All over Europe you will find tasty Christmas snacks and dinners. And Christmas might be the best culinary season if you ask the Danes. In Denmark, you will find no shortage of Christmas snacks, cookies or dinners. There are so many Christmas recipes that the Danes just have to make. One of them is æbleskiver, also written aebleskiver, which is Danish pancake balls.
Aebleskiver, which directly translated means Apple Slices, is a traditional Danish Christmas dessert. However, the dessert has nothing to do with apples. At least, not anymore. Today’s modern version of aebleskiver is a small spherical pancake with a solid outside and fluffy and light inside. Back in the day, aebleskiver was made of apple slices which were soaked in flour and eggs and then cooked on a frying pan. This old way of making literal apple slices is not common today. Over the year’s people started to make aebleskiver as pancake batter with added fillings such as apple slices.
Modern day aebleskiver is normally not with any fillings. You can buy premade aebleskiver in all supermarkets in Denmark throughout November and December. They are usually premade and then frozen and only needs to be heated in the oven. However, people do tend to make aebleskiver on their own instead. This way they can add fillings such as apple slices, chocolate chips and jams to the recipe as they cook them. To make aebleskiver you will need a special aebleskive pan for frying. It is a cast iron pan with several hemispherical gouges to put the pancake batter. A recipe with instructions of 20 aebleskiver may look a little something like this:
- 250 g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Natron (baking soda)
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 4 dl buttermilk
- 100 g butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp sugar
Separate the egg whites and yolks in separate bowls. Whisk the sugar and egg whites fluffy and stiff. The bowl must be completely clean and dry. A tiny bit of water will make the eggs whites impossible to whisk stiff. Set aside. Mix the egg yolks, all-purpose flour, natron (baking soda), salt and vanilla sugar together in a separate bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix the ingredients while gradually adding the buttermilk. Keep mixing until the batter is uniform. Melt the butter and let it cool off a bit. Slowly add the cooled butter to the buttermilk mixture while whisking. Use a wooden spoon or similar to slowly mix the stiff eggs whites in the batter.
Heat up the Aebleskive pan at medium heat and add a small piece of butter in each hole. Fill the holes 3/4 with the Aebleskive batter. When the batter starts to get firm and you can turn them over without cracking, then turn the Aebleskiver 90 degrees (using a wooden stick or similar) and let the batter flow into the pan. At this point there is a hole in the side of the Aebleskive. Pour a little extra batter into the hole and turn the Aebleskive another 90 degrees so that the hole gets closed. You can also add fillings at this point. When the Aebleskiver have a solid surface turn them regularly so they get an even and light-brown crust. Aebleskiver is served with jam, powdered sugar and a nice glass of Gløgg on the side.
Original Recipe for Danish Aebleskiver (Pancake balls). Nordic Food Living. https://nordicfoodliving.com/original-recipe-danish-aebleskiver-pancake-balls/ (Accessed 3rd December 2019)
Æbleskiver. Mad Historie. http://madhistorie.dk/venstremenu/madhistorieae.html (Accessed 3rd December 2019)
Æbleskiver. Wikipedia. https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86bleskiver (Accessed 3rd December 2019)
Æbleskiver. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86bleskiver (Accessed 3rd December 2019)
Derfor hedder det æbleskiver. TV2. https://livsstil.tv2.dk/2015-11-29-derfor-hedder-det-aebleskiver (Accessed 3rd December 2019)
Written by Mads Rise
Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg. Holds a BA in English and IT-based Marketing and Communication from the University of Southern Denmark. Mads finished his BA with a thesis on Search Engine Optimisation and E-commerce. He has hands-on experience in web communication, SEO, administration and logistics.