Mother’s Day is in one week. ONE WEEK! Do you hear me? If you’re still scrambling to find something wonderful to show mom how much she really means to you, maybe you could try breakfast in bed… after letting her sleep in for once, yes? If you’re looking for something to really wow her, how about you try my secret family recipe for the tastiest little pancakes you’ve probably never tried?
For as long as I can remember, big breakfasts at my mom’s house have always included aebleskivers, a fancy type of Danish pancake. My mom has a horrible Danish accent and calls them “Ebber-Skiv-ERS” but it’s pronounced more like “Ebba-Ski-VA”, which is literally translated into “fritter”.
You see, my mom is Danish. Not like, from Denmark, but both her parents were, so she calls it her second home. Above is my goofball dad in front of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen Harbor.
Here’s a photo of my parents outside my mother’s grandfather’s (or in Danish, my tipoldefar, which translates into “Greatest Great Father”. How cute is that?!) house in Denmark last spring.
To me, making aebleskivers on special mornings was always a labor of love. The ingredients, although very common, are not always ones you would just “have on hand”, so in order to make aebleskivers for breakfast, one had to plan.
The only special component to making aebleskivers is the aebleskiver pan. A large, heavy cast iron pan with 7 divots in it. You might have seen them, decorating walls of antique shops, or grandmother’s kitchens. No one but us Danes, really know what it’s for.
Here’s a photo from 2011, right after my daughter was born. I’m on the left, HELLO! My sister is in the back and next to her is my mom. My MorMor is holding Abbey. Four generations of Danes in one photo. BAM!
I got an aebleskiver pan one year from my mother, for Christmas. It was such a rite of passage to be given one. It meant that it was now my job to make the aebleskivers for my family. My mom’s pan is perfectly seasoned, from years of use. I can only imagine my MorMor’s pan. (MorMor mean’s Grandmother in Danish, it’s literal translation is Mother’s Mother, so yes there are FarMors too.)
Mine, on the other hand, has only been used twice, so the seasoning of my cast iron is seriously lacking. Every time we make aebleskivers it’s always at my mom’s house on Easter, or Christmas, or any other special occasion when we’ve got buttermilk on hand.
Over the years, my mom and I haven’t seen eye to eye on a lot of things. I am much more “my father’s daughter” than I’ve ever been “my mother’s daughter”, but making aebleskivers is sort of our thing. She’s the pro, but when it’s time for her to eat, I take the reigns and am the one to tend the pan, making sure they come out perfect every time.
It’s important, with Mother’s Day being so close, to remember our mom’s and thank them for everything they’ve given us. My mom gave me my love for creating, painting, jewelry making, gardening and cooking. Without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Love you mom!
She also taught me how to shop a deal, and I remember heading to Smart & Final with her as a kid, filling out carts with bulk items of flour and sugar, fruits and vegetables, and making an entire day out of our shopping trip.
My sister and I were always in tow when mom went shopping. I think we thought we would try and get some sort of treat out of it if we went.
Smart & Final is a great place, it’s a one stop shop to get everything you need! It’s big warehouse shopping without member fees and insane crowds, so it feels more like a grocery store that carries big box items. I went and grabbed everything I needed for my aebleskivers recipe! Seriously y’all, one stop shopping.
Plus, they not only carry big name brands, but their high quality Private Label brands too, like First Street.
I knew that since I’ve been doing a Mother’s Day special here on the blog, that I wanted to make sure I shared a recipe with you guys, that actually meant something more to me than just “good eatin’!”.
This recipe has been passed down for literally generations. My mother still has the original handwritten recipe card from her grandmother!
Here’s my Aunt’s recipe, written in grams, and translated by my mom.
In order to properly execute this recipe, you’re going to need an Aebleskiver Cast Iron Pan. There really is no substitute.
Nielsen Family Aebleskiver’s
- 2 1/4 cup First Street Brand All Purpose Flour
- 3 Tbsp First Street Brand Pure Cane Sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 2 1/2-3 cups of buttermilk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of cardamom (use cinnamon and nutmeg as a substitute if you can’t find)
- zest of one lemon
- oil for cooking (I use coconut oil, my mom uses vegetable shortening, grandma used lard.)
- “Poker” for flipping the aebleskivers (I use a knitting needle, my mom uses an ice pick, any sturdy poker will work)
- Jelly, Jam, Butter, Powdered Sugar, Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup (or favorite toppings)
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, and set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cardamom) and add to your mixing bowl. Add zest. Using a paddle attachment slowly mix while pouring in the buttermilk at 1/2 cup increments, until the consistency of waffle batter. It should be thick, but not dry. Slowly fold in the whites. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes.
Prepare your aebleskiver pan over high heat. Add a small bit of cooking oil to each divot. Reduce heat to medium. Fill each divot 3/4 of the way full with batter and let cook about 3 minutes.
Using your poker, drag around the edge of the divot to loosen the aebleskiver. Stick your poker in the center, and flip it over. When it’s ready, it should unstick and flip easily. If not, give it another 30 seconds and try again. This creates the traditional “ball” shape of the aebleskiver.
Transfer to an oven safe pan and keep warm at 250* until ready to serve.
When it’s time to eat them, do it the “right way” and open them up like little clam shells (I won’t even tell you what my little sister use to call them…) and fill with your choice of toppings.
My mom eats hers with butter and jelly, because that’s the Danish way to do it. I have Americanized this breakfast to the dismay of my family and I eat it with maple syrup! Huzzah!
Another great way to eat them is with butter, sprinkled with powdered sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
And for all of my fabulous San Diego readers, a new store just opened up on April 30th in Vista! So if you’re in the North County, make sure you stop in and get acquainted!
What will you be serving for Mother’s Day? What’s your favorite breakfast item?
This post was facilitated by #CollectiveBias and #SmartAndFinal #ChooseSmart, and contains affiliate links. Having sponsored and affiliated posts allows me to make extra income for my family. Thank you for your support!