Danish Pancakes – Ebelskiver (Aebleskiver)
I have been telling my kids for years about my mom making Ebelskiver (Danish round pancakes) when I was growing up. I remember visiting my grandmother (mormor) in Denmark as a kid and having Ebelskiver in Tivoli Gardens.
So when I opened one of my Christmas gifts this year and found an Ebelskiver pan, I instantly went back to my childhood and couldn’t wait to have my kids experience these delightful round pancakes filled with jam and fresh fruit.
My wife whipped up the following recipe that came with the pan and they were delicious. The recipe is for making 40 round pancakes and we decided to cut the recipe in half but what a mistake. They went so fast we regretted not making the whole batch.
The Ebelskiver Pan
The pan from Williams Sonoma is made of heavy cast-aluminum, has a stay cool cast stainless steel handle and seven deep wells for the pancake batter. The Nordic Ware company started making Ebelskiver Pans back in 1950.
This family owned business from Minnesota joined up with Williams-Sonoma to make this updated version with a nonstick coating to help release the pancakes from the pan.
I read on the Solvang Restaurant web site (see below) a little history of the pan. They say the Aebleskiver pan comes from the Viking days when after a long day of battle, the warriors were hungry and would go back to their viking ships and make a type of pancake using their shields in lieu of pans.
I’m guessing the design of the shields included wells for the batter. This may just be a good story but I like it.
Danish Pancakes In Solvang, CA
I just happen to be in Solvang, California, a small Central Coast community in the San Ynez Valley that was originally founded by a group of Danish educators back in 1911. The town’s architecture has been modeled in a Danish style and you can find restaurants, bakeries and stores selling Scandinavian goods although I was told by one local that there aren’t many Danes left in town.
One morning we enjoyed breakfast at the Solvang Restaurant – home of Arne’s famous “Aebleskiver” on Copenhagen Drive. The restaurant was bright and decorated for Christmas and the servers were friendly. We could tell the locals were in there early like we were because when the tourists arrived in town around 10 am, you couldn’t get near the place.
We all ordered three of Arne’s Aebleskiver served with raspberry jam and powdered sugar. I was thinking they wouldn’t be enough after watching my kids devour 20 Ebelskivers at home on Christmas morning but these were much bigger and in my opinion a little too “doughy”.
My wife’s Ebelskiver following the recipe below were much better. They were moister and had a richer flavor perhaps because of the fillings but maybe from the higher egg to flour ratio.
If there are any Danes out there reading this blog, please post your recipe for homemade Ebelskiver in the comments below.