Kaiserschmarrn (or Kaiserschmarren)
Kaiserschmarrn (Kaiser = German, meaning emperor; Schmarrn = Austrian German, meaning mess or nonsense), which can be translated as "the emperor’s mess", is a traditional Austrian dish, which is renowned far across the Austrian borders.
There are numerous stories about the recipe's origin, most of which center on Emperor Franz Josef I, who was Emperor of Austria from 1848 to 1916.
One story says that the dish was first cooked by a farmer’s wife who was visited by the emperor as he was in need of shelter because of bad weather. The farmer’s wife made a common "Holzfällerschmarrn" (Holzfäller = German, meaning woodchopper; Holzfällerschmarrn = a sweet dish made from a dough of flour and fat), which she refined with eggs, milk, and fruits.
Another of the numerous stories about the origin of Kaiserschmarrn says that it was invented by the Emperor’s personal cook. The cook's pancakes did not turn out the way they were supposed to, and that is why he just scrambled his pancakes, added cherries and raisins, put icing sugar on top and served the dish to the Emperor as a new creation.
Some people also say that the Emperor liked pancakes for dessert. Whenever the pancakes did not turn out the way the cook wanted them to be, because they were too thick or because they ripped, they were served to the Emperor's servants as Kaiserschmarren (a mess that was not good enough for being served to the Emperor).
Today we do not care which is the true story, because one thing is for sure: no matter what, Kaiserschmarrn is always delicious! And with the following recipe everybody will be able to make his own Kaiserschmarrn.
According to my mom and grandma (who, of course, make the best Kaiserschmarrn) you need the following ingredients for 2 to 3 servings.
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups (350 grams) flour
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) butter or margarine
- icing sugar to put on top before serving
- Separate the whites from the yolks.
- Put yolks, milk, sugar and salt in a bowl and whip with an eggbeater.
- Fold in the flour while stirring thoroughly until the mass is pasty.
- Now add the raisins to the mixture.
- Whisk the whites until they are stiff and then fold them in.
- Melt the butter or margarine in a pan and add the dough.
- Wait until the pancake gets solid at the bottom.
- Then divide the mass into quarters with a wooden spoon or spatula and turn them over.
- After a little while start scrambling the quarters.
- Now keep turning the Kaiserschmarrn until it is done.
Serve with icing sugar on top.
Traditionally Kaiserschmarrn is served with stewed plums. But it is also possible to serve it with other compotes or jams like apple compote or cowberry jam.