Buttermilk Pancake Balls

If you could stroll down the main street of Solvang, a Danish community in California, you would see an unusual pan featured in many of the shop windows. Looking like an inverted frying pan with deep dimples, the monk’s or æbleskiver pan is used to make a Danish treat, pancake balls. The pancake balls, æbleskiver, can be made plain or with fruit - especially apples, hence the name. As a variation, try a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in place of the cardamom. Another variation would be a slice of banana and a pecan half. In summer, when there is fresh fruit on the vine, try a plump raspberry and a slice of banana. Not traditional but it makes for tasty æbleskiver. This recipe, for Æbleskiver Kærnemælks or buttertmilk pancake balls, makes a nice seasoned, high rising product. In a pinch, try some of your favorite pancake mix.

Preparation: 45 minutes Life Experience Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 persons Tom Galloway, adapted ...from Danish Kitchens
  • 2 cups butter milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 whole eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tart apple
  • Bacon fat, for frying
  1. Wash and core the apples. Cut into small chunks, about sugar cube-size. Place the cubes in a plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the cardamom. Close top of bag and shake well to coat the apple pieces. Set aside to macerate.
  2. Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat egg yolks. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, milk, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well. Fold in egg whites.
  4. Preheat æbleskiner pan over medium-low heat. Add a small dollop of bacon fat to each well. You will be filling the wells about three-fourth full. Put half that amount of batter in each well. Place one of the seasoned apple chunks on top of the batter. Add additional batter to fill about three-fourths full. (Many use applesauce instead of apple chunks or any favoite fr.uit for that matter)
  5. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until bottom of ball is nicely browned. Turn balls over and cook until browned. A lot of sources recommend a knitting needle as the ideal æbleskiver turning tool. I use a bamboo chop stick, cut once with a knife to give a flattened point, and it works well.
  6. Keep balls warm, covered with a towel on a plate in the oven, about 200°F, until all the pancake balls are cooked. Serve 3 or 4 to a plate, drizzle with raspberry syrup or a side of preserves and dust with a bit of powdered sugar.
  7. The batter and the servings never come out right - usually too much batter. Make all the Æbleskiver and the extra can serve as a tasty and welcome snack food for the rest of the day.

I sometimes use a pancake mix, such as Krusteaz, when i don’t have all the ingredients on hand to make the buttermilk batter. Add ½ teaspoon of baking powder to the pancake mix and enough water (about ½ cup of water to 1 cup of mix) to make a stiff batter. Fil the wells almost to the brim.

Cardamom (ground seed): Ceylon and South India are the primary sources for cardamom. It is a popular ingredient in Scandinavian cooking in both meats and pastries. It is an essential ingredient in East Indian curry . In the Arab countries it is used extensively as a coffee flavoring.

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Latest revision done December 2005
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