Kaiserschmarrn is a light, caramelized pancake made from a sweet batter baked or fried in butter. You can vary it with nuts, cherries, plums, apple jam or small pieces of apple, or raisins and chopped almonds. The pancake is cut into pieces while frying, shredded after preparation and usually sprinkled with powdered sugar, served hot with apple or plum sauce, or various fruits such as prunes or plums, lingon berries, strawberries or apples. Kaiserschmarrn is actually a dessert, but you can eat it as a breakfast, light diner or lunch. My recipe is inspired by Wolfgang Puck, while watching him on TV in a show “The Best Thing I Ever Made” and reading many deferent variations of this old-classic Austrian Pancake. —Kukla
4 to 6
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup good dark rum
• 1 cup crème fraîche or whole milk
• 4-5 eggs, separated
• 1/4 cup superfine sugar
• 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch of salt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour or cake flour for a lighter consistency
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon butter, melted for pan
• 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
Pour rum over raisins. Microwave for 30-40 seconds and let them soak until the rum is absorbed (20 minutes). Set aside.
Beat egg whites to soft peaks; add a pinch of salt and then slowly the confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until stiff and shiny.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until light yellow. Add crème fraîche or milk and flour, a little at a time to avoid lumps. Mix in zest and vanilla extract.
Fold in egg whites. Let the batter rest for about 20 minutes. (This can be prepared up to 1 day in advance).
Warm up a large frying pan (12 inches in diameter) and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Gently stir the batter again, and pour into hot pan. Sprinkle the raisins evenly over the top. Cover the pan and let the pancake cook for10 minutes over medium-low heat. Flip over (you may have to cut it into several portions to flip).
Cut the pancake into bite-size pieces while it continues to cook and add the remaining melted tablespoon of butter. When it is browned, it is ready to serve.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fruit or berry preserves, fresh macerated fruits of your choice, sour cream or crème fraîche. (Wolfgang Puck served his with Strawberry Sauce).
To bake: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a 6-inches sauté pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into the sauté pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Repeat three more times, until all the batter is used.
I baked mine in a 10-inch glass pie baking dish for about 20-25 minutes and then cut it in bite-size pieces.