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12 July 2012

Kaiserschmarrn with Frutti di Bosco & Wild Blueberry Sauce and the Dolomite Lakes

A year ago.  After the second afternoon that we had been waiting outside the closed Baita Fraina, we already had a feeling there was something not right.  This place has always been a part of our itinerary while in the alps. It's a restaurant that remains open in the afternoon to serve their delicious kaiserschmarrn.  It is an Austrian pancake dish (but also served in other countries too), cooked with raisins, nuts or apples, shredded to pieces and served with various fruit sauces or compotes. 

Needless to say, it's one of the highlights of our holiday.  When my husband introduced me to this dish years ago, I was hooked.   It is usually served with a red currant (or other kinds of berries) compote and completely snowed in with icing sugar.  It's marvelous, I'm telling you. 

So imagine our inconsolable disappointment when, after two afternoons of waiting for it to open, we learned that the management has changed and they don't serve kaiserschmarrn anymore.   It broke our expectant appetites (and our hearts too).  Some changes are not easy to accept. 

This year, we kept on passing the sign indicating the way to the baita, that after the umpteenth time, I succumbed to the craving and declared one idle afternoon that I will make some kaiserschmarrn to take back the wonderful taste of the pancakes.  It took me some time to look for the best recipe until I found the recipe of Fior di Frolla which was adapted from Anneliese Kompatscher's La Cucina nelle Dolomiti.

Lago Ghedina
I made my own sauce instead of using a bottled frutti di bosco compote that had been sitting in the fridge.  Since I had a lot of fresh wild blueberries and I loved the sauce that I made for the lemon polenta cake that I recently posted, I made another batch.  Then I sprinkled it with the fresh berries that I also had in the fridge.  They always come to good use other than mixing them with gelato alla vaniglia.  I just didn't have any icing sugar at the chalet to sprinkle on the pancakes.  If I did, I would have covered them in white too.

The verdict?  It was very good!   I found a way to fill up the void that the baita left in our complaining tummies. 

Lago Ghedina
Most lakes are beautiful and the Dolomites has its own share to show off.  Here are some that we visited over the past years. 

Top: Lago di Misurina   Bottom: Lago di Braies
Top: Lago di Valparola    Bottom: A tiny lake on top of Passo Giau
Top: Lago di Mosigo   Bottom: Lago d'Ajal
Top: Lago di Auronzo   Bottom: Lago di Landro
Lago Ghedina

Kaiserschmarrn with Frutti di Bosco & Wild Blueberry Sauce

adapted from Fior di Frolla's Classic Kaiserschmarren recipe (In Italian)

Serves 4

  • 500 ml. milk
  • 50 g. fresh cream
  • 200 g. flour "00", sifted
  • 1/2 lemon, zest only
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks + 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 16 g. zucchero vanigliato (vanilla sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • white sugar
  • icing sugar
  • frutti di bosco (fresh berries)
  • peanut oil (or any oil)
For Blueberry Sauce:
  • 200 g. wild blueberries (regular blueberries work just fine)
  • 100 g. white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. To make blueberry sauce, put together the blueberries, sugar and water in a saucepan.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Set aside to pour on kaiserschmarrn. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the milk, cream, vanilla sugar, white sugar, lemon zest and sifted flour until uniform.   Add eggs and egg yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth.  
  3. In a second bowl, beat egg whites in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer until they form firm peaks.  Add the salt while doing this.
  4. Mix egg whites with the mixture in the first bowl delicately until you obtain a  homogenous mixture.
  5. In a non-stick pan, heat a little bit of oil.  Pour the batter and sprinkle the raisins.  Cook until slightly brown.
  6. Using a spatula, divide the "pancake" into four parts by making a cross.  Then turn each part to cook the other side. 
  7. Using a couple of wooden spoons, chop the "pancake" to small pieces.  
  8. Add  white sugar and butter, sauteing a bit to caramelize the sugar.  
  9. Transfer to serving plates.  Sprinkle with icing sugar, frutti di bosco and blueberry sauce. 
  10. To be able to serve all of them warm, keep the cooked kaiserschmarren in the oven at around 100 degrees Celsius, being careful not to brown it.