There’s this story about an Austrian queen who wanted to make her emperor husband some dessert. She tried to make pancakes, but she made them way too sweet and when she was about to flip them she fucked it all up. But, afraid of telling him, she just said “this is the way they’re supposed to be”. And he loved them. And so was the kaiserschmarrn born. Might be no truth to this story, but I know a couple of things – they’re popular in Austria to this day, they’re served with apple sauce, plum sauce or prune jam, and they’re delicious. Let’s make some.
We’ll start with the sauce
Apple sauce or plums? Why not both?
- 10 red plums
- 3 small apples
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 dl of sugar
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
Ok, the instructions here are simple…
- Cut out the stones from all the plums
- Peel the apples
- Cut the apples and the plums into medium size pieces
- Cut open a vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds
- In a saucepan, heat up all ingredients including the pod and seeds
- Add sugar and lemon juice. If you’re using acidic apples, use less lemon juice
- Let it simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It will all get red from the prune peels, and taste absolutely amazing. And if you’re sad that it’s not sweet enough, remember that the Austrian pancake is very sweet in itself.
- Let the sauce cool before serving, it will firm up.
This reminds me of a firm American pancake, but cut into pieces and much sweeter. Let’s start…
- 2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 65 ml milk
- 50 g sugar
- pinch of salt
- 65g plain flour
- a handfull of raisins
- Lots of butter
- 1 tablespoons icing sugar
- Separate the yolks from the whites, and put them in two separate bowls
- In the yolk bowl, add milk, sugar, salt and flour. Mix it all up
- Now whip the egg whites until they’re a firm foam. Some recipes will call for “soft peaks”, but I’ve come to the conclusion that a hard foam is better because it’s easier to incorporate without having to be careful not to break the bubbles.
- Speaking of bubbles… Incorporate the foam into the yolk mixture. Start with half of the whites, fold them in and then the other half. It will make things easier.
- Now, add the raisins. If you want raisins. If you don’t, just don’t.
- Heat up a pan on medium low heat. If it’s too hot, you’ll burn the pancake before it firms up. Add lots of butter. It should melt slowly and give away a very slight sizzling sound. If it melts quickly and sizzles a lot, it’s too hot. Turn down the temperature!
- All the batter into the pan, and slowly let it fry. When it’s golden brown on the bottom, and has firmed up a little on top (it will still be liquid at this point, not completely firm, don’t worry), flip it. It’s difficult, and you’ll probably fuck it up. But it’s ok, it’s part of this Austrian pancakes history.
- Wait until it gets a golden brown color on the other side (or parts of it, depending on how badly you flipped it). Now, using two forks, rip the pancake into nice chunks. Let the chunks fry for a few minutes, and roll them around so they get some color all around.
- Serve with sprinkled icing sugar on top, and the wonderful apple/plum sauce on the side!