If, like me, you get caught up in the Danish atmosphere of Solvang, you've probably eaten a ton of aebleskivers, maybe bought a Danish cookbook and an aebleskiver pan and perhaps a sack of mix for these puffy pancake balls.
And then the pan sits in the cupboard for years, winding up in a thrift shop
That's where I found one recently, in perfect untouched condition. My first (and only) attempt to use it was disastrous, producing soggy misshapen lumps.
(Saulsbury uses the spelling "ebleskiver," which is perfectly correct. But I'm used to the Solvang spelling, which starts with an "a").
Her explanation of how to proceed is so detailed and so precise that you can't fail.
For my second go-round with the pan I tried her Classic Ebelskivers. "If you're looking for the quintessential ebelskiver recipe, this is it," she writes in the book. And they're pretty much like what I've eaten in Solvang.
Although lack of skill resulted in a certain clumsiness, I produced something that I could actually enjoy--delicious pancake balls filled with jam. I was thrilled. And it was fun. You can see my effort at the top.
Saulsbury theorizes that ebelskivers did not originate in Denmark but migrated there from Asian countries, which also produce puffy snacks in indented pans. If you've wandered around Bangkok, you have probably seen sidewalk vendors making gushy, hot coconut treats in such pans. These are khanom krok, and Saulsbury has a version of that in the book.
Her recipes are innovative, contemporary, international and would amaze a Dane (I am one) with their versatility. So when you come across an ebelskiver pan at a yard sale or in a thrift store, snap it up and get a copy of the book.
Then you can impress your friends with salted caramel ebelskivers, anise mascarpone puffs, golden raisin and rosemary ebelskivers, fresh corn spoon bread puffs and even smoked paprika ebelskivers with chimichurri.
But to start, here is the classic:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup jam, jelly or preserves of choice
Confectioners' (icing) sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, milk, butter and vanilla until well blended.
Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended (the batter will appear slightly lumpy).
In a medium owl, using an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix one-third of the egg whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites.
Brush wells of a 7-well ebelskiver pan lightly with oil. Set pan over medium heat. When oil begins to sizzle, add 1 tablespoon batter to each well. Place 1 teaspoon jam in the center of each well and top with 1 tablespoon batter.
Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Using two skewers, flip the puffs over. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of filling and moist crumbs attached. Remove pan from heat and transfer puffs to a plate. Let pan cool slightly.
Repeat with remaining batter and jam, brushing wells with oil and reheating pan before each batch.
Dust the ebelskivers with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes about 21 puffs.