Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Trip up North and Aebleskivers

Today we hopped in the car and drove up north for a trip down Memory Lane, searching for cherries and a little piece of my childhood.
My Mother was raised 2 hours north of us in a little town named Smithfield, which is situated
in a lovely valley called Cache.  Beginning in the 1820's, fur trappers and mountain men would bring their pelts there to trade when they rendezvoused in the spring after a winter of trapping, which is how it came to be named Cache Valley.  This historic barn in Logan is the only barn in our part of the country that advertised Dr. Pierce's tonic, a patent medicine.  Barns were the "country billboards" at the turn of the century.  Going to Cache Valley is a step back into childhood for me.  I spent many happy days there with my grandparents, doing things that we never did in the city, like playing in my great-grandfather's barn, which was directly behind my Grandparent's house.  We loved the rope swing in the hay loft, the tower lookout built by my Mom's cousin,and the small single engine airplane that he stored there.  He still owns the barn.
We rode horses, milked cows, and picked raspberries and peas from the field.  It was an idyllic place, and my grandparents made sure we got a taste of everything that we missed by living in the city.  Today we went to the cemetery to visit the resting place of my ancestors.

On the way there, we also stopped by The Fruit Way looking for cherries; unfortunately they are late this summer.  And...we shopped at one of our favorite stores of all time, Smith and Edwards.  This is a HUGE and I mean HUGE store;  171,000 square feet HUGE.  It started as a warehouse full of army/navy surplus after WW2.  Incredibly, you can still buy a used WW2 army tank there.  You can also buy just about everything and anything under the sun; food, camping supplies, saddles, children's toys, garden supplies, work clothes, shoes, cowboy boots, hardware, canning supplies, cooking tools, camp-cooking supplies, guns, and knives; even fishing boats.  You can also buy an old tin cantine or a $9.00 cotton desert head scarf in case you're going on a little jaunt to the Middle East (although I am not planning a trip to Afghanistan anytime soon, I almost bought one for a table cover).  You name it, they probably have it. 

This is one row of the many in the store.  There are 21 aisles branching off to the right of this one row.  You could stay here for days and not see everything.  And don't go with a friend and split up unless you have some bread crumbs to drop and follow like Hansel and Gretel did in the forest.  You'll need them to find each other again.   Not kidding.  Don't go there without your cell phone or a GPS system!!!

I bought a Lodge cast iron aebleskiver pan (my favorite brand of cast iron cookware).  A WHAT?, you ask.

My second parents, (you know...those best friends of your parents who you grew up with) were from Idaho and Yvonne was raised by her Danish grandmother.  Yvonne made aebleskivers and my Mom learned how to make them from her.  Aebelskiver translated directly from the Danish language means apple slices.  Aebleskivers were traditionally eaten at Advent with Glogg. We ate them with applesauce, not glogg.  I don't know how this happened but one of my sisters somehow got my Mom's aebleskiver pan (she claims that Mom likes her best).  I have toyed with the idea of buying one for years so when I saw them at Smith and Edwards I splurged and brought one home.

I guess I never told my children about aebleskivers, because they were a mystery to Abby.  I'm not sure why I haven't because we ate them often when I was young.  I used a recipe I found on the Internet from Williams-Sonoma.  Of course, because I decided to make these at 7:00 pm, I didn't have buttermilk.  What I did have was a lot of yogurt, so instead of adding lemon juice to milk to make my own buttermilk, I substituted part vanilla yogurt and part skim milk.  This turned out to be fortuitous...that vanilla yogurt was wonderful in the aebleskivers.  I've adapted the WS recipe and made the changes to the recipe below.  The yogurt gave these aebleskivers another flavor dimension. 
I had some berries in the fridge so I put them on top of the batter in the pan.   These are just about ready to turn.  See the bubbles just starting to break on the top?  As soon as they "set" and dry a bit just like pancakes, give them a turn, which we did with two wooden skewers.  You could also use a fork or chopsticks.

Dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled ever so slightly with cinnamon cream syrup, they were TO DIE FOR; even softer and lighter in texture than I remember.  We will be playing around with this basic recipe for a long time.  Maybe I'll add some lemon zest to the batter and top them with lemon curd for a homey dessert.  Or...add some cinnamon or nutmeg and nuts.  The possibilities are endless.
My husband said that they reminded him of a fat, puffy beignet, except they're less greasy.

 Maybe next time we'll eat them with applesauce.
Bonnie's Aebleskivers 
(adapted from Williams-Sonoma's basic batter)
2 eggs, separated
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup skim milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tabs. granulated sugar
4 Tabs. melted butter

Separate the eggs; beat the whites until stiff.  Mix all the other ingredients together one at a time and beat until smooth.  Fold in the egg whites.

Heat the cast iron pan in the oven until it is hot, then set on stove top and turn heat to medium-low.  Put about 1/2 tsp. of butter in each well and let it melt.  Pour batter in almost to the top.  If desired, add 1/2 tsp. of jam, or pieces of fruit on top of batter.  Cover with a small amount of batter.  When the batter has bubbled and set , turn the ball over with a skewer or fork.  Continue cooking until golden brown and until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Serve warm with powdered sugar or syrup.

This post was submitted to Two For Tuesdays.


  1. I'm wishing I had a plate of these for breakfast! They sound fabulous. Good to know cherries are late. I was just thinking I hadn't had any yet this year.

  2. When I was a young girl, I read a book which described ableskivers. I have wanted to make them since, but have never had the proper pan. Yours look delish! Also have driven by, but never stopped at Smith and Ed. What a fun mini road trip!

  3. Okay. Aebelskivers have been on my "to-make" list forEVER!! I'm so jealous you just found a pan at a regular old store...I thought they had to be ordered online or something. Duh. LOL...they look and sound delicious! thanks so much for sharin gwith Two for Tuesdays this week =)

  4. Your ableskivers look really nice. And I love your pan! It makes me want to invest in a Lodge brand. Your trip down memory lane was so sweet to read and brought back so many memories for me, thanks for the lovely ride.

  5. I have never heard of these lovely treats. Oh how I wish I had a pan to try them.

  6. What a sweet post. I love trips down memory lane.. those are my favorite stories! And your ableskivers look wonderful. I've read about them but never seen one before. YUM Now I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for a pan. (Can a girl ever have too many cast iron pans??)

  7. What sweet memories you have, and how wonderful to be able to revisit those memories:)
    Your aebelskivers look so authentic and delicious! Whenever I have a hankering for one I drive a half hour south to Solvang, a little Danish village:)

  8. Wonderful with Danish æbleskiver.
    I randomly came over this blog, when I was looking for a recipe with blood orange, and so I looked around your blog. Here in Denmark, we eat æbleskiver with jam and icing sugar. Throughout Christmas I'll make hundreds! I can give you a traditional Danish gløgg-recipe if you want it!?

  9. Gløgg
    Ingredients (6-7 glasses)
    1 / 4 l water
    3-4 Tbsp. sugar
    1 piece whole cinnamon
    3 whole cloves
    1 orange
    1 lemon
    3 / 4 l red wine
    75 g raisins
    50 g peeled, split almonds
    1 / 2 cup rum or port wine

    Procedure Preparation
    1. Water, sugar, cinnamon, nilliker, orange and lemon peel Boil for approx. 10 min.
    2. Take the spices out of the pan.
    3. Juice of orange and lemon added and the red wine poured in.
    4. Raisins and almonds added and the gløgg warmed through (gløgg wine must not boil)
    5. Eventually just before serving, add rum or port wine.

  10. Thank you for this great recipe. Beautiful pictures. I made some changes, to accommodate our allergies. I used egg replacer for 2 eggs and used goat yogurt and hemp milk. I also used my own gluten free flour blend. My family loved them. These are a new treat for our family.

  11. Funny you should mention aebelskivers...like you, we grew up having them at my aunt's. Only my sister, mom and I remember that she always served them with butter and syrup. All of my cousins and aunt swear they've never eaten them that way -- always with powdered sugar and jam. We've all lost our memories! Aluminum knitting needles make great aebelskiver turners too!