It might only be a chopped up pancake, but Kaiserschmarrn was the favorite dessert of an Austrian Emperor, in German a "Kaiser". One meaning of Schmarrn is "nonsense", another is "mess" and there are more definitions, but the comment "so ein Schmarrn", is roughly 'what a lot of nonsense', or "what a mess", which might seem a little out of place when attached to a recipe.
However there is a legend behind Schmarrn mit karmellisierten Apfeln - 'chopped up pancake with caramelized apples'. It is a version of Kaiserschmarrn, an Austrian and Bavarian specialty, and a dessert which, or so the story goes, was invented by the chef working for the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria.
As someone who even in the 19th century was on a perpetual diet, and going against the fashion with food at the time, as well as her husband's tastes and appetite, the Empress had instructed her chef that only light desserts were to be served, however when this mixture appeared she refused to eat it as it was too rich.
Her husband however joked "Now let me see what Schmarrn our chef has cooked up", and found it so delicious he not only ate his own portion but also that of his wife, so the dessert recipe was from then on known as Kaiserschmarrn, "Emperor's Nonsense", or perhaps as it consists of a type of roughly chopped up pancake and is not the most beautifully arranged meal ever placed on a plate, "Emperor's mess".
Originally a pudding for an Emperor it is now an Bavarian and Austrian specialty, often served as a favorite and filling 'whenever' and 'wherever' snack, as well as a breakfast. Although if an early morning one probably not a version with alcohol in the ingredients.
This is an easy German recipe which comes from the Five Lakes Area of Bavaria, Das Bayerische 5 Seen Land.
Chopped pancake with Caramelized Apples (Schmarrn mit Karamellisierten Apfeln) Serves four and takes about 50 minutes from start to finish.
2 large cooking apples (about 3/4 lb)
2 dessert spoons of lemon juice
200g sieved flour
100g fine brown sugar
2 tablespoons raisins soaked in rum, water, or a mix of rum and water
Finely grated peel from half a lemon
half vanilla pod, sliced lengthways
1 pinch of salt
1-2 desert spoons of Rum
Peel, quarter, core and chop apples roughly and cover with lemon juice.
Soak raisins in rum or water to cover for about 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Separate the eggs.
Whisk the egg yolks with the flour, milk and seeds from the vanilla pod. Leave the pieces of pod in the mixture.
Whisk the egg whites with 50g sugar and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks are formed.
Carefully fold into the egg yolk batter.
Melt 20g butter in a pan and stirring fry half of the apple pieces for one to two minutes.
Remove vanilla pod, add the batter to the apples,add remaining apple chunks, finely grated lemon peel and the drained and dried raisins.
Cook for 2to 3 minutes on a medium heat then place in the middle of the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Melt 40g of butter in pan big enough to allow pieces of apple pancake to be turned easily.
With two forks or a spatula carefully pull the pancake apart into random strips and pieces.
Add 50g of sugar to the melted butter, stirring add pieces of apple pancake in the melted butter mix, brown and continue turning apple until the pieces are caramelized.
Add 1 to 2 desert spoons of Rum to taste.
Divide into four portions and serve.
Now is the time many people cover the entire "mess" with confectioners sugar, whipped or light cream, a big spoonful of vanilla ice cream or some additional fruit compote. Don't think about the calories, just Enjoy!
Kaiserschmarrn photos courtesy of Kaleissin, the completed dish, Jensflorian the preparation, via de.Wikipedia
In a Hurry? Then the Dr. Oetker Suesse Mahlzeit Kaiser-Schmarrn mix from Germany is the way to go.
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