Ebel-what??? I hadn't ever heard of these melt-in-your-mouth, bite-sized, filled pancakes either, until my mom presented me with an Ebelskiver pan for Christmas last year. Just when I think that I have every known kitchen gadget, tool, and appliance, my mom always comes through with something new and different for me to add to my collection. The challenge lies in finding a place to put it all--it's getting a bit snug in my cabinets.
When I first opened the heavyweight, cast-iron pan with seven rounded holes, I thought that it was for cooking eggs, likely due to its similarity in appearance to an Eggs Benedict pan. Fortunately, something prompted me to read the instructions, which I'll admit I don't always do, so I saved myself from having to clean up a bunch of overflowing egg whites. In order to produce these rounded, Munchkin-sized pancakes, you simply drop a small amount of pancake batter into each buttered hole, top it with your filling of choice and some more batter, and, once it has browned, flip the whole thing over so that it cooks through. With their fun shape and small size, Ebelskivers would be a great recipe to make with kids or to serve at a child's party.
It seemed only appropriate that, since my mom was visiting for Mother's Day, I make a batch of these for her special breakfast. Although they were very good, next time around, I will likely make them a bit sweeter by adding some honey or maple syrup to the batter. My mom said that they were perfect, but I guess that's because she's already sweet enough. Here are a few tips for this delightful Danish dish:
- The number of fillings and flavor combinations that you can incorporate into this recipe has no limit. Fill the pancakes with your favorite flavor of jam or preserves, chocolate chips, diced bananas, or diced apples that have been sauteed in a little bit of butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You could even try a teaspoon of peanut butter topped with a teaspoon of grape jelly for a "PB&J Pancake" for kids!
- The batter can be altered as well. Fold in some toasted coconut flakes, your favorite spices, or finely chopped lightly toasted nuts. Substitute whole wheat or buckwheat flour for a portion of the regular flour.
- You may need to sacrifice one of the pancakes to test for doneness. Cut it open in order to ensure that the batter has cooked all the way through (then you can sample it!).
Blueberry-Filled "Ebelskiver" (Danish Pancakes)
Makes about 30
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pint fresh blueberries
Pure maple syrup
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until stiff but not dry peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter using a rubber spatula until combined.
Put 1/2 teaspoon butter in each well of a filled pancake pan. Place over medium heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into each well and cook until the bottoms begin to brown, 2 minutes. Place 5 or 6 blueberries in the center of each pancake and top with 1 tablespoon batter. Using 2 wooden skewers or butter knives, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
Dust the pancakes with confectioner's sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.