Austrian Desserts: Kaiserschmarrn

Ingredients (per person as a main, for two as dessert)

3 eggs
100 g flour
1 tablespoon sugar
some vanilla
˝ a teaspoon of salt
125 mL of milk
100 g butter

What Kaiserschmarrn Pancake is

The most legendary of all Austrian desserts: Kaiserschmarrn is something like a torn omelette. Its origin, in fact, is somewhat legendary itself: Torn omelettes ("Schmarrn") already had a longstanding tradition when Austria's last "real" emperor, Franz Joseph I demanded one such thing for dessert. His cook quickly created this simple Schmarrn from few ingredients. Inspired by the milk, he named it "Käser Schmarrn" (Cheesemaker's Schmarrn), which the old emperor misunderstood as "Kaiserschmarrn" (Emperor's Schmarrn).

Since you don't disagree with an emperor, the dish became known as just that. "Schmarrn" is also used in colloquial German like "rubbish" in English, describing inaccurate information or stories. I think that the legend of the name Kaiserschmarrn is just that…nevertheless, it makes a good story.

How to prepare Kaiserschmarrn Pancake

It might be a bit challenging at first, but I find my grandmother's recipe surprisingly resistant to failure. Mix yolks, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and milk to a liquid, but viscous dough. Beat the egg white until thoroughly stiff. Mix dough and egg white gently, once the butter has melted and is hot in the pan. Then pour the dough into the pan and fry it like an omelette at low heat. Sprinkle raisins over the omelette. Try to turn it after a while (never mind if it breaks). Fry the other side. Then tear it into small pieces (between 2 and 5 centimetres) and bake it properly. Serve it with icing sugar on top and - ideally - "Zwetschkenröster", a kind of plum chutney.

More Austrian Recipes

Cooking Measures Conversion Tool

Desserts & Sweet Meals: Kaiserschmarrn - Topfenpalatschinken pancakes - Topfengrießknödel - Potato dough for Mohn- and Nussnudeln - Pofesen - Apple Strudel - Topfenschmarrn - Topfenstrudel - Wuchteln - Germknödel - Reisauflauf - Salzburger Nockerl

Cakes & Tarts: Altwiener Topfentorte - Biscuit Dough - Brandteigkrapferl - Marmorgugelhupf - Linzertorte - Malakowtorte - Metternichtorte - Sachertorte - Zwetschkenkuchen

Christmas Cookies: Hamburger Schnitten - Haselnuss Makronen - Ploberger Schnitten - Lebkuchen - Mürbe Doppelte - Früchtelebkuchen - Rumkugeln - Vanillekipferl - Kokosbusserl

Converting Kitchen Measures: US vs. Metric

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