Aebleskiver, or ebelskiver, are small spherical pancakes. They’re traditionally Danish, but the pancakes have been enjoying an upswing in popularity lately and are a little more common now than they once were. The pancakes are often filled with fruit or jam, rather than being served with syrup. You might not see the real name associated with recipes for these little treats, though, as some stores have decided to rename them simply “filled pancakes” to make them seem a little more approachable to consumers.
The batter for aebleskiver is a fairly typical pancake batter. The primary difference between a regular, American pancake and one of these is that the aebleskiver need to puff up high enough to fill out their pan and make a spherical shape. To help the pancakes along, egg whites are separated and beaten to soft peaks, before being folded into the batter. You need a special pan to make aebleskiver, one with round depressions to hold the batter. Older pans will be cast iron, but many are now available with nonstick surfaces. The pancakes are cooked on one side, then flipped over using a skewer to cook on the other side and fill out their signature shape.
When I’ve made aebleskiver in the past, I’ve stuck with the traditional filled-pancake idea. This time, I wanted to get more of an “American pancake” flavor into the aebleskiver – meaning that I wanted something I could dip into maple syrup. I used buttermilk in the batter and they turned out beautifully. The pancakes were light, tender and very fluffy. The interiors are moist, but fully cooked, and have a great consistency for soaking up a bit of syrup. They’re good on their own, with just a dusting of powdered sugar, too.
2 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup all purpose flour
confectioners’ sugar or syrup, to serve
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1 tbsp sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add vegetable oil and buttermilk and mix well. Whisk in salt, baking powder and flour until batter is relatively smooth, with only a few lumps, and no streaks of flour remain.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with remaining tbsp of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into flour mixture.
Once the batter is made, heat aebleskiver pan over medium heat until very hot. Brush each of the wells with a bit of vegetable oil, then fill each indentation just about to the top with batter.
When the batter bubbles slightly (just like a regular pancake) and the bottom is golden, turn over by inserting a fork (or skewer) into the side and flipping quickly. Cook until second side is golden brown. If the aebleskiver are too dark, turn he heat down slightly.
Keep in a single layer in a slightly warm oven until serving, if not serving immediately as they cook.
Serve with powdered/confectioners sugar or syrup, for dipping.
Makes 21 aebleskiver.