Welcome to the first day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The alphabet starts with “A” (though I admit to a perverse desire to start with Z and do it backward – maybe next year) and April starts on a Friday, which means today’s entry should contain a book review.
And it does.
Ebelskivers, by Kevin Crafts.
It’s an aebleskiver cookbook (and I lose no points for the variant spelling – the Danish word is “Æbleskiver” and though “ae” is the most common rendering, some people use “e” instead).
For the uninitiated, aebleskivers are a kind of Danish breakfast food. (A Danish pastry, if you will…) The word is pronounced “able-skiv-er” (rhymes with “shiver”) and I’ve heard it described as the love child of a pancake and a fried doughnut, where the pancake had dominant genes. OK, I’ve heard myself describe it that way, but I think it’s close to the mark.
Aebleskivers are cooked in a special pan, which looks a little like a solid cast-iron frying pan with golf ball-sized divots impressed into the surface. (They weigh close to ten pounds, so if you need a kitchen utensil that doubles as a weapon, this is the pan for you.)
(Image from Amazon.com)
After heating the pan, you spoon batter into each of the holes, and you turn the aebleskivers gradually (usually with a knitting needle used only for this purpose) until they become round. The ones shown on the cover of the cookbook (link above) are more flat and oblong than the ones I make, but they’re filled so that might have something to do with it.
I’ve loved aebleskivers all my life. My great-grandmother (who came from Aero, in Denmark) made great ones, both filled and non-filled. Although recipes in the book don’t quite match GranMarie’s, the ones I’ve tried were all good. The book identifies which are authentic and which are twists on the theme, and the instructions seem easy enough for a novice to follow with very good results. I admit I didn’t follow them exactly – I’ve been making these on my own too long and I wasn’t thinking about a review when I tested the recipes out.
If you’re interested in making aebleskivers, and don’t mind investing in the pan, this cookbook is a great place to start. It has lots of good photos, explicit instructions and a selection recipes that includes both traditionally sweet and unusual savory options.
I give the book a “highly recommended” mark – but then I admit to a bias. I never met an aebleskiver I didn’t like.