Kaiserschmarrn is a quite simple dessert, that kind of dessert that makes you comfortable and that gives you a “home atmosphere”, especially if you serve it in the old way inside an iron pan, as they often do in Austria or Bavaria 🙂
Kaiserschmarrn is a sort of pancake which is then broken into smaller pieces before serving, and it originated during the Austrian-Hungarian Empire period, and it was said to be the favorite of the kaiser Franz Josef I.
Nowadays you can still find this dessert in all the countries of the old Empire: Austria, southern Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Czech Republic. And you can find it with different names: kaiserschmarrn, smorrn, császármorzsa, kajzršmorn, cesarski praženec and some others too.
I have lived in Austria and in Hungary, and I went many times in Bavaria, so I have tried several versions of it…many Hungarians will not like what I’m going to say, but the Austrian version is much better in my opinion 😛 with some exceptions, the Hungarian recipes (császármorzsa) have a less fulfilling taste to me, they are often made with less eggs (often just 1 egg every 2 persons, or even less), more flour and they often use semolina, so they have a different texture and taste.
The Austrian versions instead are usually made with more eggs (at least 1 per person, but often more), just white flour, rum and raisins, and sometimes fresh cream rather than milk.
So what I’m going to show you it’s the Austrian recipe. Well, one of the Austrian recipes, one of those I like 🙂 This is quite simple and fast, then there are some other versions where the egg whites are separated and whisked separately until fluffier and incorporated for last, in that case the final result is more spongy and soft. But also this version is very good 😉
Let’s see how to do it.
INGREDIENTS (4 people, or 2 people if you are going to have it as a main dish):
- 180 g white flour
- 250 ml milk (about, you’ll see what’s enough)
- 6 eggs (free range eggs will give a better color, and taste too)
- 60 g sugar
- 5 cl of dark rum
- 1 vanilla bean
- one handful of raisins
- a pinch of salt
- icing sugar
- clarified butter (or normal butter, just take care not to burn it)
- First of all put the raisins in the rum to get softer, at least 15/20 minutes before.
- Meanwhile warm up a bit the milk and put the extracted vanilla pulp inside, and also the vanilla bean. It has not to be very hot, just warm, it must just absorb the vanilla aroma and flavor. Then let it cool down.
- Now take a bowl and start with the other ingredients: first sift the flour, then add the sugar and the salt. Then start pouring the milk (first remove the vanilla bean from it) and while doing it keep whisking, and take care to avoid lumps.
- When this first batter is smooth and not lumpy, add the eggs and whisk well from down to up, then add the rum. Then let the batter rest for 20/30 minutes, about.
- Now take a pan (traditionally an iron pan, which is the better choice) and heat some clarified butter, enough to cover well the whole surface.
- When the butter is hot pour the batter in the pan and soon after put the raisins on it, then at medium heat cook it for about 3-4 minutes. After that time control with a spatula the bottom of the pancake, and when it gets a nice brownish color (but not burnt) turn it on the other side, to make this operation easier you can cut it in 2 or 4 pieces.
- Then with a wooden spoon or with the spatula cut the pancake into smaller pieces (but not too much small), and sprinkle some sugar to caramelize it nicely.
- Now serve it and sprinkle with a generous amount of icing sugar!
- Traditionally in Austria it’s served next to an apple mousse (Apfelmus), lingonberry jam (Preiselbeere) or Zwetschkenröster (a kind of traditional plum jam, or stewed plums, with some spices), but you can use the jam you prefer 🙂