I love Christmas at my parents house in San Diego, and am mentally tearing off a link of the construction paper chain in my head for every day I get closer to visiting. My mom goes all out decorating, we are surrounded by good friends, and then there’s the food.
Some of our holiday dishes are so woven into the cloth of Christmas tradition, that if a certain entree, side or (heaven forbid!) dessert didn’t get made, it would be like a favorite relative or friend had gone missing. In fact, I can think of one guest in particular who might not grace us with his presence if my mother didn’t make a specific recipe of hers, year after year.
At some point my mom began making us æbleskivers on Christmas morning. I wish I could remember exactly when this started, because once it had, it was as if it had always been our breakfast staple. There are always other breakfast items available; eggs, fruits, “assorted breakfast meats”, but for me, the centerpiece is æbleskivers.
My grandmother Arlene would make us æbleskivers on special occasions when we were small. She would be standing at the stove in a floral print house coat, for what seemed like hours, flipping the little golden pancake-y balls over in her pitch black skillet. She could dish them out as fast as we could eat them. Alternating between dipping them in raspberry jam, and a saucer of milk with granulated sugar, they were always a comfort to us.
Now, my dear mom has taken the torch and stands for hours in the kitchen (sans the house coat), serving up stacks of the little golden orbs. With a light and flaky crust, a spongy center, and the subtlest kiss of cardamom, æbleskivers are my favorite way to start Christmas morning, and a taste of home that warms me from the inside out.
This is the recipe our family uses. Hope you enjoy!
2 cups flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
2 cups buttermilk
Cast iron Æbleskivers pan
Wooden skewer or knitting needle
Combine the dry ingredients and sift together. Separate the eggs and mix the yolks with the buttermilk. Add dry mix and beat until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks appear. Fold in egg whites gently.
Heat the æbleskivers pan on high heat. Add 1-tablespoon oil to each cup in the pan. Fill each cup nearly to the top with batter (I used a tablespoon to dole out the batter). Lower heat to medium high once you add batter. Work in a clockwise direction, and once you have poured all of the batter into the cups, work in the same direction and with a wooden skewer or knitting needle, 1/2 turn the æbleskivers on their side. Continue turning until brown on all sides. Place on paper towel to soak up excess oil. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve hot with jam, or sprinkle granulated sugar in a bowl of milk, dip and enjoy!!
A golden stack of deliciousness!