Mormor Agnes’ Æbleskiver #CooktheBooks
I was prompted to (re)share this process after reading the August-September Cook the Book selection: Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay. I devoured this book in a single sitting. It had delicious prose and embodied the spirit of a true friendship between two women in a sisterhood that they chose. I share my thoughts about the book in a separate post. For now, I am just going to share Mormor Agnes’ Æbleskiver.
As they were getting to know each other, Joan and Mr. R ventured to a Danish village in Southern California for a daytrip. "During those darkest of days following the assassination, Mr. R was my comfort. We bicycled the coast again, and one Sunday we drove to Solvang, a Danish village a few hours north of Los Angeles. We stopped at Ellen’s Danish Pancake House for aebleskivers, and Pea Soup Andersen’s for pea soup, naturally, as well as two bottles of an excellent California vin rose from their Old Country cellar to take away. We scarcely had time to tour the Santa Ines mission, and it was long after dark by the time we returned to the city."
As Solvang is not too far from where we live, we have also taken daytrips to Solvang where we enjoyed æbleskiver. I will have to keep an eye out for Ellen's Danish Pancake House next time we are there.
Mormor Agnes’ Æbleskiver
We enjoyed Æbleskiver a few times while we were in Denmark a couple of years ago. And I was determined to make them here in California!
Sometimes there are words in other languages that make so much more sense than in English. Take 'grandmother' and 'grandfather' as an example. When mine were alive, they were 'Grandma Meling' and 'Grandpa Joe' to differentiate them from 'Grandma Eva' and 'Grandpa Marc.' So, when Jake and I had the boys, we decided to keep it simple and have them call my parents by the Italian words for grandparents - Nonna for grandmother, Nonno for grandfather, and Nonni collectively - while Jake's parents would be Grandpa and Grandma. Actually, R started calling Jake's dad 'Poppa' when he was a toddler and that stuck; now they are Grandma and Poppa. But we still have four distinct words/names for our parents.
In Danish, the word for mother is 'mor' and the word for father is 'far'. Move one generation up and you have: mormor, morfar, farfar, and farmor. So that's mom's mom (maternal grandmother), mom's dad (maternal grandfather), dad's dad (paternal grandfather), and dad's mom (paternal grandmother). Easy...and it makes perfect sense.
So, when I posted a note to Rikke that I was ready for her grandmother's Æbleskiver recipe, she sent me this. I knew exactly whose mom's recipe it was.
Also, a quick note about the pan. There are less expensive versions out there. But (1) I trust the Scanpan brand, (2) it's actually from Denmark, and (3) I figured I would find other recipes to not have this be a unitasker kitchen pan. I'll be trying takoyaki soon.
While most of my recipes use cups, not grams, I did pull out my scale just to make sure that I was staying true to Mormor Agnes' recipe. Rikke said she doubles the recipe, so I did the same.
Also, I was dubious when Rikke typed, "...beat the eggwhites until you can turn the bowl upside down without the eggwhites falling out of the bowl. (As a child - that was my job: eggwhite-tester!)" I pictured eggwhites all over my counter or floor. But, I trusted her and I did it.
ca. 4 dl buttermilk (14 ounces buttermilk)
1-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
250 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
For serving: jam and powdered sugar
Also needed: Æbleskiver pan, Æbleskiver turners* (though skewers or knitting needles work fine!)
Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a bowl with the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Whisk together with the buttermilk.
In a another mixing bowl beat the egg whites until you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out of the bowl. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat the pan until it is more than warm to the touch. Melt a little butter in each hollow.
Fill it up with batter till just below the edge. It will puff up a little bit as it cooks. If you want to add apple slices or applesauce, you should do it at this point.
After a few minutes, turn the æbleskiver a quarter of a round.
And after another minute, turn the last bit, completely the round. Make sure that it is properly baked on the inside!
When we were in Denmark, we ate Æbleskiver with raspberry jam and Nutella. I served this batch with some apricot jam I had in the fridge.
Stay tuned for my official offering for Love & Saffron. It was delicious. I promise.