It Is The Pancake Day!
As I have mentioned many times before Shrove Tuesday or Užgavėnės in Lithuanian language was one of the most favorite festivals in my childhood. In Lithuania Shrove Tuesday is celebrated with carnivals and plays that related to pagan celebration of the end of winter. Also it is the last day before Lent for Easter so according to Lithuanian customs you need to eat a lot (up to 7-12 times a day that day – depends on the region) of the fat food. That food can be fat meet, eggs and all kinds of pancakes: wafers, crepes, yeast pancakes, pancakes out of row and boiled potatoes even pumpkins and zucchini. We gathered together with Lithuanians in Iceland to celebrate Užgavėnės on Sunday – everybody were in masks, we had the traditional play with the fight of Lašininis (“porky”) and Kanapinis (“hempen man”) that is always won by the last one and we have burned Morė (“winter”) to make spring to come sooner. We were baking and eating pancakes, drinking cocoa and coffee. I was too busy with play and baking pancakes to make any photos. I remember seeing somebody making it so maybe I will show some soon.
In Iceland it is Sprengidagur or “explosion day” today – everybody eats until they explode today. Icelanders eat the yellow been soup with salted lamb meat. In our family we had both: pancakes for breakfast, salted meet for lunch. There will be pancakes for dinner too.
There you still can feel lots of Danish inspiration in Iceland (Iceland used to be a part of Danish empire until gaining the independence in 1918). So feel I lately. For dinner we are going to have Danish type of pancakes – Aebleskiver. It is a very traditional Danish sphere shaped pancakes baked in a special pans and eaten most before Christmas with mulled vine. The traditional aebleskiver are baked with apples. There could be many different recipes of the batter, fillings and sauces made. Here is mine:
(for 3 persons as a desert, make double as a main dish)
1 cup wheat flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg separated (yolks slightly beaten, whites whipped stiff )
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled down
In a big bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk together yolks, milk and butter. Add milk mixture to the flour and whisk together until well combined. With a spatula carefully fold in the whites. Preheat the pan. Grease it with butter. When butter start to bubble add the batter to the wells of the pan. Fill the wells almost all the way to the top but not quite. If use the filling (shredded apples, jam, cheese, chocolate chips, etc), fill the wells half way then quickly add the filling and cover with the batter until the edge of the wells. Bake for 1-2 min or until it starts to bubble in the middle. Now the most interesting part starts: take two wooden skewers and flip the pancakes. Bake for 2-3 min. more and with the same wooden skewers place the pancakes to the plate, dust with castor sugar and add a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Here you can see how to bake it. It is very close to what I do.
Here you can see the more sophisticated way to turn aebleskiver.
While browsing the internet I found out that Japanese Takoyaki could be baked in the same pan!