Kaiserschmarrn is one of the most popular sweets of Austrian cuisine. Together with Germknödel, the dish made from pancake dough is a staple on any menu in the Alpine country. Especially if you go skiing in Austria, you will hardly get past the sweet deliciousness. Kaiserschmarrn is the perfect snack when taking a break at a mountain lodge. Feast on a large portion and get your sugar levels up for the next downhill run.
Schmarrn is a simple dessert made from flour, eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Starting off like a classic pancake, the dough gets ripped into small pieces as it bakes. Besprinkled with icing sugar, the fluffy pieces are then usually served together with apple sauce. Also additional toppings like red berries are common. Basically, anything that you would put on pancakes is also a great pairing for Kaiserschmarrn. Today, there are many different types of Schmarrn. Among these are Erdäpfelschmarrn with potatoes, Äpfelschmarrn with apples or Kirschschmarrn with cherries. These versions are often rather simple and only consist of flour and lard. In contrast, their royal sibling, the Kaiserschmarrn, is a more refined and richer version. Due to the common history as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the sweet dish has spread to Hungary where it is available as Császármorzsa today.
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Kaiserschmarrn? What Kind Of Name Is That?
German words might generally sound a bit strange to foreigners but even if you know German, the name of this traditional dessert is rather unusual. And what would an unconventional name be without several legends around its development. The one thing they all have in common: they do actually involve a Kaiser – namely Kaiser Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria.
The most common story connects the word “Kaiserschmarrn” to a phrase by the Austro-Hungarian monarch. His wife, Empress Elisabeth, was notoriously dieting, always taking good care of her physique. For that reason, she was truly not amused when the confectioner of the royal court came up with a high-carb, pancake-based dessert. Thus, Kaiser Franz Joseph stepped in and took on the Empress’ portion with the words „Na geb’ er mir halt den Schmarren her, den unser Leopold da wieder z’sammenkocht hat“. While “Schmarren” stands for “rubbish” in its initial meaning, the dessert took on the Kaiser’s expression as its nickname. Well, at least that’s the story Austrians most commonly like to tell about their favourite dessert.
We are sure, if the Kaiser had known already how delicious the sweet dish is, he would have never called it “Schmarrn” in the first place. But check it out for yourself – especially if you are a pancake lover, Kaiserschmarrn is a must-try for you! And if you can’t just take a quick trip to Austria, you can easily make it at home with our super simple recipe below:
200 g flour
30 g sugar
1 pinch salt
300 ml milk
40 g butter
30 g raisins
1 pinch icing sugar
Mix of red berries
1 glass apple sauce
Blend flour, sugar, salt and egg yolks in a bowl until you get a smooth dough
Beat the egg whites in another bowl until they produce a stiff foam. Fold the foam into the firm dough
Melt the butter in a large pan, slowly pour in the dough and slightly bake it from both sides
Now put the pan into a ore-heated oven and bake it at 180°C for about 10 minutes
Take out the pan and use two forks to rip the "pancake" into many small and uneven pieces
Add the raisins and put it all back into the oven for another minute
Portion the hot Kaiserschmarrn on plates, besprinkle it with icing sugar and red berries and serve it together with the cold apple sauce
Nothing here yet – do you know of anything similar from other countries? Let us know!