Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Squid Cooks: Æbleskivers

As mentioned in previous posts, most recently this one, my paternal grandmother was Danish.  For our family, the most important culinary element of that heritage has been æbleskivers, best described as ball-shaped pancakes.  Growing up, they were my favorite breakfast though worth noting, the only time my grandmother herself made them for us, they were served with dinner.  One Christmas several years ago, my father bought an æbleskiver pan for each household in our family along with a small packet of Danish recipes copied from the web - specific sites long forgotten.  That was probably at least 10 years ago.  At most, we've made them three times in the years since and that's a generous estimate.

If they're so good, why not make them more often?  Well, in truth, they're kind of a pain to make - or at least we all think of it as being a pain.  The trick is knowing when to flip them over and then how long to let them finish.  Too long and they'll burn, too short and they won't cook all the way through.  Then there's the act of turning them over without slopping the batter.  And what's the right implement?  A knitting needle is traditional.  I prefer long cooking chopsticks.  Usually, the first batch is a disaster, a sacrifice to the culinary gods.

As part of our COVID Christmas celebration, my wife suggested an æbleskiver breakfast/brunch over Zoom with our three households: ours in Vermont, my parents' in DC and my sister's in California.  As the primary Dane at our house, it fell to me to cook.

Shockingly, all went just fine, even the first batch.  Our soup spoons are the perfect size to scoop.  I didn't burn anything.  I didn't slop too much batter - in fact, learning to live with the imperfection of the process was a good thing.  They all got cooked through.  Really, they were lovely.  I might start doing this all the time!

Yup, totally jinxed myself.  I'm willing to risk it.  As with the Dickens reading, I'd be inclined to make this an annual tradition.

It was a Danish Christmas all around.  I got LEGOs, too:


  1. I've never seen such a pan (and I have all kinds of cast iron pans). Sounds like an interesting tradition!

    1. Not sure it's worth the invest for non-Danes - definitely a uni-tasker.

  2. huh
    Well, now, I want to try those!

    You have a relative in CA! When are you coming out? :P
    What part of CA?

  3. Replies
    1. Me, too... We used to collect them, before we became parents. I'd love to find a place for Lego in our lives again.