Ebelskivers. Those little puffs of pancake batter filled with a delicious little surprise, and in two bites the first one is gone while your palate screams for more.
I first sank my teeth into these breakfast lovelies while staying at a B&B on the North Shore of Lake Superior. I remember the innkeeper bringing them to our table in a covered dish, and not being exactly sure what they were made of. But when he mentioned “raspberry filling” and I saw the light dusting of powdered sugar, I was game to give them a try.
They were always a happy memory until a couple of years ago, when I spied a pan for making ebelskivers in a cooking catalog. I quickly called my in-laws and told them that wouldn’t be such a bad birthday gift, you know.
(I feigned surprise when I opened it on my birthday.)
This morning as I padded around the kitchen, I spied the pan hanging there. I knew the ingredients weren’t that complex, and since we only ever make a half-batch for our small crowd, putting together a little Sunday morning treat would be easy.
(Note: we usually halve this recipe to serve our three occupants.)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for cooking
Fillings, such as jam, peanut butter, chocolate chips, curd, fruit, or cheese.
Before assembling, take a moment to cut butter into 1/4-tsp. pieces. I do this by cutting 1 teaspoon slices from a stick of butter and then quartering each slice. Cut as many as you think you will need; I typically do a couple dozen pieces.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk and the 4 Tbs. melted butter. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well-combined. The batter will be lumpy.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.
Put 1/4 teaspoon into each well of the pan. Set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble.
Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well. Put 1 tsp. of filling in the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Using 2 wooden skewers (or the really cool paddle thingies someone made for this very purpose), flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes more.
Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling until all used up. Serve immediately. (Dust with a little powdered sugar, if you like.)
Full recipe makes approx. 40 ebelskivers.