May 13, 2009

DANISH YORKSHIRE PUDDING:

All about aebleskivers: The traditional Danish pastry is a snap to make, once the right pan and technique are in hand. (Reinhard Kargl and Yuko Kitazawa, May 13, 2009, LA Times)

Aebleskivers are a type of pancake cooked in a special stove-top pan with half-spherical molds. The center is soft and fluffy, almost creamy. The crust is crisp and browned. In Denmark, aebleskivers are traditionally plated in threes, dusted with powdered sugar, topped or filled with tart jams of Nordic berries and served with mellow Scandinavian coffee.

There, aebleskivers (pronounced "able-skEEvers") have typically not been served in restaurants or for breakfast, but rather at the family table for afternoon coffee breaks. On long and cold Nordic winter evenings, they are served with glögg. In the wintertime, aebleskivers are often sold by street vendors. A symbol of community and hospitality, they are very popular at Scandinavian charity and open-air events.


Grandmother's aebleskivers: adapted from a recipe by Arne Hansen (LA TImes, May 13, 2009)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm milk

2 tablespoons active dry yeast

3 eggs, at room temperature

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus additional for buttering the pan

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Juice and zest of one-half lemon

1 3/4 cups flour

Powdered sugar

Tart berry jam

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk and yeast; set aside until the mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs and sugar until combined, then add the butter, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Finally, add the flour and whisk until the batter is smooth.

2. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the batter is at least doubled in size, about 30 minutes. The batter will be thick and slightly sticky.

3. Heat the aebleskiver pan over medium heat, then brush each mold lightly with melted butter. When the butter just begins to brown, pour the batter so each mold is filled almost to the rim. (Start with the middle mold as it receives the least amount of heat and remember the sequence in which you fill each mold in the pan, as the aebleskivers will need to be turned in that order.)

4. When a solid crust has formed on the bottom of each mold, reduce the heat slightly and use a skewer to loosen and turn each aebleskiver by one-third. As the crust continues to form, turn each by one-third again. Finally, turn each mold again so the entire crust is formed. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the interior of each aebleskiver is cooked through. A toothpick or skewer inserted should come out clean.

5. Use a skewer to remove the aebleskivers from the pan. Plate in arrangements of three; sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with tart berry jam. Serve immediately.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2009 8:05 AM
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