It took us approximately 20 hours to put Serious Turtle's Christmas gift to work. (You may call it a Williams-Sonoma-catalog-induced extravagance, I call it a home kitchen necessity.) Ebelskivers, a Danish invention preferably pronounced in the voice of Beaker, are pancake, popover and Italian bombolino all rolled into one.
Adapted from the LA Times
We experimented with several fillings: apricot jam, spiced pear butter, bittersweet chocolate and yes, morning-after pumpkin pie. But I can imagine variations involving lemon curd, jam + cream cheese, caramel, nutella, peanut butter, roasted apples, blueberries, bananas, maple syrup, mascarpone, marshmallow, coconut—even Mac 'n' cheese. (I'm pretty much reciting the Shopsin's pancake menu.) Alternatively, you need not fill them at all. The LA Times recommends serving ebelskivers plain, alongside tart berry jam.
Yield: About 2 dozen (depending on the pan)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 tablespoon butter, melted, plus more for buttering the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup desired filling (optional)
Confectioners' sugar or maple syrup, for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and sugar. Slowly drizzle the buttermilk into the mixture while whisking. Add the egg yolks and mix well to combine and form a batter. Whisk in the butter and vanilla extract, if using.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter. Set the batter aside at room temperature for 15 minutes to rest.
Heat the ebelskivers pan over medium heat, then brush each mold lightly with melted butter. When the butter just begins to brown, pour the batter so each mold is filled halfway. (Start with the middle mold as it receives the least amount of heat and remember the sequence in which you fill each mold in the pan, as the ebelskivers will need to be turned in that order.) Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each pancake and top with 1 tablespoon of batter.
When a solid crust has formed on the bottom of each mold, reduce the heat slightly and flip the pancakes using two wooden skewers. Cook until golden. Transfer the ebelskivers to a pan and serve immediately.