Love pancakes? Then this unique hazelnut-flavoured adaption of the classic Kaiserschmarren from Austria is perfect for you.
Kaiserschmarren is a favourite traditional flour-based sweet pastry originating in Austria also known as shredded, torn, or scrambled pancake. Though mostly served as dessert, locally it’s not unusual it will be enjoyed as a main for a light lunch as well! And of course, it would be awesome at breakfast!
Did you know the classic Kaiserschmarren is named after Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was known to be a huge fan of this sweet pastry?
If you wonder what this is all about, essentially a Kaiserscharren is a pancake torn apart. And like so many other iconic historic dishes, this one too was created by a mishap.
In the case of the Austrian Kaiserschmarren, this happened when Empress Elisabeth of Austria was served a dessert similar to a Dutch pancake in 1854. When the pancake was placed on her plate, it accidentally tore apart. Later, this became the characteristic of the Kaiserschmarren.
It’s not recorded whether or not the Empress was annoyed about the mishap; but rather obviously her husband Franz Joseph didn’t mind. Indeed, he immediately fell for the dish, which was later renamed in his honour (Kaiser in German means Emperor).
Originally made from flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and raisins the below recipe is based on a batter made with ground hazelnut and pears.
The combination of the nutty, toasted hazelnuts and sweet pears is totally unbeatable. Add the slightly tangy cranberry compote, and it’s a dessert (or lunch) made in heaven.
Recipe: Hazelnut-Kaiserschmarren with Pears and Cranberry Compote
100 g ground hazelnuts
4 eggs, divided
75 g sugar
50 g all-purpose flour
125 ml milk
pinch of salt
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tablespoon clarified butter
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar plus more for topping
100 g cranberries
2 tablespoons sugar
For the cranberry compote, bring cranberries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water to a light boil and continue until the berries start to pop open.
Set aside to let cool.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Beat egg whites stiff, season with a pinch of salt, then slowly add 50 g of sugar while still beating.
In a large bowl, add egg yolks, hazelnuts, flour, 25 g sugar and stir until smooth. Add the egg white mixture and fold in. Add half of the pears and lightly stir in.
In a large skillet, heat the clarified butter. Add the batter and remaining pears then transfer to the oven. Bake for 5-7 minutes until the surface starts to set. Carefully flip over the pancake, then continue to bake for another 5-7 minutes until well set and the surface starts to turn a light brown.
Take from the oven, and using two forks or spatulas, tore apart into bit-sized pieces. Add two tablespoons of butter, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then reheat on the stove over medium-heat for another 3-4 minutes until the sugar has caramelized, while continuing to gently toss the pieces.
Serve the Kaiserschmarren right out of the pan, topped with the cranberry compote and more powdered sugar.