I have been telling my kids for years about my mom making Aebleskiver (Danish round pancakes) as well as the other Danish crepes (Pandekager) when I was growing up. I remember visiting my grandmother (mormor) in Denmark as a kid and having Aebelskiver in Tivoli Gardens.
So when I opened one of my Christmas gifts this year and found an Aebleskiver 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 Aebleskiver 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 Aebleskiver 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. They 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 Aebleskiver at home on Christmas morning. However, these were much bigger and in my opinion a little too "doughy".
My wife's Aebleskiver 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 Aebleskiver in the comments below.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 eggs separated (yolks and whites)
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more for cooking
Fillings for the Aebleskiver
- jams fresh fruit, chocolate
- In a bowl big enough to hold all the above ingredients with room to whisk, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add this mixture into the flour mixture until blended together. Don't worry if the batter looks lumpy.
- Using a hand held electric mixer, beat the egg whites on the highest speed until they become stiff but you do not want dry peaks to form. This should take about 3 minutes. Then fold the egg whites back into the flour mixture.
- Getting the Pan Ready for cooking
- Put the pan over medium heat, add ¼ teaspoon of butter to each well in the pan and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each well of the pan, then 1 teaspoon of filling and top with 1 tablespoon more of batter.
- You cook until the bottoms of the round pancakes are golden brown and a little crispy. This should take about 4 minutes. Using a coupe of wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
- Remove the 7 Aebleskiver and repeat with the remaining batter until all the batter is cooked. Serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar.
- If you don't want to add filling, that's fine. Just serve them with jam or syrup on the side.