Get free aebleskivers, a Danish treat with a local flare, at Golden Fig tomorrow

Aunt Else's
Aebleskivers originated in Denmark in the 1600s.

​You don't have to cross the Atlantic to get your hands on aebleskiver, a traditional Danish dish that's a cross between a pancake and a popover. Local company

Aunt Else

will be sampling its very own mix, prepared with Minnesota flour, sugar, and buttermilk, Saturday at

Golden Fig

specialty food store in St. Paul from 2 to 4 p.m. The aebelskivers will be cooked on special pans--cast iron for good heat conduction--that the Minnesota company makes itself.

The light, round pastry has quite a bit of history. "They first started making aebleskiver around the 1600s," says Aunt Else's Chad Gillard. "They can trace the pans back to then." Aebleskivers are thought to originate from oliebollen (literally meaning oil balls), a treat still eaten in Holland. "Oil got really expensive," Chad explained, so pans were created to cook with less of it. Over time, aebleskivers became less about creating batter for an apple and more about the actual batter and the pastry.

A less credible theory behind the creation of the treat is that the Vikings came back to camp after battle with their dented-up shields and had lost everything else. "They had nothing to cook their pancakes in except their shields," the myth goes, "so they threw them on the fire and cooked the pancakes, which became round because of the dents, and made the first ableskievers," Gillard said.

Aeblskivers are prepared in a special pan.
Aeblskivers are prepared in a special pan.
Aunt Else's

Aebleskivers are primarily served at Christmas in Denmark, and although they were traditionally filled with apple, they are now primarily sold plain and served with jam in Denmark. "The fillings evolution actually happened in America," Gillard explains, adding that while Aunt Else's will always sample the traditional apple ableskievers, it also offers other options, both sweet and savory.

Although most ableskiever pans have only seven holes, Aunt Else's pans have nine for faster preparation. A knitting needle is used during the preparation process to make sure the pastries are round

In addition to sampling the ableskievers this Saturday, you can also buy Aunt Else's pans, organic and gluten-free mixes, and a starter kit (complete with a pan, potholder, package of mix, and skewer).

Golden Fig 790 Grand Ave., St. Paul 651.602.0144; Golden Fig website

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