Danish delights

In Food and Drink, How-to

This winter, I’ve returned to baking again. In addition to the obvious perks (tasty treats, yes, please!), it’s also one of the few wintertime activities I actually enjoy.

Loaves of bread and trays of almond biscotti have recently made their way from my oven to our table. But the most unusual edible I’ve made this year was something new to me: aebleskiver.

If you’re not familiar with these Danish delights, you’re not alone. These little donut balls require a special pan for frying, as well as wooden tools for turning them. Having received both as a Christmas gift, I was eager to give this a go.

The ingredients are simple–flour, eggs, buttermilk and baking soda–but the making of these two-bite treats takes some skill.

Having the proper pan is mandatory. The cast iron conducts heat perfectly, and the hollowed out spaces cradle the batter as it cooks. Plenty of butter is also a must, allowing the little dough balls to fry and to be easily turned in the pan.

Did I say “easily?” Well, it does take practice! And given that this was our first attempt at making these, our technique left a lot to be desired. But here’s the thing: part of the enjoyment of the morning was the fact that we were experimenting, learning, and we each got a chance to try our hand at something new!

According to the online recipes I reviewed, a filling–often apple–is added at the point where the donuts are being flipped in the pan. We felt challenged enough with the simple batter, so we skipped that step–likely resulting in the less-than-round puffs. We instead coated the finished donuts liberally with powdered sugar and served them with a side of jam (and wishing for a jar of Nutella, ha!).

This recipe made a huge batch of aebelskiver, which we could easily have shared with several more guests. Next time I’d likely make half as much batter, or be sure to make these when there were more mouths to feed.

Even though our final product was not picture-perfect, we happily devoured these special treats! And looking through these photos, I’m ready to pull out the pan and make more again soon.

Have you ever made (or eaten) aebleskiver? Let me know in the comments what your experience has been!

~Leslie

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