This fall I met Chad and his partners at the Mill City Farmer’s Market in Minneapolis. My co-author and I did a bread presentation from our book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. When I came off the stage, there was Chad and these funny round pans which were filled with little cakey spheres. I’m not sure what pastry rock I have been living under, but this site was completely foreign to me. I had to run off to do a wedding cake that day so I couldn’t stay to see Chad’s explanation or try one of these donut/dumpling/cake/crepe like creations. The following week I went back to find him and his spheres and this is what I learned:
They are called Aebleskivers and are a traditional Danish treat. The recipe they serve at Aunt Else’s has been in the family for over 100 years. They fry them in cast iron pans made just for this purpose. (I must say I’m in love with this pan and WILL find additional uses for it!) The perfectly patinaed pans they use at the Farmer’s Market have been passed down in the Andersen & Henriksen family for generations. They were given to the current owners by none other than Aunt Else, along with the family recipe. They won’t share the secret recipe, but they do sell an organic whole wheat Aebleskiver mix and the pan, so you can make your own! Chad and his partners, after I spent the better part of a morning watching them in action at the market, they agreed to give me a pan and some of their mix to try out. My kids and I loved them so much that I want to share it with you! To win:
They are so simple to make, even my 7 year old son was able to master the Aebleskiver, with lots of stove top supervision! Just follow the instructions on the bag for mixing the batter, then
heat the pan over medium-low heat. Drop a 1/2 teaspoon of neutral flavored oil in each of the wells.
Fill each well about 3/4 of the way full with the batter.
Let them cook until they start to bubble just a little, or until you see them turning golden on the edge.
With a chop stick or a skewer, turn the Aebleskiver by pushing down along the side of the well and scooping the batter up slightly. Turn it 1/4 and let it cook again. If the Aeblskiver is ready to turn this will be quite easy. If you have to fight it to turn than give it another few seconds to cook. Like anything, it may take a couple of skivers to get comfortable. Just keep in mind that my 7 year old can do it, no problem!
After you have turned them all, then start back at the first one and give them another 1/4 turn. It is traditional to put a slice of apple in the center at this point. Aebleskiver means “apple slice,” but you can put anything you like in there. We’ve tried ham and cheese, chocolate, pears, cherry jam, sausage, bacon, bananas. Go crazy!
Repeat until they are completely cooked. You can poke one with a skewer to make sure they are all the way done through. Pick them up with a pair of tongs and repeat!
My friend Sue Zelickson, the Minneapolis Food Maven, was at the market and she enjoyed Aunt Else’s Aebleskivers with me! They serve them dusted in powdered sugar with a few different flavored syrups or preserves.
Several people have asked me what products they should put on their Christmas wish lists this holiday, here are my ultimate must haves in your kitchen to bake breads and pastries! And my camera equipment, for those of you that can’t bake without taking pictures of your food. It happens to the best of us! Am I missing anything??? What is your favorite piece of equipment?
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – But you knew I’d say that!
Baking Stone I like this one because it is thick and will last
Pizza Peel This one is simple and has lasted me for years
Round Storage Container 6 Quart Clear I find the round bucket easy to mix in, but the square may fit your fridge better?
Escali Measuring Scale I’ve had a few different scales and put them to very good use, this is my favorite and it reasonably priced!
KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixers I’ve had mine for 20 years and it is still going strong. Okay, I blew out the engine the first year by putting a pound of frozen butter in it. The company rebuilt it for me! That was a life time ago and I’ve learned a thing or two!
Spatula Set – different sizes for different jobs
Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat I use this for everything! Make sure it has a high baking temperature
Microplane Grater/Zester If you only get one of these, make sure it is the super fine one. I use it for lemon zest, garlic and ginger. Great for hard cheese too.
Wüsthof Le Cordon Bleu 10-Inch Serrated Super Slicer – best thing for cutting cakes and chocolate!
Piping Bag – Featherweight – 18″ I like the featherweight because they are pliable and easy to hold.
Pastry Tip Set This is the basic set, perfect for the beginner wanting to try new borders and simple flowers
PASTRY BRUSH SET I prefer the old fashion natural bristle brush to the rubber ones
8 by 3-Inch Round Cake Pan I like how deep this pan is, I use it for everything!
Marble Rolling Pin I like the weight of this pin and that the marble stays cool
The Simple Art of Perfect Baking – excellent for the basics, out of print and hard to find
Baking with Julia Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers – nice overall baking book with great pictures
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen – for the true food geek who wants to know all about the science, great book!
Canon Digital Rebel XSi Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black) This is the camera I use to shoot everything on my websites. I love the camera because there is a view screen, so I can see exactly what I am shooting.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens This lense allows me to focus on the little detail. It is a modestly priced lens and won’t allow you to get crazy close like the more expensive version!
Happy Holidays and I hope you get everything on your wish list!
***Here is a nice piece that Rick Nelson did recently on my Granny’s Brown-Butter Shortbread Cookies for the Star Tribune Website. He used a picture of me from 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest son, the Aebleskiver maker I mentioned above!