Aebleskivers are small Danish pancake balls, more like a pan-baked doughnuts, with filling in the centres. They are quite small, only about 2 to 3 bites in each one.
Some people refer to them in English as baked dumplings, or fritters or just "fried balls."
They are baked in a special pan on top of the stove.
The "filling" is usually applesauce ("aeble" meaning "apple" in Danish, and thus the name), but may occasionally be jam, or a fruit that is already cooked or that doesn't need long cooking (perhaps blueberries), or raisins or currants. It can even sometimes be a savoury ingredient (such as small shrimp.) But in the past, thin slices of apple were always traditional.
The batter is made from flour, salt, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and baking powder. It may be spiced with cardamom.
All the ingredients are mixed except the eggs. The eggs are separate, then the egg yolks stirred in, then the egg whites beaten separately and then folded in.
You put the batter in the cavities in an Aebleskiver Pan pan, filling each about 2/3 full. If you are making a filling of applesauce or jam, you put a dollop on top of that batter, then cover it with a few dollops more of the batter.
When cooking them, you can't have the heat too high, or the outsides will burn while the inside stays raw or doughy.
The may be powdered after cooking with icing sugar.
In Americans of Danish heritage, Aebleskivers are made year-round for breakfast and brunch. They are particularly traditional amongst Danes in America on Shrove Tuesday and at Christmas in Denmark; at Christmas, you can buy them in stores.
Another Danish name for Aebleskiver, "Munker", means "monks", perhaps because of their being reminscent of monks' shaved heads. This is different, though, from the Finnish doughnuts called "Munki."
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-- Jeff Smith (American food TV host, The Frugal Gourmet. 22 January 1939 – 7 July 2004)