Aebleskiver (singular: aebleskive) or ebleskiver (sometimes spelled ebelskiver) are a type of Danish pancake puffs that are cooked in a special stovetop pan with half-spherical molds.
The pan, often called munk pan or aebleskiver pan, typically features 7 (or 9) indentations and is now made of cast iron. The cast iron aebleskiver pan exists in versions for gas and electrical stoves for which it features a plain bottom. The earliest known aebleskiver pans are more than 300 years old and were made from hammered copper.
What does aebleskiver mean?
Aebleskiver means “apple slices” in Danish. The name indicates that there were apples in the original recipe. However, modern versions of the Danish specialty do not include apples.
When and where are aebleskiver served?
Aebleskiver are typically not served in restaurants or for breakfast, but they are rather served at the family table for afternoon coffee breaks. In Denmark, they are common during Christmas and over the days leading up to it. During that time, they are often served with gløgg, a Scandinavian mulled wine.
What are the versions of aebleskiver?
There are two categories of aebleskiver: those made with baking soda (or baking powder) as a leavening agent, and those made with yeast (gaer aebleskiver). The latter produce a fluffier and more airy end result.
The recipe featured here is the version with baking soda and buttermilk also called kærnemælks æbleskiver. Another version with cream is called flødeæbleskiver.
Aebleskiver are traditionally served rolled in powdered sugar, sometimes with whipped cream, butter, maple syrup, and also very often with fruit preserves or jams such as raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant or blackberry jams.
What is the origin of aebleskiver?
Legend has it that during the time of the Vikings, when they roamed the coastal waters of England and the Atlantic, some of those Vikings were hard hit in battle. As they returned to their ship, they made pancakes with their badly dented horn helmets and shields.
As they didn’t have proper cookware, they greased their shields and poured the batter on them over a fire. There are quite a few reasons why this story may not hold true, including the fact that Viking shields were partly made of wood!
The different kinds of pancakes
The Dutch make similar pancake balls, although more ovoid in shape, called poffertjes. Like aebleskiver, they are made in a special pan. It is as unclear which came first between the chicken and the egg as it is between the poffertjes and the aebleskiver!
Pancakes are breakfast and brunch favorites, and we have featured quite a few on 196 flavors already, starting with Empress Sissi’s favorite, Austrian kaiserschmarrn!
If you are in a savory kind of mood, you should definitely go for my personal favorites: maize flour-based pupusas from El Salvador.
I made these aebleskiver a couple weeks ago for Sunday brunch. My kids helped me make the batter and suggested different toppings, including jam, as well as some less traditional like agave syrup and Nutella!
These pancake balls with a soft and fluffy center and a crispy outside are as unusual as they are delicious. Get yourself an aebleskiver pan and try them!
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup butter , melted
- 3 eggs , separated
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- Beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add the buttermilk gradually while mixing. Continue mixing until reaching a homogeneous consistency.
- Slowly add the melted butter while mixing.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture with a spatula.
Heat up the aebleskiver pan at medium heat. Grease each hole with a little bit of butter or oil. Fill the holes with the batter.
- After a couple minutes, turn the aebleskiver over with the help of a toothpick.
- Cook for 2 additional minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar, and serve with jam or other favorite toppings.