|Place of origin||Denmark|
|Main ingredients||Wheat flour, buttermilk, milk or cream, eggs, sugar|
Æbleskiver (Danish pronunciation: [ˈeːpləˌskiːwɐ], [singular: æbleskive]) are Danish snacks that are spherical in shape. The name literally means apple slices in Danish, although apples are not usually an ingredient in present-day versions. The crust is similar in texture to European pancakes, but with a light and fluffy innard like a Yorkshire pudding. The English language spelling is usually aebleskiver or ebleskiver.
Æbleskiver are cooked on the stove top by baking in a special pan with several hemispherical indentations. The pan exists in versions for gas and electrical stoves (the latter with a plain bottom). Pans are usually made of cast iron, allowing good heat retention. Traditional models in hammered copper plate exist but are today used primarily for decoration.
The batter for æbleskiver usually includes wheat flour, which is mixed with buttermilk, milk or cream, eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt. Some recipes also include fat (usually butter), cardamom and lemon zest to improve taste, and a leavening agent, most often baking powder, but sometimes yeast, to aerate the batter.
Batter is poured into the oiled indentations and as the æbleskiver begin to cook, they are turned with a knitting needle, skewer or fork to give the cakes their characteristic spherical shape. They were traditionally cooked with bits of apple (æble) or applesauce inside but these ingredients are very rarely included in modern Danish forms of the dish. Æbleskiver are not sweet themselves but are traditionally served dipped in raspberry, strawberry, black currant or blackberry jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Butter, maple syrup, and whipped cream are also popular toppings.
Æbleskiver can be bought fried and frozen at supermarkets, only needing heating in an oven.
In Denmark, æbleskiver are less common in restaurants than they are at casual family gatherings. They can also be found being sold by street vendors in the winter. They are traditionally served with jam and powdered sugar and three are placed on a plate at a time. They are traditionally eaten during the Christmas season and are often served with gløgg, (Scandinavian mulled wine) or Scandinavian coffee. They are often sold at Christmas markets, charity markets, open-air events, Scouting functions, local sports gatherings and similar venues. They are also served at children's birthday parties, due to their popularity and easy preparation. Voluntary associations gain profit from preparing them from the pre-fried, frozen stage and selling them, usually three at a time, with the usual condiments.
In North America there are several annual events that celebrate æbleskiver and Danish culture, with churches and museums holding "Æbleskiver Suppers" and similar events.
The exact origin of æbleskiver is unknown. One popular speculation is that a band of Vikings were part of a difficult battle. When they returned to their ship, they wished to cook a meal similar to pancakes. However, since they lacked regular pans, they instead used their shields or helmets, resulting in a cake with a spherical shape.[better source needed]
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