Kaiserschmarrn and Caramelized Apples Recipe

 Kaiserschmarrn and Caramelized Apples Recipe
It could be described as a chopped up pancake, but is one with royal connections as Kaiserschmarrn was the favorite dessert of Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph 1.

"Nonsense" is one meaning of Schmarrn while another is "Mess", and the comment "So ein Schmarrn" is roughly "What a lot of nonsense", or "What a mess".

So it is an Emperor's Mess.

And "Schmarrn mit karamellisierten Äpfeln" - "chopped up pancake with caramelized apples" is based on Kaiserschmarrn, the Austrian and Bavarian specialty that, or so the story goes, was invented in the 19th century by the chef working for the Austrian Kaiser Franz Joseph, and his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria.

The Empress was on a perpetual diet, which was going against the fashion with food at the time as well as her husband's tastes and appetite, and had instructed her chef that only light desserts were to be served.

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 his wife's. From then on the dessert recipe was 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 dish, "Emperor's Mess".

Originally a pudding for an Emperor, it is now a regional specialty of Bavaria and Austria, often served as a favorite and filling "whenever" and "wherever" snack, as well as for breakfast.

Although if it is an early morning breakfast, rather than a much later brunch, probably not a version with alcohol among the ingredients.

This is an easy German recipe that comes from the Five Lakes Area of Bavaria, Das Bayerische Fünf-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
5 eggs
200 g sieved flour
200 ml milk
100 g 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
60 g butter
1 pinch of salt
1-2 desert spoons of Rum (optional)


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 50 g sugar and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks are formed.
Carefully fold into the egg yolk batter.
Melt 20 g 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 2 to 3 minutes on a medium heat then place in the middle of the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Melt 40 g 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 50 g 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!

Guten Appetit!

Photo credit: Kaiserschmarrn title picture meinheimvorteil.at, Kaleissin, the completed dish, lecker.de the preparation

You Should Also Read:
Bavaria, a Winter Wonderland
German Wine and Vineyards
Germany and its Cheese Culture

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