Aebleskivers are small Danish pancake balls with filling in the centres. They are quite small, with only about two to three bites in each one.
They could be thought of as pan-baked doughnuts, without the hole. Some people refer to them in English as baked dumplings, fritters or just “fried balls.”
They are baked in a special “Aebleskiver pan” on top of the stove.
The “filling” is usually applesauce, but may occasionally be jam, or a fruit that is either already cooked or one 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. In fact, the “aeble” part of the name means “apple” in Danish.
All the ingredients are mixed except the eggs. The eggs are separated, 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 filling each about two-thirds 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.
They 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.
Muffin tins capable of withstanding direct stove-top heat.
“Aeble” means “apple” in Danish; “skiver” means “slices” (sic.)
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.”