I know, I know…it’s been a month of Sundays since I last posted a weekly recipe. And I am not guaranteeing there will be one next Wednesday. It isn’t that I haven’t cooked. It isn’t that I haven’t tried new recipes. It isn’t that I’m hoarding all the good ‘uns for myself. It’s just been a (lack of) time thing. And a run of new recipes that didn’t quite measure up to my pass-along standards: if I wouldn’t fix a recipe again, I’m not touting it to my friends.
And this recipe is not one that I created. I can’t take credit for having spotted it, either. To tell the truth, I didn’t even make it.
But I ate it and found it scrumptious and worth sharing. And I will make it sooner than later because it’s a great holiday or weekend breakfast centerpiece. My mom gets full credit for spotting it, realizing its potential and making a double batch for us last weekend. Thanks, mom!
Notice it is singular – THE pancake, not pancakes, plural. It combines the high-rise qualities of a Dutch baby with a quivering custard base and cinnamon-apple goodness. If you don’t have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, any oven-proof dish will do as long as it can withstand a 400-degree oven.
THE Apple Pancake
3 cups chopped apples (2-3 medium apples, Granny Smith are preferred)
4 tablespoons white sugar divided (3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, optional
Heat oven to 400. Peel, core and quarter and slice apples to yield 3 cups. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and ginger; set aside.
Place butter cubes in deep 8-inch cast iron skillet or 8×8 baking dish. Place in oven for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle 1/3 cup brown sugar over the melted butter. Spread the apples on top of the sugar/butter mixture. Place the pan back in the oven to soften the apples and caramelize the sugar; the sugar should be bubbling around the apples.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk flour with remaining tablespoon of sugar, along with the salt and nutmeg. Gradually add the milk and whisk until smooth. Beat in vanilla, then the eggs one at a time. Beat by hand for two minutes or until foamy. Let the batter rest for five minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter over the top of the caramelized apples.
Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes or until center is set and the sides are brown and crisp. The pancake will rise dramatically but slump as it cools. Serve with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar if desired (or plain – it is plenty sweet.)
Makes 3-4 servings. If doubling, use two separate pans – do not try to make it in a larger pan. Original recipe and mouth-watering photos are here.
(If you read the backstory found within the link, you’ll know we also owe a debt of gratitude to the Original Pancake House for inspiring this new breakfast favorite.)