• The Retired Firehouse Cook: Pancake Balls

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    I noticed that the Museum is planning a Family Fun Day at the Lighthouse, which got me thinking about my great uncle Dick Williams the Lighthouse Keeper which in turn made me think about that particular branch of the family, who were Danes. They weren’t necessarily Great Danes, but they were sea captains, sailors, lighthouse keepers and such – too late to be Vikings, but they loved the sea anyway. My great grandfather brought a bride to Aptos from Denmark, and he liked her so well that when she passed away young he sent back to Denmark for her sister – my great grandmother. I was lucky enough to know her, and to hang out at her elbow and watch as she made traditional Danish fare – frikadeller, sausages, pastry rings, and Aebilskiver, which are pancakes in the shape of a ball. It requires a special pan, and the one I have is cast iron, but it’s worth the investment if you want to impress overnight guests. But then again, they might decide to stay longer so you might want to think twice.

    Aebilskiver (Pancake Balls)

    2 eggs, separated

    2 c. buttermilk

    2 c. flour

    2 tsp. baking powder

    4 tsp. salt

    ½ tsp. soda

    2 Tbsp. sugar

    ½ tsp. nutmeg

    4 Tbsp. melted butter

    Beat the egg whites until stiff. Mix all the other ingredients together and beat until smooth. Allow the batter to sit for about a half hour to allow the baking powder to work. Fold in the egg whites last.

    Grease the aebilskiver pan cups and keep them hot. Put about 2 Tbsp. of the batter in each cup, and as soon as they get bubbly around the edges it’s time to turn them. My great grandmother always did it with a hairpin and a deft flick of the wrist, but you can use a fork.

    Continue cooking and turning the ball to keep it from burning until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the center.

    I like some powdered sugar on mine.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 9, 2009

    Topics: The Retired Firehouse Cook


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