Pictured: A cast-iron aebleskiver pan
I’ll never forget the aroma of sweet Danish desserts coming from my aunt’s kitchen when we would stop there after attending church in Lansingburgh.
I was just a youngster and my grandmother, Ingrid, and her sisters would get together and bake some of the most delicious treats.
There was kringle, like a coffee cake, and yulekage, a kind of fruit bread. But what I remember most were aebleskivers — or Danish doughnuts.
And during the baking, Danish words would often ring out in the kitchen.
“Tak for kaffe, tak for te, og tak for en dejlig dag,” they would chime.
Translation: “Thanks for coffee, thanks for tea, and thanks for one lovely day.”
My grandmother was born in the small town of Store Andst, Denmark, and came to this country as a child.
She and her sisters have passed Danish recipes down through the generations.
Recently, my niece Meghan and her husband moved into a new home and celebrated by inviting family members over for an aebleskiver and sausage brunch. It brought back memories.
Most aebleskiver recipes are similar. Some come with fillings. The recipe that follows is for plain aebleskivers, which can then be topped with syrup or jam and powdered sugar.
You will need a cast-iron aebleskiver pan. It resembles an egg poacher. Most pans can make seven aebleskivers at a time. (They are sometimes called half-ball pans.)
While they are referred to as Danish doughnuts, I would tend to describe aebleskivers as round pancakes. The word itself means “apple slices,” but my grandmother never used apples in her aebleskivers. Here is my grandmother’s recipe:
Aebleskivers (Danish doughnuts)
Cooking time: 5 minutes; Serves: 4 or more
Can double recipe.
3 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1⁄4 cup melted butter
2 cups sifted flour (sift flour first, then measure)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a clear glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites with electric beater until they hold a stiff peak. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; gradually beat in the sugar. Add melted butter and buttermilk.
Mix together the sifted flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
Gradually add the egg yolks, sugar, buttermilk and melted butter, alternately, to the flour mixture. Beat until smooth.
Fold in the egg whites.
Heat the iron half-ball pan on the stove and drop in a bit of butter to grease the pan.
Pour in the batter, filling the pan two-thirds full. Cook until bubbles appear and break around the edges of the batter.
Using a fork, turn and cook on the other side for about two minutes.
Remove each ball.
Repeat procedure until all batter is used. Keep warm and serve with jam, syrup or powdered sugar.
“In & Out of the Kitchen,” a wide-ranging column about cooking, eating and buying food, is written by Gazette staffers. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.