Sourdough Aebleskiver Recipe (With a Super Amateurish Video!)

I wanted to post this the first week in December, as I hear this is a popular Danish holiday food. However, it turned out that making a stop motion animation super low-budget video is a lot more effort than one would think. I had fun with it though, I laughed out loud at how cheesy it was more than once. I do wish I had a better microphone, but I’m quite happy with the graphics. Yes, you heard me. I actually like how it turned out.

You will need an aebleskiver pan, and a pastry brush. You will need to know how to make clarified butter or ghee. You need a sourdough starter and if you don’t have one yet, I had great results with the pineapple juice starter (scroll down for a day by day breakdown). You need to know how to fold egg whites into batter, and if you don’t believe me about the necessity of whipping the egg whites, you should. Take a look at 2:30 on the same video, he’ll show you. In aebleskiver, that puff on flipping the pancake translates into the aebleskiver becoming nice and round.

If you don’t want to follow my recipe and would rather not do sourdough, there are plenty of recipes for aebleskiver online (or check out the book Ebelskivers by Kevin Crafts). You’ll still need everything else but the starter though.

My recipe for aebleskiver (makes between 18 and 25 ‘skivers):

2 cups (500g) sourdough starter
2 eggs (separated)
1 tsp (7g) salt
1/2 cup (125g) water or milk (if using powdered milk add 1/8 cup or 15g powder)
2 Tbsp (30g) sugar
2 Tbsp (18g) oil, ghee, or bacon drippings (in addition to the ghee to oil the wells)
1 tsp baking soda

These really are a wonderful treat, I haven’t yet found anyone who didn’t prefer them to pancakes. They go fast, but if you wish to make a large amount of them, they do freeze well (or so I hear). I keep my extras in the refrigerator and warm them up at about 300°F in the oven, they don’t hang around long enough to need freezing in this home.

This recipe is nothing more than my usual sourdough pancake recipe, but I do have a cookbook full of seriously tasty looking recipes (that I mentioned earlier). I’ve made a few of his recipes, including lemon poppy seed and peanut butter and jelly. The chocolate chip ones are good as well, though I found it works better to dump the chips in the center as a filling and not to mix them into the batter. One of these days I’ll try more of his suggestions (especially garlic bread with a mozzarella filling and a mariana dipping sauce).

I’ve also seen recipes around the web that suggest fillings such as jam, flavored cream cheese, nutella, custard, and various berries. I’ve heard of people making muffins, cake or brownies in them as well, though I don’t know if they used the stove top or the oven. I’ve heard that cake balls made in this pan are good to dip in icing.

You certainly don’t have to just make aebleskiver in this skillet. This is what happens when you hand me two boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. One of these days I’m going to make a more savory cornbread from scratch and make these filled with cheese. I’ve also heard of making popovers in this skillet, hush puppies, jalapeno poppers, crab cakes, salmon cakes, and meatballs. If the thought of meatballs appeals to you, try doing a search on kofta recipes (there are so many versions from various cultures, I just don’t trust myself to pick one out for you!)

Cornbread aebleskier

The list of other foods that can be made in this skillet is probably way beyond my ability to list. Perhaps if I was an avid student of worldwide culinary culture, I might be able to tell you more. For one thing, aebleskiver may be the same thing or just very similar to poffertjes, I’m not entirely sure.

When I purchased mine, I browsed through the comments on Amazon and quickly saw that several cultures have their own versions of round breads, often made in very similar pans. The Japanese have takoyaki (filled with octopus, tempura, pickled ginger, and green onion). The Vietnamese have bánh khọt, which isn’t a round bread but can be made in this pan, and it looks like it would make an excellent appetizer that would serve as a conversation piece for us uncultured Americans, with rice flour, coconut milk, saffron, shrimp, pork, mung beans and a dipping sauce (here’s another page with a different recipe that includes beer, and a video).

Thailand has kanom krok, which is a coconut bread with rice flour and may include onions, corn, or cilantro as a filling. Several Indian recipes include bonda (with black pepper and curry in the rice flour and dipped in a coconut chutney),  ponganalu (filled with onions or corn and dipped in peanut chutney), and unni appam (which looks good and includes rice, banana, coconut, and sesame).

There is a Tamil (India, Sri Lanka, and South Asia) dish called kuzhi paniyaram that uses the same batter for dosa and idli, which is super fabulous news for me as my new copy of Wild Fermentation totally has this fermented lentil/rice batter given as a recipe, and a large part of my diet is already made up of lentils and rice. I already was thinking of making dosas soon, but knowing that I can use my nifty aebleskiver pan for my new fermented food kick is giving me quite a thrill. It’s nice to be so easily entertained, it really is.

Plus, if you have a super fancy grocery budget (can I come over for dinner?) I hear that the escargot pans are similar (though usually made of copper). I hear you put butter and perhaps a bit of garlic in the wells and sautée the little snails. I’ve never tried them, but I tend to be fairly adventurous with my foods and would certainly like to sample the recipe, though I doubt it will be in my near future.

Anyway, as you can see, this pan is no more a “one trick gadget” than a muffin tin is. Sure, I mostly use my muffin tin for muffins, but I’ve also made potato stacks in them and I know there’s a popular trend to use muffin tins for a variety of tiny casserole-type foods. And yes, I’ve only made aebleskiver and cornbread in my little skillet, but I know the potential is there to make more if I wish to break out of a culinary rut (and I so will be making trying that kuzhi paniyaram soon).  Get you one of these pans, use it, enjoy it, and your family will thank you for it :).

Related pages:

The Care and Feeding of Cast Iron

Ebelskivers: Danish-Style Filled Pancakes and Other Sweet and Savory Treats by Kevin Crafts.

Seasonal Treats: Bloomin’ Apples For Fall.

Baked bloomin' apple

Well, this is interesting. I’ve thought about starting a blog for a few months now, but on the day I happen to have something worth saying, it just happens to be Halloween. That makes my blogiversary Halloween too, my celebratory contests should be fun. Now on to the show. This one features my version of a caramel baked apple recipe that’s been bouncing around Pinterest.

How to make a Bloomin' Apple, baked and drizzled with a butter deglaze sauce and buttery caramel.

I recommend this be baked with the apples placed in a glass or enamel casserole dish. If you don’t have a double boiler, I recommend a stainless steel bowl set on a pot of boiling water. If you don’t have a steel bowl, use the thickest metal sauce pan you have. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

How to make a Bloomin' Apple, baked and drizzled with a butter deglaze sauce and buttery caramel.

How to Cut a Bloomin’ Apple

Bloomin’ Apple (for four apples)

  • 4 apples (I like how Gala apples work with this recipe) that have had their tops cut off and have been cored, then cut in a grid pattern like the picture shown.
  • 8 Tablespoons (one stick, or 1/4 a cup) butter
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar, or a natural and unprocessed sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch (this thickens the sauce so it dribbles more slowly as it melts over the apple, allowing for even seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger root and cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, nutmeg and allspice.

Caramel Sauce (use either)

  • 20 pieces of caramel candies with 2 Tablespoons of butter melted on low or in a double broiler.

Or:

  • In a double broiler, melt: 1 cup brown sugar (packed), 1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half, 4 Tablespoons of butter (chopped), and a pinch of salt together. Stir frequently until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. For a butterscotch twist, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract while cooling.

Bloomin’ Baked Apples (from gunnysack.com) is a fantastic baked apple recipe, especially for this time of the year. It is simple, and seems easy enough. I love seasonal treats, I love the holidays, and I love alleviating my boredom by pretending I’m Donna Reed.  So, I decided to indulge my domestic side and make this the feature treat for the autumn and winter holidays. Naturally I had to add my own personal touch to things as well, and I ended up with something so different from the original you might wish to see both and decide what fits your style best.

Unfortunately, I do not have a narrow, thin knife that the original recipe called for. I have an apple corer that I’d never used before, so I enjoyed that part of the prep, but carving the circles around the hollowed out center proved to be impossible with my thick little paring knife. My cuts would not allow my apple to bloom, meaning it wouldn’t take in heat evenly or brown properly. Also, I don’t own a microwave, and I think this changed part of the recipe as well. My apple took forever to cook, didn’t seem properly seasoned, and the caramel did not spread. So I fixed it for the tools I have available and some of my favorite seasonings. The best change was to slice the apple in the grid like pattern shown above. I found that having no circles made this much simpler and quicker to cut with my clumsy knife.

In the next step, as I said, I do not have a microwave. Odd of me, I know. I’m quite happy being behind the times. So, I took two tablespoons of butter per apple and let it set on the counter for twenty minutes. Then I used the back of a fork to blend in the dry goods, mashing the mixture to an icing like consistency, and then I smeared it on to the top of my apples as if I were icing a cupcake. Save a tablespoon or two of the butter mixture for later, to loosen the sauce on the bottom of the pan after baking.

How to make a Bloomin' Apple, baked and drizzled with a butter deglaze sauce and buttery caramel.

Notice how the back one is missing a sliver from a slice being cut too far, causing the piece to fall off. My knife skills need some honing up.

I bake them at 350°F for twenty minutes. Some varieties of apples may take longer. When the apples are done, remove them from the oven and use a fork and a spatula (trust me, the fork helps) to place the apples in individual bowls and arrange the “blooms”. Take the rest of the butter that you set aside before baking and add the rest of the seasoned butter to the pan or dish the apples baked in. Loosen the browned bits with a spatula and pour this sauce over the apples as they wait for the caramel.  Save some of this apple butter sweet deglaze for sauces you might be making soon, it seems like it would go well with citrus sauces, or maybe some dessert cream cheese sauces could have a bit of it whipped in.

The final step is, naturally, to top with the sweet caramel sauce. Yes, I could have stuck candies inside the apples, but I wanted to make sure that my apples were evenly distributed with caramel goodness. Since I couldn’t melt them in the microwave, I tried both versions of the caramel sauce. The sauce with the candies has more of a traditional caramel apple flavor, but it seems a bit simple for the baked apples. It was good, I’ll probably make it again if serving kids, but the brown sugar and cream sauce makes a perfect version for adults at a festive setting. I bet some rum in the deglaze would be interesting, or cider.

These methods make very buttery caramel, and this was possibly the best homemade dessert I believe I have ever put into my mouth. It actually rivaled something I might expect to find in a restaurant. It was like heaven punched me in the face. I was tempted to try topping with something like coarse sea salt, crushed graham crackers, homemade vanilla whipped cream, melted dark chocolate, or vanilla ice cream… but then I thought I didn’t know if I wanted to mess with perfection.

Update: I’ve been having fun the last few days using my leftover caramel and heavy cream. I splurged and got a full quarter gallon. A spoon of cream and a spoon of caramel added to hot chocolate or fresh coffee is seriously brightening my chilly fall weather. I also spooned the caramel over pumpkin biscuits, I hope I have enough the next time I make pancakes or muffins. I may be splurging on cream for caramel more often.

Update again: Okay I fully admit that the success of this apple stunned me. I did not expect it to go that well, and I seem to have really impressed myself. Over the last two days I’ve actually found myself stressed out at a couple of points and stopped and told myself, “Hey, it can’t be that bad. I made the shit out of that apple, didn’t I?”