September 10, 2006

Kaiserschmarrn

Trying to pronounce this the right way is beginning to ache my jaw. *laughs* I'm Chinese and have never spoken any language similar to German .... bad pronunciation of Kaiser-Schmarrn should be totally expected of me! *blush*KaiserSchmarrn is a traditional Austrian 'pancake' made famous by the imperial court when Emperor Franz Joseph and his consort Princess Elisabeth spent their summers in the Salzkammergut resort of Bad Ischl in Upper Austria. It is usually served with dollops of apple/plum sauce and sprinkled with generous dustings of powdered sugar. Considering how 'inventive' and rebellious I am with recipes; you couldn't possibly assume I would settle for the 'traditional' could you? *grin* I love berries....MmMmm...berry compote...yumm....
Why the sudden German-Austrian influence you ask?
It all leads back to my memorable days spent in the Whitsunday islands, where I met Stefan. (Shhteh-fan; he says...*haha*) He was a graduate from Austria who ventured down-under to brush up on his spoken English as he explored Australia with a huge pack on his back. The short weekend I spent on the boat exposed me to more interesting facts and cultures of Europe and the World than I have ever learnt from reading. We had the French, the Germans, the Koreans, the Austrians, the Americans, Canadians, Spanish, the British, the Danish, the Italians, the Scandinavians and many more countries all snugly fit into tiny little Airlie Beach of the Whitsundays. It was too much for me to handle; absorbing new found knowledge of the World was exhausting! The language barriers were evident; but it made trying to communicate so much more interesting and creative. Most of them were intelligent, adventurous and cultured. They have inspired me to travel and to learn about the numerous foreign lands and it's people first hand.
Meeting Stefan led to my first encounter with a deck of non-English cards. I was truly amused. He was amused that I was! *laughs* J's for Jacks and Q's for Queens did not exist! It was B's for "bu-ben" and D's for "Da-me".....K's didn't stand for Kings either! it was K; for Kaiser (Pronounced: Kai-zer)
Kaiser meant Emperor/king in German, which happens to be the first word in Kaiser-schmarrn.
Schmarrn is unfortunately a German word beyond translation; but lies along the lines of : rubbish, crap, nonsense...etc. So this would mean that...Kaiserschmarrn is "The-Emperor's-rubbish *laughs* I've heard and read many legendary tales about the origins of this dishes name; but my favorite one would be how one day, the palace chef accidentally ruined a good pancake dish for the King and decided to cover up his mistake with dustings of sugar, cherries and raisins. Apparently; the King thought it was an ingenious idea!
6 eggs separated
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/4 cup raisins (soaked in run for 30 minutes and drained; if you like)

3 tbsp's melted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting
Thoroughly mix the yolks, sugar, milk and flour. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Add stiff egg whites into the mixture and fold gently to combine.
Melt 1 tsp of butter in a large flat pan, pour in the pancake batter and sprinkle in raisins. Let cook on one side for a 2-3 minutes on medium flames, turn over and tear into pieces with a fork/wooden spoon. The mixture will clump and it'll probably look 'icky' ...calm down...*it's okay...it's what its SUPPOSEd to look like* ...haha. Quickly sprinkle in 1/2 the amount of icing sugar and the rest of the melted butter. Scoop, toss and flip the clumped chunks of batter on high heat for another 1-2 minutes until sugar begins to crisp the corners. Scoop out immediately and serve hot with warm apple/ plum sauce...or a berry mixture...like I've done today.The Emperor sure knows good "crap"! It was delectable!....crisp and buttery on the sides and soft in the centers. I was in 'mushed-pancake' heaven. *hehe*

The trick to delicious kaiserschmarrn is in the frying, stove heat and timing. Do not over cook the clumped mixture as they would turn out dry and dough-y. The corners should be brown, but the chunks should still be fluffy and airy in the center. I do not suggest any reheating in the microwave....low heat in the oven would probably be a better option.

8 comments:

Naomi said...

aw yum!!

rokh said...

may i know how many servings this makes? i wanna try it out. seems so good for a morning fare ;)

Su-Yin said...

hey rokh..
hmm its probably enough to feed 3 very hungry pancake lovers...but 4 servings for the average person :)
....get the stove heat right..and the flat heavy based pan wide enough. It's so very gooood...mmm...I was dreaming of it again this morning!! haha if only it didnt have so many eggs in it! Argh*!

angela said...

I love this! I haven't had Kaiserschtuff for ages. Your comments about Airlie Beach reminded me of backpacking around Australia and all the cool people I met. By the way, my Aussie friends have just sent me some Tim Tams so I can make your Tim Tam Truffles!

Anonymous said...

hi su yin...i was reading this and it looks so delicious!!but i don't know how to make a yummy berry/strawberry compote..if there is one made of strawberry....cud u give a me recipe for that?

Su-Yin said...

lol there's one on my list :)
http://cookingismypassion.blogspot.com/2006/04/abundance-of-berry-sauce.html

Anonymous said...

I just made kaiserschmarrn using your recipe! It is really good but it is a lot...which is why I was wondering about the oven temp. How long should I reheat it for?

Anonymous said...

As an avid skier, Austria is one of my favorite destinations. One year, my ski-guide introduced me to Kaiserscmarren mit Apfulmuss (apologies to German speakers about the lack of umlauts etc)and Ive found it to be the perfect thing for lunch when skiing. It really fills you up and gives your blood sugar levels a boost too. Perfect after a morning of heavy skiing!