FOODS OF LOVE: A Valentine’s Day ‘Mess’

Some of the best meals I share with my family or with my wife alone are breakfasts. Here is one of my favorite breakfast dishes – Kaiserscharrn.

New Marlborough — I’m a chef, which means I work nights, so some of the best meals I share with my family or with my wife alone are breakfasts. Here is one of my favorite breakfast dishes – Kaiserscharrn, which translated means “The Emperor’s Mess.” It was named for Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria, and legend has it that this was his favorite thing to eat.

Why is it called “Mess”? Because commonly it is shredded with a fork and knife and presented at the table as a pile of pieces, but I love the presentation of the whole “pancake.” It is baked in a very hot oven in butter and is laced with caramelized apples, and comes out light and fluffy. Here at Gedney Farm, we have served it both shredded and whole, and we have found that, when we serve it whole, our customers enjoy pulling it apart themselves at the table. When I serve it to my family, I serve it whole, and we all go at it with our forks.Kaiser

Chef Rob Burnell enjoying his own cooking.
Chef Rob Burnell enjoying his own cooking.

I got this recipe from esteemed pastry chef Leslie Miller who, with her husband Brad Wagstaff, is owner and proprietor of Gedney Farm. She still keeps her hand in the making of pastries here.

Because Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, Gedney Farm is celebrating with a “Valentine’s Sunday Brunch.” So it seems appropriate that I give you a breakfast/brunch recipe. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of the cooked dish, but I guarantee that it will look great and taste even greater when you serve it to your sweetheart. This recipe generously serves two, perfect for you to share and enjoy together.

Caramelized Apple Kaiserschmarrn

Peel and core 3 apples and cut into medium dice.

Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in a 12-inch frying pan. (Cast Iron works well.)

Sauté apples in butter until soft. 

Combine and whisk:

 3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pour this batter over the apples and butter in the pan.

Place pan in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are puffy and browning. 

Baste the top of the pancake with additional melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 

Return to oven for 3-5 minutes to melt sugar topping. 

Finally, after removing from oven, squeeze half of a lemon over the pan.  

Serve immediately. Best enjoyed hot.

The outdoor grill at Gedney Farm welcomes guests in warmer weather. Photo: Eric Limon
The outdoor grill at Gedney Farm welcomes guests in warmer weather. Photo: Eric Limon

 

The dining room at Gedney Farm welcomes guests all year round. Photo: Kevin Sprague
The dining room at Gedney Farm welcomes guests all year round. Photo: Kevin Sprague