“With ‘Schmarren’ dough, you can really know if a woman has a heart.”
Tiroler Kaiserschmarren (or, Kaiserschmarrn) literally translates into “emperor’s mess” — and you bet there is a reason for that. Legend has it there once lived an Austrian king and queen who traveled through the Alps and tired from their long journey, stopped by a farmer’s hut for a warm meal. It wasn’t every day a king stopped by for a bite. The farmer was nervous. He attempted to make a simple pancake, but his shaky hands led to a shredded and broken version. In an attempt to win back presentation points, he topped “the mess” with sugar and plum jam. The king loved it, and so Tiroler Kaiserschmarren was born.
This is a beautiful example of a mistake which led to a greater outcome — in this case, one of Austria’s most beloved desserts.
As we worked our way through the recipe the first time years ago (it was from a quite traditional Austrian cookbook, gifted by an old Austrian friend of the founder), it was a romantic adventure within itself. Austrians are masters at improvising and are a notably intuitive, practical and no-fuss culture. That first recipe was a reflection of that. The directions included something called a dag (a tablespoon plus a little), etwas Salz (something of salt, don’t worry), warm milk (but “not too warm”) and obscure directions that somehow worked out perfectly. Even the recipe was like magical riddle. That’s Austria. Over the years, as the Austrian region of Tirol steadily became a beloved home away from home, we have collected magical flecks of Tirolean wisdom to make it even better.
Our founder Kortney has made Tiroler Kaiserschmarren countless times whenever her heart needed simple comfort; we hope it becomes the same for you.
- Flour (250-300g flour)
- Sugar (4 Tablespoons)
- Egg Yolks, Beaten (6)
- Milk, Warm (400ml)
- Butter, Melted (200g)
- Egg Whites, Stiff (6)
- Vanilla Extract (2 Tablespoon)
- Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C
- Separate egg yolks from egg whites into two separate bowls. Beat egg whites until stiff, white peaks form. Put aside. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Add egg yolks, milk and butter. Mix together well until a thick batter forms. Fold in stiff egg whites. Optional: fold in raisins to finished batter.
- Butter a cast-iron skillet generously and put on medium heat. Pour in batter so it’s 1/2 inch thick.. Allow to cook for 5 minutes until bubbles form on surface and flip. Note: this is much like making a pancake, just a giant, single and more more needy pancake. Don’t be afraid to make a mess of it.
- Once flipped, keep in cast iron and put into oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Gently break apart with spatula or plastic spoon. Top with powdered sugar, serve with jam (bonus traditional points if plum jam) and/or applesauce. Share and enjoy.
Back in the Alps, they often leave it in the cast iron skillet and break it apart (much like that nervous farmer); we choose to maintain this beautiful tradition. Tiroler Kaiserschmarren often includes raisins, so simply add them to the batter before pouring into skillet if you are a fan.