Sunday, May 30, 2010

Danish Æbleskiver

One of my kitchen family heirlooms that I really treasure is called an æbleskiver pan. (Pronounced AY-ble-ski-wyr). My pan is made of heavy cast iron, weighing in at 1.2 kg. It has become well-seasoned over its 60 plus years (and two generations) of use.

Æbleskiver (or eblsekiver as it is spelled in North America) are traditional Danish pancakes in the shape of a 2" round ball.

Williams-Sonoma has made æbleskiver wildly popular of late by offering a modern day version of the distinctive pan through their store and website, starting just a few years ago. They sell the well-known Minnesota-based Nordic Ware brand which is made of cast aluminum with a non-stick coating. And sell they do!!

Williams-Sonoma also cleverly make available 2 mixes, a cookbook and specialized sticks for turning the batter at half time.

Other larger sellers such as Amazon and Walmart are now pushing this single purpose pan as well. If I were to buy one today, I would be inclined to purchase Lodge's aebleskiver pan because it too is made of cast-iron.

Æbleskiver is most often served at Christmas time in Denmark and is not considered a breakfast dish. This idea has been popularized in North America. Typically æbleskiver is served with jam or they are lightly dusted with powdered sugar before serving. Or both! This time I used pure Canadian maple syrup to dress up the little balls.

In the past I have also put little treasures, like a dollop of jam into the cooking batter just before I turn them in the pan. Also, fillings could be savoury - pesto, bacon, chopped onion, cheese... It isn't surprising that they are most often served at breakfast now but they do make a nice dessert.

Today the Danish Club of Ottawa met at St. John’s Lutheran Church Hall in New Edinburgh to celebrate 35 years of going strong here in the nation's capital. It seemed fitting to use this family heirloom today to do our part in recognizing this community that is still very rich in tradition.

I never did document the family recipe that was used in our home as I was growing up, so when I came across a recipe in a 1986 Canadian Living magazine, I tucked it away in my collection, hoping to continue the use of this then very obscure pan. It is very similar to the recipe that my mother used.

Source: Canadian Living Wintertime Cooking 1986

Servings: 6

What do you get when you cross a dumpling with a doughnut and a fritter? A little Danish pancake called an æbleskiver which gets its name from the special pan its cooked in. To eat æbleskiver pull them apart, put a little jam in the middle and roll the outside in sugar. If you prefer, fresh fruit can be cooked in the middle of each one. Fingers are the only tools you'll need to enjoy these delicious morsels.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups buttermilk

3 eggs

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla


In food processor or blender, process flour, baking powder, soda, salt, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla for about 5 seconds or just until blended, scraping down side of bowl once. Do not over-process.
Heat well-seasoned æbleskiver pan over medium-high heat and grease wells thoroughly with butter or oil. Starting with middle well, fill each three-quarters full of batter. Cook in batches, reducing heat as necessary, until tops are bubbly.

Using small knitting needle or skewer, quickly turn each dumpling over, trying not to pierce too deeply.

Cook until well browned and tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

Serve immediately.
Makes about 36 æbleskiver.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 232 Calories; 9g Fat (36.1% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 124mg Cholesterol; 634mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.


  1. Fantastic!!! I saw a recipe book for those and they all looked so yummy. I would try stuffing them with too many things...

    Yours look beautiful, absolutely perfect!

  2. They really are fantastic. And another type of dish that is only limited by your imagination. I tend to serve up 6 or so and then accompany with fruit - today a big bowl of strawberries. They are so addicting so it seems important to 'run interference' in order to look after my guests.

  3. Your Æbleskiver looks wonderful. I always get excited when I come across something Danish and I see quite a few things on your blog. :)

  4. Mmm. These sounds so yummy. I love that the old school Canadian Living Magazine has the dietary exchanges of the day include in the recipe ;)

  5. Kaitlin: Back in the mid-80's CL did a number of series on ethnic foods. Each series had a number of popular dishes well-known to a culture, sometimes themed around one of their holidays. I was thrilled to bits to get some fairly authentic recipes as I was not great about documenting the many that my mother had up in her head. Now that it is too late to have the ones that she never wrote down, I grant CL credit for being a very close second to some family favourites.


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