Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cherry Picking

We went cherry picking yesterday. Cherry season is my favorite time of year. I know, I know, I said strawberry season is my favorite time of year. I meant that, too. Please don’t make me pick.

Cherry picking in the Hood River Valley is so much fun. The drive is a little more than an hour, and we get to take in some great scenery along the way. The Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood are beautiful in the summer, and the mountain air is sweet and refreshing. But, even if the trip wasn’t so nice, I would still go all that way for cherries.

I love cherries, but I do not love all cherries equally. I skip over the neon yellow and pink Rainiers and Royal Anns.

Sure, they’re pretty to look at, but their flavor has just one note—sweet. I’d rather fill up on Bings, Lamberts, and Lapins. And I’ll definitely take sour cherries, if I can find them.

The tree limbs above my head were so heavy with ripe, juicy fruit.

We got two big baskets to put our cherries into. My husband filled his right up.

My basket disappeared. Turns out I didn’t need it anyway, all the cherries I picked kept going directly into my mouth. But he knows it’s up to him to stock up, he’s the tall one. And also the fearless one.

I don’t really like climbing up on those big ladders.

My husband was also helpful this morning. While I prepared the other ingredients for our Cherry Aebleskiver breakfast, he pitted the cherries.

I just wish he didn’t do it wearing a white shirt.

Cherry Aebleskiver
Printable Recipe

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature
3 room temperature large eggs, separated
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
¾ pound cherries, pitted
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Combine the milk, egg yolks, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until smooth. Whip the egg whites to medium peaks and fold into the batter.

Heat an aebleskiver pan over medium-low until a drop of water sizzles. Brush each cavity with melted butter and drop in the batter by the tablespoonful.

Press 1 cherry into the center of each one.

Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn with a small offset spatula or fork.

Cook another minute or two, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a platter.

Make more aebleskiver with the remaining batter and cherries in the same manner, brushing the pan with melted butter between each batch. Dust with plenty of powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Serves 4. Best when served warm. The trick to making perfect aebleskiver is cooking them on the first side just until they’re golden brown on the surface but still runny in the center. As they are turned, the uncooked batter will flow into the pan, creating ball-shaped pancakes. Aebleskiver pans are available at most cookware stores. Aebleskiver, by the way, are traditionally made with apples.


Irina said...

I used your recipe instead of the one that came with a pan despite your recipe having double the butter amount. Drum roll please… You must be very proud of me.

Used for feeling:
1. Gigantic blueberries (surely grown somewhere near a nuclear reactor or on some steroid), one per pancake – delicious, especially in smaller pancakes.
2. Apples scooped into a cherry size ball sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar – need to be cooked to soften, but not worth the bother unless caramelized. Thumbs down.
3. Prosciutto and Gruyere – how can you go wrong with these? I liked these better than croissants. Need more filling, at least .5” cubes of cheese and more meat, even if sticks out.
4. Prosciutto and Brie – delish. I had just the right amount of brie, as I used the same cherry sized scoop. Not my personal favorite, as I do not like the whiff that comes out when you bite into these, but the best consistency of all for the Aebleskiver filling.
5. Gruyere only – the more cheese the better, because it completely melts, if too small. When adequately filled, reminded me choux paste cheese bread from Fogo de Chao.
What I learned: need to use no more than a Tbs for each. Easy to go over, and if larger, the pancakes are just fine, but the ones with the exact measure are easier to flip and are just perfect. BTW, dimples in your pan appear bigger than on my.
Need to flip quicker not to overcook. Overcooked ones taste just fine and are actually better for savory, as they have a crust that reminded me of ham and cheese croissants, they just open up because there is little butter to flow to the bottom. Should not overcook, however, if you want a more pancake-like texture.
I need more suggestions for sweet variations for winter-time. I looked at Jellies at Central market, but nothing looked good.

Thank you for a receipe. -Irina

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

How about Nutella and diced bananas, sautéed diced apples with cinnamon and sugar or caramel sauce, diced poached pears, lemon curd, rehydrated diced dried apricots and chopped almonds, or chocolate ganache?

Irina said...

Thank you. I like the dried apricots the best as I always have these and almonds in my pantry. I thought of bananas to, Nutella sounds very yummy too.-Irina

avaserfi said...

We made aebleskivers for the first time tonight, blackberry with lemon curd on the side. Delicious.

See a picture here:

Camilla said...

You don't mention anything about these being Danish or how you heard of them - that would be interesting to me being a half Dane! Nicely cooked Aebleskiver by the way.

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

When I saw the cute little pan, I became intrigued—that's how I discovered Aebleskiver.

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