Pretzels are my obsession. I like all of them, including soft Auntie Anne’s ones offered in most American malls and airports. No wonder pretzels were my point of interest during the trip to Hessen and Reinland-Pfalz states in Germany and Alsace region in France. Those I loved. The recipe below is my favorite version of homemade pretzels adjusted to locally available ingredients.
A friend of Shuvalovs family in California, Klavdia Motovilova was using this recipe as a volunteer to make Russian crepes — blini — for the guests of annual Russian festival in February, organized by the Russian Center in San Francisco. For years, many Californians had a chance to enjoy these amazingly delicate crepes during Maslenitsa. My friend Anna Derugin was lucky to team up with Klavdia Motovilova and save the recipe. Klavdia is 90+ years old now, still in good health, but doesn’t volunteer anymore. With her permission, I am very grateful for the chance of being able to add this treasure to my online collection and make it available for more home cooks to enjoy.
“Katya, it’s too early to make them! Danes would think you are crazy…” laughed my friend from Denmark, when I shared a picture on Facebook. A Christmas treat in Denmark, this wonderful pancakes can be enjoyed any time of the year in Texas, I say! Æbleskiver (appleskives) are traditional Danish pancakes. The name in Danish means “apple slices.” But because they are spherical, it make more sense to me to think about them as pancakes in a shape of an apple.
Naturally gluten-free, with intense nutty corn flavor when cooked fresh, they are always a crowd pleaser in soft tacos or enchiladas. It is practically impossible to find them in stores, because common believe is they have to be cooked and eaten as soon as possible. Most of the time they are cooked stuffed. The recipe is very simple and it is easy to make blue corn tortillas at home. You don’t need any special cooking skills. You need tortilla press and blue corn flour.