with oil or butter—enough that there’s about half a teaspoon in the bottom of each divot. Spoon a spoonful of batter into each and cook, rotating with a fork or bamboo skewer as the bottom turns golden. Serve immediately or keep warm in a baking dish in a 250?F oven. Makes about 2 dozen Æbleskiver.

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12 comments on “Danish Æbleskiver

  1. Heather
    January 26, 2018 at 11:59 am

    That’s what that pan is for! I always wondered!

    • Julie
      January 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Ha – I sure would be curious too!

  2. Alanna Kellogg
    January 26, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    We love-love-love Apple Skydivers! That’s what they’re called here — thank you, iPhone AutoCorrect, but it stuck. My husband goes all creative with the fillings, often savory. They’re fun!

    • Julie
      January 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Amazing!!

    • Alanna Kellogg
      January 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      And … I made yours for breakfast this morning, very fun! I loved the cardamom touch especially… thanks for all you do! And to your new friend for sharing her recipe!

  3. Katie C.
    January 27, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I was watching the behind the scenes show of Iron Chef where Alex explains about the challenge that almost killed her. The culinary curve ball was this pan. She made some savory ones. The challenger used the pan to sauté scallops of all things! I had never heard of this until that show 😉

  4. Sue
    January 27, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I’ll have to dig my Æbleskiver pan out and make some! It’s been far too long, so thanks for the reminder!

  5. hotmail sign in
    March 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I like the simple recipes that are great. Looking forward to the next post.

  6. Leah
    September 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    The pans can be hard to find. I bought mine at the Norwegian Laft Hus in Red Deer (norwegianlafthussociety.ca). If I recall, they had 2 versions: a non-stick one and lovely cast-iron one which is every bit as nice as my mom’s antique Danish one. Lately we’ve been tucking a little chunk of prune plum inside. It gets very jammy and delicious.

    • Julie
      September 19, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Oooh, thanks for the tip! And you stuff them with plums?! YES PLEASE!!

  7. Kirsten
    September 20, 2018 at 10:15 am

    These pans have become so much easier to find. Besides the Lodge cast iron, NordicPro makes a great nonstick pan, and if you want to go super Scandi, Scanpan makes a great nine-hole nonstick pan (Scanpan is a fabulous Danish brand of nonstick cookware).

    We make ours sweet and savory.
    Sweet: sauteed apples, a small spoonful of jam, tiny divots of nutella (frozen first, as they run all over the place at room temperature).
    Savory: stir some thyme into the batter, small chunks of ham and grueyere, pancetta, boursin (also chilled).

    A friend asked my daughter and me to represent Denmark at her elementary school’s national fair. We brought aebelskiver to eat and woven danish hearts to make, and lots of sweaters on display. Very hygge.

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