It's really dull and dark in Copenhagen right now, so thank goodness for all those wonderful candles and fairy lights that make it hyggelig!
I'm bringing you this post today, Friday, because if you want to try making these little beauties yourself over the weekend (along with some of those pebernødder, perhaps?), you'll need to beg, borrow or steal a special piece of kitchen equipment! So what are we making? [Or at least, what is my husband making...but more on that below.] Æbleskiver (Danish Christmas donuts). Now, if you happen to have kids, there’s a good chance that – even five days in to December – you are already thoroughly sick of the sight of the darn things! ‘Cos they’re served at every single nursery, school or family party. But, hey ho, I can always manage to eat just one more of them (my record at one sitting is about 15)…
Now, you can buy pretty decent æbleskiver frozen in bags from the supermarket. But if you’d like to have a go at making them yourself, then read on. Just make sure you set aside a whole morning, afternoon or evening for the process, because they are time consuming to cook. It’s always my husband who makes these (this is the one, I repeat, one time of the year that he ever cooks) and he uses his Dearly-Departed-Dad’s recipe. And before you all start screaming that, "but my family uses a recipe with yeast," or, "we always puts pieces of apple in ours", or, "is it glutenfri?" - there is no universal æbleskive recipe. Every family has their own version - this is ours - and it works for us!
So, on with the show. You’ll need one of these dinky pans. No need to buy one just for the occasion – try asking a Danish neighbour or friend if you can borrow one! Don’t live in Denmark? Then try amazon…
For 30 donuts you’ll need:
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- a quarter litre of kærnemælk (buttermilk)
- 2dl milk or cream (I’d go with cream, my Danish hubby sometimes uses milk – boo!)
- 250g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½-1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl until it’s fairly frothy. Easiest with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder and ground cardamom. Make sure it’s well mixed, then leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
Heat up your donut pan, put a tiny bit of oil or butter in each of the holes and fill each hole about two-thirds of the way up (they’ll swell up). When there are lots of bubbles on the surface of each donut, flip over. In my husband’s family the tradition is to use knitting needles… We used size 3 But a skewer will do.
When the little donut balls are browned on both sides remove from the pan.
Serve warm with icing sugar (or granulated sugar) and jam. To eat them the Danish way:
- each person takes a plate
- put a spoonful of (icing, caster or granulated) sugar and jam on to your plate
- put two or three donuts on to your plate
- dip the donuts into the sugar and jam on your plate
- repeat as necessary
Velbekomme! And if you can’t eat them all today, don’t worry. They freeze perfectly.
Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!