Of all the Austrian dessert classics, this imperial one reigns supreme over Alpine menus.
Though Kaiserschmarrn originated in Vienna, it’s not exactly something you’d bring to a kaffeeklatschor that you’d crave on a warm summer day. It is big, it’s easy to make, and it’s a whole lotta rustic. Served right from the frying pan it was cooked in, it’s a jumble of buttery shredded pancake generously dusted with confectioners’ sugar. In other words, it’s best made and enjoyed in a 300-year-old hut in Tyrol.
So that’s how I came to try it at the Gampe Thaya hut, located at 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) in the southern Ötztal Valley. In the summer, Gampe Thaya is also a dairy farm set in a meadow chock-full of cows and Alpine pastures, flora, and fauna. In the winter, it’s a ski-in/ski-out lodge right on the Gampe Alm piste. Regardless of the season, owner Jakob Prantl will welcome you, pour you a beer, and just maybe make you Kaiserschmarrn with his own two (very large) hands.
Note: The possibilities for Schmarrn (translated as “shredded or chopped pancake”) variations are endless! To make Apfelschmarrn (apple) or Kirschschmarrn (cherry), simply add a few thin slices of apple or a handful of pitted and halved cherries to the batter before you pour it into the pan.You can also add 2 tablespoons raisins to the batter, or stir in the finely grated zest of one lemon if you prefer.
Alpine Cooking, by Meredith Erickson is available now.
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup (55g) unsalted butter, melted
- Fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (60ml) grapeseed oil
- ½ cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
- Apple jam or compote and/or
- cranberry jam for serving
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Reprinted with permission from Alpine Cooking, by Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.Photographs copyright © 2019 by Christina Holmes.