Ok, so this isn't exactly an Italian sweet treat, but believe me, these are just as comforting as the filled donuts made on St. Joseph's day, filled zeppole or Sfingi. Ebelskivers in Danish translates as "apple slices", and though you might want to put cooked apples inside a few, they are not a required ingredient. They also fit right into the Italian concept of colazione (breakfast).... a couple of sweet breads or cakes with your espresso and you're buona per andare (good to go) .
In our home, Lisa makes Ebelskivers several times a year as a Sunday breakfast treat. Lucas feels the Love that Mom puts into this recipe after he's put in a special request--usually for his birthday or another holiday. Many say that these are round pancakes, but I think the recipe is more like a scrumptious filled donut.
The fillings can be anything your imagination comes up with: jams, Nutella (Lucas' favorite), applesauce (homemade is best), raisins, chocolate chips, a butter/cinnamon filling, fresh blueberries, peanut butter & jelly, or even a sweetened ricotta. Many people simply make them plain and use fresh fruit compotes as dips. Of course, topping them with powdered sugar or a cinnamon-sugar or drizzling with honey or maple syrup works well, too.
Before making Ebelskivers, you need a special pan. You can get one from Norpro on Amazon HERE. Here's a photo of one in use:
As you can see in the photo, the trick to making them is to pour batter into each of the seven compartments, place in the filling of your choice and then, after the first side is golden brown, turn them over carefully using wooden skewers. Here's the recipe Lisa uses:
Before starting the batter, do a mise en place (put in place) for your fillings. When Lisa makes Ebelskivers, she typically uses three different fillings at a time and lays them out in little prep bowls close to her pan, each with a small spoon as a scoop. The Ebelskivers cook fairly fast, so you really need to have everything close by and ready to go. Remember, these aren't like crepes or donuts which you fill afterwards... these are filled as they are being cooked. Lisa tends to make each batch (7 per pan) with the same filling to speed things along.
For the batter:
Lisa typically gets about three pans worth from this recipe--about 21 Ebelskivers. Of course, Lisa's prerequisite for this breakfast is putting starting the espresso in her Mokka pot first.
Now, if you really want to make these Italian, try adding lemon zest from 2 large lemons into the batter, and then filling them with lemon curd. Presto... Amalfi-skivers! If you want to make savory Ebelskivers, try using a bit less sugar (half teaspoon, total) and a tad more salt (1 teaspoon, total) in the batter. You can also add Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the batter. Fillings can be ham or prosciutto and cheese, peppers and ham, or even a bit of bolognese. Serve these with a marinara dip and you now have a righteous, Italian recipe (and haven't broken any rules).
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