I happen to own, because I am that awesome, an æbleskiver pan.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” you ask.
Æbleskiver. It’s a Danish treat using apple slices (it’s Danish for ‘apple slices’). They’re like small spherical pancakes/popovers with stuff in them. It’s a food traditionally served with glogg during Advent. You might be reminded of the commercial knock-off, Pancake Puffs, which have recently come on the market. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTIONS!
I have the pan because my mother gave it to me. She found it at a second-hand store. Hers came from a relative. We use ours to make the family recipe for Molasses Gems (don’t worry, I’ll give you the how-to for those later).
Anyway, I figured I might as well experiment and see if I could put the pan to its intended use.
Peel two apples and chop them into 1/2″ pieces. I found this made me end up with quite a bit of extra apple, but better to be safe than sorry and you can always serve it on the side.
Your æbleskiver pan is cast iron, and will take a little while to heat up thoroughly. Put it on the burner at medium high heat and leave it while you do other stuff. Just remember that the handle will also get very hot, so be careful. We have these handy silicone sleeves we slip onto our metal handles. You can pick them up pretty much anywhere.
In another pan, sauté the apples in two tablespoons butter until softened but still firm. Sprinkle them with cinnamon and set aside.
In a clean bowl, whip two egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside. The eggs will fluff up the best if you bring them to room temperature first. To do this I put my eggs in a bowl of warm water before separating them.
In another bowl, whisk together your two egg yolks and one tablespoon sugar until creamy.
In yet another bowl, sift together two cups flour with one teaspoon baking powder. Slowly add this, alternating with one and one-half cups buttermilk, to the yolk mixture.
Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Test your æbleskiver pan to see if it’s hot enough. Butter should sizzle on its surface. Reduce the heat to medium and drop about one-eighth of a teaspoon butter into each little well to grease. Use a pastry brush to cover all the sides of the well.
Spoon enough batter into each well to fill it halfway. Drop in an apple piece and press it down bit. Be careful not to burn yourself.
Fill the wells to the top.
Allow to cook until the edges of æbleskiver turn brown and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Run a metal or wooden knitting needle (traditional method), skewer, or fork around the edges to loosen the æbleskiver and flip it over inside the well.
It takes a little bit of practice to do this without getting batter everywhere. By the end of it, though, I had it down. Allow to cook through until you can give it a poke and nothing comes out stuck to your skewer.
Remove the æbleskiver to a plate and sprinkle with (or roll in) icing sugar or dip in jam to serve. Maybe try maple syrup. Or home-made fruit sauce. You can of course experiment as well with what goes in the æbleskiver – try other forms of fruit, like mango or strawberry or perhaps something savoury like a nice hard cheese. Here we have it with whipped cream, lemon curd, strawberry jam, and leftover apples.
Make sure to repeat the buttering process each time you put batter into the wells of the pan. You can keep the cooked æbleskiver warm on an oven-safe plate in the oven at 250°F while you’re making the other batches.
This recipe makes about 28 æbleskiver, which is four batches in my 7-well pan.