Makes 4 Servings
Kaiserschmarrn (“the Emperor’s trifle”) is a special treat for a morning when you’ve got time to enjoy a rather self-indulgent breakfast or brunch sweet. Richer versions of kaiserschmarrn, made with more butter, eggs and sugar – as well as a splash of brandy or rum – are often served as a dessert. But rumor has it that this sugary, fruit-topped pancake was created by a breakfast cook in the employ of the Emperor Franz Joseph. Kaiser Franz Joseph, the story goes, awoke well before dawn with a grand case of the munchies after a long weekend of partying. He demanded breakfast in a hurry. And a frantic palace cook, finding the royal pantry pretty bare, quickly threw together a “trifle” from what odds and ends he could muster. And thus was born a much-loved Austrian dish.
Our lightened-up version could easily become a holiday tradition in your house. If you want to experiment a bit more, try adding rum-soaked raisins, sauteed apple slices or chopped almonds. (Note that if you can’t find the caster sugar for this recipe, it’s very easy to make your own. Simply pour regular granulated sugar into a food processor or coffee grinder and pulse until the sugar has a very fine texture.)
- 2 cups plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine granulated sugar)
- 1-3/4 cups low-fat (or skim) milk
- 4 eggs, separated
- Non-stick spray, for cooking
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for dusting
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for dusting
- Plum preserves, for topping
Combine the flour, salt and caster sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk and egg yolks until you have a thick batter. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until very stiff then gently fold into the batter.
Over low heat, coat the bottom and sides of a skillet with cooking spray then pour half of the batter into the pan. Cook over medium-low heat until the pancake is almost set on top and the underside is a golden brown. You’ll begin to see bubbles forming when it reaches this point.
Carefully flip the pancake using a wide spatula, then cook for just a few minutes longer. Be careful not to overcook! When just set, remove it from the pan and cut into wedges. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and powdered sugar and serve with plum preserves on the side. Repeat the process with the remaining batter and serve immediately.
*Nutritional Information includes the plum preserve garnish.