My husband’s side of the family has some strong Danish roots. His grandmother was adamant that each of her grandchildren learn as much as possible about what that meant to her. And, mostly it meant food. She was an amazing cook. I have heard legendary stories about the food she created over the years. She was a great lady.
My husband and I lucked out on one visit with her just after we got engaged. She gave us her very old and very well seasoned cast iron aebleskiver pan. It came with a recipe, written by her, in her handwriting. It was the one she used to make these yummy treats for her family for so many years. We cherish this pan and the handwritten recipe. The pan, well, it’s awesome, and honestly I’m not sure you can even get one like it anymore. Well, maybe in Belgium or the Netherlands. Anyway, along with the pan, we got some amazing stories. She was an army dietitian and WWII Veteran. Literally food was her life. She was an original clean eater, way before it ever became a thing.
It’s a funny thing, because just after she gave it to us, I saw that Williams Sonoma came out with a doughnut pan. And, what do ya know – it was an aebleskiver pan, reincarnated into a nonstick lightweight pan. It came with boxed mix in a kit. It’s like my she knew aebleskiver was just about to make a comeback (from where I’m not sure.) Always ahead of her time! Anyway, what that means for you is, you can probably get an aebleskiver pan pretty easily these day, just not the antique well seasoned one I was lucky enough to inherit.
So, about once every couple of months, my husband gets an itch for these things. We pull out the pan and her recipe and get to work. So when he got a hankering last weekend, I said – OH let me see if I can clean up that recipe! And, well, it worked out so well. I mean, I really lucked out that all my clean eating substitutions worked perfectly. I mean it makes sense really because the recipe was probably intended to be clean in the first place, before things like buttermilk and all purpose flour were readily available.
I started by making my own butter and buttermilk. Its really simple actually, just pour some heavy cream in the food processor and turn it on. About 10 minutes later you’re straining the buttermilk away from the butter. I’ve found that 1 pint of heavy cream make exactly 2 cups of buttermilk, which is what we need for this recipe. From there I beat my egg whites until stiff peaks form, then mix everything together. I decided to use coconut oil instead of butter or something else, like vegetable oil (YUCK) for this because well, coconut oil is a rockstar and is so healthy. It really couldn’t have worked out better. You do have to use the coconut oil pretty liberally, if not the aebleskiver will most likely stick to the pan. Once the pan is hot and the oil is in each cup, add about 1 tablespoon of the batter. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes, maybe longer depending on the pan, it’ll be trial and error at first until you get it figured out. I was taught to use a toothpick to flip the aebleskiver, but you could also use a fondue fork or something similar. Find what works for you.
I will warn you this recipe is not easy. I consider it pretty high in difficulty level. So, it may take a couple of tries to get it right. But, you’ll be an aebleskiver guru in no time!
My husband likes to eat these with jam, or applesauce. But they are also delicious with syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I also drop a small piece of banana in them sometimes when before I flip them so there is a little banana surprise in them when you take a bite. They don’t traditionally have things inside of them, but its super yummy if you want to go a nontraditional way.
Local Ingredients: Heavy cream from a local dairy.
2 eggs, yolks and white separated
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pint heavy cream OR 2 cups buttermilk, 4 tablespoons butter
1/2-1 cup coconut oil
- If you decide to make your own buttermilk and butter, here are the directions.
- Add the heavy cream to the food processor. Turn it on.
- Let the cream mix and churn in the food processor for about 7-10 minutes. You'll notice it goes though an evolution of whipped cream, to a curdled looking kind of heavy milk, then it will turn into butter.
- The contents will turn into a ball and there will be a liquid that separates and settles at the bottom.
- Pour the entire contents through a cheese cloth into a large measuring cup.
- Take the cheese clothe and wrap it around the butter that settled in the cloth and squeeze our the remaining liquid into the measuring cup.
- You should be left with about 2 cups of liquid, thats the buttermilk.
- Mold the butter into desired shape with the cheese cloth and store in an airtight container, reserving 4 tablespoons for the recipe.
- Add the separated egg whites to a glass or metal bowl that works with your electric stand or hand mixer.
- Mix until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, whole wheat flour, buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, turbinado sugar, and salt.
- Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter, and add to the flour mixture and combine.
- Gently fold in the egg whites.
- Heat the pan over medium heat.
- Add about 1/2-1 teaspoon of coconut oil to each of the cups in the aebleskiver pan.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of batter into each cup in the pan.
- Allow to cook for 2-4 minutes, until firm enough to flip using a toothpick.
- Flip each aebleskiver using a toothpick so the other side can cook through. Allow to cooking another 2-3 minutes until the outside is a golden brown color.
- Set aside on a plate or platter until ready to eat.
- Repeat until batter is gone.
- Serve the aebleskiver sprinkled with cinnamon or with hot syrup or jam. It's also traditional to serve them with warm applesauce or apple butter.
Mom C says
Beautiful pictures and great insight into the joys of abelskiver !! Although we must remember that Aunt Renee was the true Dane and introduced us to krumkake and sandbakels…besides loving abelskiver made by KLJ.