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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Uncle John's Aebleskivers

My brother John served his LDS mission in Denmark. Later, when my family visited his family he delighted us by making ableskivers. We loved dipping the spheres in a variety of sweets. I wanted to learn how to make them since our visits were rare; at this time we were living overseas. Ableskivers are fairly well known to American diners nowadays but in the late 80s it was difficult to find an ableskiver pan. We finally found one at Smith and Edwards, the big overstock store just off I-15 north of Ogden, Utah. I hauled the cast iron pan to Bahrain in my luggage. I soon found that cooking these for a family of hungry eaters would be more efficient  if I had a second pan. I procured another. (I have to give credit where credit is due and admit that John gave me one pan but I can't remember  if it was the first or the second. I do remember the Smith and Edwards shopping experience, however.) You should be able to find a pan (or two) in a number of places. But Google will spell it aebleskiver in an online search.

For years these have been a Saturday morning favorite breakfast or Sunday dinner when I have family or friends eating with me. During their recent visit, Adam and Gabe got to eat ableskivers for the first time.



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Uncle John's Aebleskivers


Yield: lots and lots--when I made these for my grandsons I kept careful count but have since lost the record. I believe it likely the yield was around 85. This recipe could be easily halved.

4 eggs, separated
3/4 c sugar
5 c flour (you may substitute up to half wheat flour or wheat pastry flour, if you like)
1 T baking powder 
4 c milk, plus a bit more if needed
1/2 teas cardamom powder, optional
1-2 T butter, melted, for the pan
jams, sugars, honey, etc., for dipping

Place the aebleskiver pan over medium heat and preheat the pan. Depending on your stove you will have to watch and change to keep the heat at a level that doesn't burn the outside of the aebleskivers before the insides are cooked. A scorched but gooey aebleskiver is, to say the least, undesirable. 

Whip the egg whites to a stiff meringue. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the egg yolks and stir in the sugar. Measure flour in a bowl and stir in the baking powder and cardamom, if using. Add the flour and milk to the egg yolk mixture, alternating 3 times, stirring well with each addition. The batter should be like a thick pancake batter. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. You're ready to cook.

You may oil the pan with cooking spray but I like to have a bowl of melted butter and a pastry brush nearby to lube the pan between batches. This is the best way to get butter on these spheres.

Once the pan is oiled or buttered, use an ice cream disher to pour the batter into the pan up to the level of the opening. Of course, if you don't have a disher, just use a quarter cup measure. Let the aebleskivers cook until browned on the bottom then turn them over using a chopstick. The tops will be covered with bubbles, like pancakes just before turning. I push the stick right down the middle to the bottom of the batter and pull it up to flip it over. There will be runny batter held by the cooked portion of the sphere; just let it flow into the bottom and set the cooked part on top. You may have to re-seat the aebleskiver a bit with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Let them continue to cook. Knowing when these are done becomes easier with experience. Use a toothpick as a tester and keep cooking until there is no liquid clinging to it. The toothpick can also be used to remove the aebleskivers from the pan when they are done.

I like to cook several batches of aeblelskivers before calling a big group to the table and keep them warm 200 degree oven.

Allow diners to choose from several options for dipping: cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, demerara sugar, jam, honey, or Nutella. Each person should place several dippers and some aebleskivers on a plate and dig in.

If there are leftovers, they can be frozen for a month or so. They'll start to get a bit tough if they are in the freezer longer.


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