Maybe I could call these billowy, soft balls of goodness Irish pancake puffs. The batter is traditional Danish Aebleskiver, only better. These aebleskivers start with Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver Mix, a blend of local-to-Minnesota organic wheat flours and buttermilk. And, rather than the customary apple slice baked inside, these orbs of doughliciousness have a savory filling with an Irish flair — corned beef and cabbage with a bit of cheese. Pull one of these warm babies apart and spoon on some of Lucille’s Garden Green Pepper Jam and it just happens — Irish meets Danish in aebleskivers that satisfy with a multicultural blend of texture and flavor.
My first attempt at making aebleskivers was several years ago when my daughter-in-law and I made them together after I watched an aebleskiver-making demonstration. I think they turned out fairly well, but my little baking pan with the round shallow wells went back into storage and I never made the sweet treats again. Never even thought about them.
A couple of years ago I met Chad Gillard, co-owner of Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver. He was busy making his specialty treat at the Twin Cities Food & Wine Experience, serving them up as samples to the curious crowd. Right beside him was Zoie Glass, Jelly Epicurean for her company,Â Lucille’s Kitchen Garden. A dab of one of Zoie’s flavorful jellies was served on each mouth-load of hot and fresh Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver just out of the special cast-iron pan.
I was smitten. Not only by the edibles these two entrepreneurs were offering, but by their energy and enthusiasm. It was so obvious both of these Twin Cities-based business owners were in love with what they were doing and passionate about their commitment to support local food producers and small businesses.
I’ve continued to run into Zoie and Chad at Twin Cities farmers markets over the last couple of years, each time eating more Aunt Else’s Aebleskivers topped with some variety of Lucille’s Kitchen Garden jelly. They were at the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Show at Target Field earlier this month.
A few weeks ago I attended a Les Dames meeting at Local D’Lish in Minneapolis. Chad was there with at least 4 of his Aebleskiver pans, heated up over portable gas burners and ready for novice A-bakers to give it a try. Our group of food professionals had great fun as we turned out some great-looking A’s, some with sweet filling, some with savory. I baked mine with chunks of summer sausage and cheese and then topped it off with Lucille’s Kitchen Garden Green Pepper Jelly. With confidence and inspiration, I was ready to try out the whole A-baking process in my own kitchen.
I pulled out the gluten-free Aunt Else’s Aeblsekiver mix that Chad gave me.
You can’t believe how heavy the made-in-Minneapolis cast-iron nine-hole Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver baker is. That’s why it works so well.
As the Irish-style savory aebleskivers baked, I turned them with a chopstick, just as Chad had taught me, to form perfectly rounded balls.
Exactly what I was hoping for — aebleskivers heady with yeast from the beer (the beer which makes these treats no longer gluten-free), oozing with melted cheese and just the right amount of corned beef and cabbage. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a bit of Green Pepper Jelly from Lucille’s Kitchen Garden. Now, that’s Irish.
I did make a batch of aebleskivers using a recipe from an old cookbook so I could share it with those of who want to give this a try, but can’t get a bag of Aunt Else’s right away. You can click here to see a list of places that sell Aunt Else’s.
Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver web site has a video you can watch each step of the stove-top baking process as well as a written tutorial. Click right here to get there in a hurry.
Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver Mix is the easiest way to get the best-tasting and most beautiful Aebleskivers you will ever get your hands on to pop into your mouth. This recipe from the 1987 book of Rosemalers’ Recipes is on the sweet side. I used half of the milk called for and replaced the other half with beer. They were fine, but not as good as Aunt Else’s.
If you are having a group of friends over to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, give everyone a chance to try making their own Irish Aebleskiver. It will be a party you’ll all remember.
If you prefer more traditional Irish fare on St. Patrick’s Day, you will most certainly enjoy the authentic Irish Soda Bread that I posted last year at this time. Click here to get right to that recipe.
(adapted from a collection of recipes in Rosemalers’ Recipes, 1987.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup beer
- sauerkraut, drained and chopped
- corned beef, chopped fine
- swiss cheese, grated
Combine sugar and eggs and beat well with whisk. Add cooled butter to mixture and whisk again to blend. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk and beer. Heat aebleskiver pan. When pan is hot, put a teaspoon or so of canola oil in each well. Spoon enough dough into each section to read 3/4 way to the top. Sprinkle each one with cheese, meat and sauerkraut. Cook and turn with a chopstick when golden brown on the bottom. When aebleskiver is golden all the way around, remove from pan. Try to let it cool a minute or two before eating. The cheese inside gets pretty hot. Makes 3 to 4 dozen (Depending on the size of the wells in your aebleskiver pan.)