German Apple Kaiserschmarrn


After embracing my Austrian roots with Wiener Schnitzel, it’s time to move over to Germany!

I always think of German cuisine to include a lot of hearty meats and vegetables. Not the most inventive cuisine in my mind. You’ve got the “wursts” or sausages – bratwurst, currywurst, weisswurst (which are all fun to say).  You’ve got dishes like Sauerbraten or a sour pork roast and sauerkraut. But then you’ve also got regional German cuisine like that of Bavaria, where pretzels are famous for example; or that of Swabia in the south west whose specialty is Maultaschen, a type of ravioli.

But, while I love sauerkraut and bratwurst, I decided to go to the sweeter side of things. Now, in all technicality, this dish, Kaiserschmarrn, a scrambled sweet pancake dish, is actually Austrian. It was named after Austrian emperor Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria who ruled from 1848 to 1916 and who loved the dish. While the name comes from Kaiser (emperor) and schmarnn (scrambled), schmarnn has also been perceived as “folly” or “nonsense” giving the dish a silly, whimsical feel.

But anyway, while this dish might be Austrian in origin, it is a popular dish in Germany…  plus this dish was too delicious to pass up.  For your Kaiserchmarrn, you’ll need milk, eggs, flour and sugar. I decided to sauté some chopped apples in a little butter and add that to my pancake mixture.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / German Apple Kaiserschmarrn

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / German Apple Kaiserschmarrn

Scramble and serve with a little apple sauce (or other fruit compote) and a little whipped cream (if you’re feeling so inclined).

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / German Apple Kaiserschmarrn

I dare say, I even like Kaiserschmarrn better than traditional American pancakes! Plus they are less pressure than pancakes… similar to an omelet, if you mess up, just scramble it et volia!

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / German Apple Kaiserschmarrn

And I should note, if you are in the NYC area, there’s some great German/Austrian fare. Austrian restaurants Edi and the Wolf and Seasonal, both owned by chefs and restaurateurs Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban serve higher end Austrian classics. And for all your German beer garden needs, there’s the Biergarten at the Standard Hotel right near the High Line or Radegast in Williamsburg.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Radegast

But in the meantime, I’ll stick with the home cooking. From Germany, I think I’ll head over to Eastern Europe for some pieorgi and stuffed cabbage so stay tuned!

Apple Kaiserschmarrn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • whipped cream
  1. Beat milk and eggs together until well combined. In a separate bowl combine flour and sugar, then pour milk and eggs over dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in sliced apples.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and add butter. Once butter has melted add batter and cook undisturbed until bottom has begun to brown, about 4 minutes. Using a spatula, scramble the pancake batter, then allow to settle and brown on the bottom again. Repeat until batter is cooked into many slightly browned sections.


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