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Kaiserschmarrn (Fluffy Torn Pancake)

Kaiserschmarrn (Fluffy Torn Pancake) 4.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Aug 5, 2020

Kaiserschmarrn is a charming torn pancake you'll find in Austria and parts of Germany. Whipping the egg whites separately and then folding them in the batter makes for an especially fluffy texture.

We call for a nonstick skillet for easy cooking, but feel free to use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, though monitor it closely and adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning.

This makes for a fun, decadent morning meal. You can serve it as dessert, too. In either case, dust with lots of confectioners' sugar and the fruit sauce (such as apple) or compote of your choice. Roasted or stewed plums, which we are sharing an option for here, are traditional.

The recipe doubles easily.

Make Ahead: The roasted plums can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. The batter needs to rest for 20 minutes before the egg whites are folded in. The dish is best served right after it's made.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • For the roasted plums
  • 1 pound (455 grams) plums, pitted and quartered
  • 1/3 cup (72 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the pancake
  • Scant 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) whole or reduced-fat milk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (42 grams) seedless dark raisins


Make the roasted plums: Position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the plums, granulated sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature. Transfer the plums and juices to a heatproof baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring several times, until the fruit is soft to the touch but not yet breaking up. Let cool.

Make the pancake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, egg yolks, 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar and the salt until completely incorporated and smooth. Let rest for about 20 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer with a large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Pull off the whisk attachment or the beaters and see how the whites look in the bowl and on the attachment. If they flop over, they need more time; if they hold a point, you’re set. In 2 to 3 additions, gently fold the egg whites into the flour mixture using a flexible spatula. Try not to deflate the beaten whites. A few small lumps of whites are okay.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon each of the butter and the oil. Pour about half of the batter into the skillet (it doesn't have to be precise). Sprinkle the batter with half of the raisins. Allow the batter to start to settle, similar to a pancake. The top will be somewhat set, you'll see some bubbles on the surface and the batter may begin to envelop the raisins as it puffs. The bottom should be golden brown as well.

When it's ready, turn the pancake over. This takes some practice — and a large spatula — but if it's not a perfect flip, don't worry, as you're going to immediately shred it. Using your spatula or a wooden spoon, tear the pancake apart into bite-size pieces. Keep turning them to brown the edges some more, but try not to overcook. You still want the pieces to be slightly custardy inside. Transfer the pieces out of the skillet to a large platter or bowl and dust them generously with confectioners' sugar.

Add the remaining butter and oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining batter. If the pancake is getting too dark once the skillet has been over the heat for a while, turn down the heat as needed.

Serve while still warm, with the roasted plums and more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from baking instructor Nikki Phelps.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 310

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 12g 18%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 106mg 35%

Sodium: 81mg 3%

Total Carbohydrates: 45g 15%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 27g

Protein: 7g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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