Ebelskivers with Lingonberry Jam

These Danish pancakes are more like pancake bags – fluffy, airy dough rounds filled with tart cranberry jam.

The Scandinavian countries really have a way with pancakes. My first introduction was with the Swedish pancake mix From Ikea. You might balk, but this actually makes deliciously thin, pancake-like pancakes that we’d pair with lingonberry jam for a Sunday breakfast special. A trip to Finland consolidated my love — the pancakes there were baked in the oven, not cooked on the stove, but they had the same delicious balance in butter. Not a bunch of soft dough. No overwhelming syrup. Just great pancakes for yourself.

The Danish version, ebelskivers (also transcribed as aebelskivers), is just as unique and just as delicious. Instead of lying flat, these pancakes are more like pancake bags – fluffy, airy rounds of dough with fillings as diverse as canned fruit, Nutella and cheese. I like them with, yes, lingonberry jam (OK, I’m going out and saying it — I love this stuff). Cranberries have the perfect acidity to make pancakes sweeter with their powdered sugar dust.

The trick for Ebelskiver is to make sure, apart from an Ebelskiver pan, that the wells are buttered and that there is something long and Sharp at hand to turn. It may not be authentic, but my favorite tool is the chopsticks, which can be used to easily turn the tender dough. Another clue? Do not pass the syrup. The dough here is buttered with a touch of salt, and if your filling is delicious, the pancakes will be too. The powdered sugar adds the perfect extra sweetness (and makes you wonderfully wintery on top of that).

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Whisk together the egg yolks, milk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a large bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be lumpy – do not overmix.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer or whisk until firm but not dry peaks form, about 3 minutes. Stir the egg whites into the dough.

Put the Ebelskiver frying pan on medium heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon of butter to each well of the mold, adding 1 tablespoon of dough as it bubbles. Top each well with 1 teaspoon of jam, then with another tablespoon of dough. Let the Ebelskivers cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes, then turn over and continue cooking until the top is also golden brown, 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Repeat with the rest of the dough, then serve immediately with powdered sugar on top.

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