Franz Joseph I, the longtime emperor of Austria, loved shredded pancakes for both breakfast and dessert, and he helped spread the dish’s popularity throughout Central Europe. Kaiserschmarrn, which translates to "emperor's mess" in German, is a classic Austrian breakfast of crumbled, caramelized pancakes topped with raisins, rum, and a seasonal fruit compote, dusted with powdered sugar.
Eduard Frauneder, Michelin-starred chef and owner of New York City’s Edi & the Wolf, Freud, Schilling, and The Third Man, declares kaiserschmarrn his childhood favorite. Like most kids, Frauneder and his brother preferred sweets over fruits and vegetables. His mother, to boost her children’s daily intake of fruit, snuck seasonal produce like black plums and apples into her kaiserschmarrn compote. Frauneder still tops his shredded pancakes with roasted apricots. He bakes the stone fruit in the oven, so the fruit cooks more evenly. (Note that very ripe apricots will need less time in the oven.)
“I have the smell of the freshly baked kaiserschmarrn with just a hint of rum forever in my nose,” he says. Now you will, too.
Kaiserschmarrn with Roasted Apricot Stew
For the kaiserschmarrn
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
8 egg yolks
8 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup rum-soaked raisins
For the roasted apricot stew
2 pounds apricots, washed and pitted
⅔ cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons apricot schnapps
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon bark
How to Make It
Make the kaiserschmarrn. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients from milk to egg yolks, until fully combined. In a separate bowl, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar to form a meringue. Fold the meringue into the flour mixture.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Pour batter into the skillet and fill until the batter is ½ an inch high. Sprinkle with rum raisins.
Flip after it has been cooked halfway through and break into smaller pieces.
Deglaze the pan with rum.
Make the roasted apricot stew. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together and let sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake all ingredients for 20 minutes until the apricots are soft.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
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