Sugared Pancakes aka Austrian “Kaiserschmarrn” is a very classic and sweet Austrian dish, wich is not only eaten as dessert, but also for lunch and dinner (or any other time of the day). It’s sort of a fluffy thick pancake which is all “messed up” in the pan and typically served with stewed plum or applesauce and mixed with raisins.
History of the Austrian Kaiserschmarrn
Legend says, that Emperor (=Kaiser) Franz Josef (husband of Empress Sisi) loved his sweet desserts after lunch, but one day, the cook messed up the pancakes. The Emperor liked the newborn dessert so much, that it was finally named after him. There are a few other legends, one of them referring to Empress Sisi’s and her obsession with dieting. She seemed to dislike the rich dessert, and therefore the annoyed Emperor ate it up, saying “Now let me see what ‘Schmarren’ (=trash) our chef has cooked up.”
A “Schmarrn” in Austria and Southern Germany also means something like “nonsense” or something which is really messed up…
How to make traditional Kaiserschmarrn
Bake in oven (with ovenproof pan)
There are lots of different methods how to make Kaiserschmarrn. The most traditional would be to separate the eggs and beat the eggwhite until stiff. Mix the other ingredients. Only then gently fold in the eggwhite. This adds volume to the batter and makes it more “fluffy”. Some also add a sip of sparkling water to make it even more “fluffy”.
On stovetop, you heat up butter in a pan. (The pan should be able to go into the oven as well. So the handle must not be of plastic or rubber etc.)
You add the batter and let brown on one side (on stovetop). Then you put the pan to the oven (about 180°C / 360°F) for about 10 Minutes, until the batter rises and is not liquid anymore. It should look like a giant pancake now 😉
Then you sprinkle some sugar on top and flip the large pancake. (Probably with the help of a plate.) Bake for another 5 minutes or so.
Take out of the oven and with 2 forks, “mess up” the pancake (tear it apart). Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with stewed plums or apple sauce. If you don’t have that at home, a spoonful of jam does the job too 😉 (or any other fruit compote, stewed fruits, canned fruits, fruit sauce, berries etc.)
Bake in pan (recommended with lid)
Alternatively, you can bake on stovetop only. (If all your pans for example, have a plastic handle.)
In this case, turn stovetop on medium heat and put a lid on your pan, so that the batter can rise without burning. (Probably a lid from some other cooking pot)
If you also don’t have a lid for your pan, you can also do without. You just tear apart the pancake as soon as the bottom side is slightly crispy and brown. You will have to stir the batter more frequently to prevent it from burning. It may not be as fluffy as with the traditional baking method, but this is probably how it’s done in most of the Austrian kitchens! ;D