Ebelskivers in Alameda.
When you have family that lives across the country, sometimes holiday celebrations don't quite happen during the holidays. When my sister had her second baby right before Christmas, it meant that getting together for the holidays would have to wait until things had settled a bit and the time was right for everyone.
So we would have Christmas in February, which was fine with me because after the lull of January, life needs a little pick-me-up, and a trip to California to meet my new niece was just the thing to (hopefully) help get me through to spring. There was no snow (thank God) and no Christmas lights, but there were presents and family and a special breakfast. Really, what more do you need?
For breakfast, which my brother-in-law Matt cooked as I snapped photos in their beautifully-lit kitchen (with a lemon tree peeking through the window -- I'm so jealous!), we had scrambled eggs with tomatoes and basil, hash browns, ham, and ebelskivers.
Have you ever had an ebelskiver? It's basically a pancake pillow filled with whatever you want or have on hand -- spinach and feta, cream, chocolate, bacon. We had jam-filled and cheese-filled ebelskivers to satisfy both the sweet and savory.
Making the ebelskivers involves an ebelskiver pan and two skewers for flipping the puffs and achieving that lovely golden brown all the way around. Topped with maple syrup or honey, the were a special treat for our Christmas in February.
Jam-Filled Ebelskivers (from Williams-Sonoma Kitchens)
Matt used ebelskiver pancake mix from Williams-Sonoma, but if you'd like a recipe from scratch, Williams-Sonoma also has a bunch of recipes on their site. Here's the one for jam-filled ebelskivers.
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 cup seedless berry jam
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
About 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. Transfer to a mesh sugar shaker. Fit a pastry bag with a plain round tip and fill with the jam. Set aside.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.
Put 1/4 tsp. butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 2 Tbs. of the batter into each well. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using 2 wooden skewers, turn the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Using the tip of the pastry bag, pierce one side of each pancake and pipe jam into the center. Dust the pancakes with the confectioners' sugar mixture and serve immediately. Makes 55 pancakes.
Happy Pancake Day!