Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Apple Šmoren with Brandied Cranberries: A Central European Breakfast Treat

Apple Šmoren with Brandied Cranberries

Imagine a cross between an omelet and a pancake, cooked and chopped into a mound of egg-rich crumbles, and sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar.

To an American, this might sound odd. But in Central Europe, it is a classic comfort food that Slovenians call šmoren. They probably borrowed it from their Austrian neighbors, who make a somewhat more elaborate dish called kaiserschmarrn or schmarren.

Whatever you call it, this dish is a sweet, simple treat that works equally well for breakfast or brunch.  Dressed up, it makes a fine dessert.

I have been experimenting with Slovenian šmoren ("shmoren") for the past six months.  I discovered that the simplest version can easily double as a crèpe or palačinke batter.  A more complicated approach is to separate the eggs.  I even invented a healthy variation called buckwheat breakfast crumbles.  But I always used a plain batter, even though some traditional recipes do add apples and raisins.

With fall approaching, I felt like creating a fancier version with two seasonal favorites, apples and cranberries.  For a sophisticated note, I added a splash of brandy.

Enjoy!  Or, as Slovenians say, Dober Tek!

Apple Šmoren with Brandied Cranberries 

1/4 c. flour
dash of salt
 2 t. sugar
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced

2 T. dried cranberries
1 T. brandy

2 T. butter

2 T. confectioner's sugar
2 t. cinnamon
Greek yogurt

Before beginning, macerate the dried cranberries with the brandy in a small dish.  In another small dish, mix sugar and cinnamon.

To prepare šmoren batter:  Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add milk and eggs.  Blend well, until no lumps remain.  Stir in apples and cranberries along with brandy.

Heat butter in a 10 inch skillet, preferably non-stick.  When butter begins to bubble, pour in the šmoren batter.  Let it cook until the bottom begins to brown.  Now you need to scrape, turn, and chop!  The goal is to have a dish of eggy brown crumbles or chunks, and not a pancake or an omelet.

When done, remove from heat and put the šmoren in a nice serving bowl.

To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.  Serve with Greek yogurt, garnished with a few cranberries.

Makes 1 or 2 servings.

batter, brandied cranberries, and apple

šmoren, cooking

why you should use a nonstick skillet!

ready to serve

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