Saturday, May 6, 2017

Aebleskivers




Two Aebleskiver pans take up precious drawer space under the cooktop, squeezed into a rear corner and crowded against a stack of frequently-used skillets. These specialty items have been there so long that I can't remember their purchase date, the suppliers, or the reason why I thought each pan was essential. Evidently they have hidden out in plain sight for a very long time.

One pan is heavy cast aluminum with five cups, the other, a seven-hole pan, is made of heftier cast iron. A bakeoff comparison sounded like a fun activity and the perfect excuse to eat pancakes on a cool, foggy morning. First-batch issues with both pans frustrated the cook, but my taste-tester RL declared those first misshapen, lumpy pancake balls were delicious. It must have been the cardamom. 

Thinner/looser batter, cooler cooktop temperatures, turning method adjustments and more patience from the cook made a measurable difference in the subsequent batches. Next I tried adding a dollop of jam to each ball - messy, but tasty. Then I ran out of patience and finished off the batter with one fluffy pancake and two thin crepes. YUM! 

Thin batter and a lower temperature allows the uncooked batter to flow more readily as the aebleskiver is turned again and again. A crisp, browned crust with a dry, hollow center is the goal. Less-than-perfect pancake balls won't win points for beauty, but they are still delicious. I'll keep practicing with these iconic pans, but am tempted to experiment with the waffle iron as well. Hmmmm, sourdough aebleskivers sound interesting.... Tomorrow?  


Aebleskivers: Dry ingredients, wet ingredients and a bit of melted butter.


Bubbles rise in the batter in cast iron aebleskiver pan


Pancake balls ready for the first turn in aluminum aebleskiver pan.


The batter is a bit too thick or overcooked to flow easily.


Aebleskivers brown slowly as the centers finish cooking.


Aebleskivers with a teaspoon of jam added just before the first flip. Alas, the jam ran out during the turns.


Crepes and pancakes using the same cardamom-flavored batter are delicious... and take less time and patience.






Aebleskivers - Danish Pancake Balls

Dry Ingredients
1 1/4 cup AP flour (use less than 1 1/4 cup or increase the milk)
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Wet Ingredients
1 cup milk
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons melted butter, plus more for oiling the cooking pan

jam and powdered sugar, optional

Directions
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a 2-cup measure or small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients to blend thoroughly.
Add the wet mix to the dry mix and whisk until evenly moistened.

Use a heavy aebleskiver pan (cast iron preferred) and preheat on the stovetop over medium to medium-low heat. When heated, brush each cup lightly with melted butter immediately prior to filling. Add batter to fill each cup about 3/4 full.

A crust will form on the bottom of each cup while the centers remain quite wet. Use a wooden skewer or fork to gently rotate each ball so the bottom crust rotates to become a more vertical side while uncooked batter flows down into the cup. Repeat when a crust forms again on the bottom. Repeat again, rotating the ball so a seam or ridge is on top. Continue cooking, turning occasionally until the balls are evenly browned and the centers are dry. (This took roughly 8 minutes on my cooktop, depending on burner temperature setting and which pan I used.) Lower the heat if the centers are still raw when the exteriors are quite brown.

Remove from the pan and serve immediately sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with jam and butter. (or keep warm in the oven at a very low heat setting).

Re-butter each cup and repeat with the remaining batter.

Notes:
1. Thinner batter and medium-low heat worked better for subsequent batches; cook a test ball and adjust your batter and burner temperature as needed.

2. These were cute little treats to serve the family, but even with two pans would be a challenge to prepare for a crowd. However, using the same batter, flat pancakes and crepes were delicious!

3. The cups on my aebleskiver pans hold different amounts of batter; I used a 1 Tablespoon measure for the smaller cups and just poured the batter into the medium-sized cups. This recipe yielded 2 dozen aebleskiver balls, 1 fluffy pancake and 2 very thin crepes.

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