1 Oct 2013
From now until November each weekend you’ll find me attempting to purchase, pick, and otherwise procure my weight in apples. When asked by friends and neighbors whether I’d like some from their parents’ house or their long lost cousin’s, who has a tree they aren’t otherwise using, I’ll say, “yes, as many as you want to send my way,” without hesitation regardless of the number of apples I’m already storing in bags, boxes, and bins around my kitchen and, yes, living room. Such is my love for autumnal fruit.
If I could somehow cause the hands of time to simply repeat September and October on a continual loop – always relishing in the abundance of the harvest season, picking the last of the everbearing berries, savoring the final peach, and delighting as the apples blush on the trees – I would be hard pressed to find fault with such a setup. Never-you-mind all the things that happen in the rest of the year to allow this season to happen, I’d be content living right here over and over and over again.
Along with the overabundance of apples that can be found presently in my small home, you’ll find the windows open during the day to allow the warm air in and closed at night to keep the cool air out. Bonfires seem to come naturally, and as the sun sets each night (earlier and earlier), the smell of wood smoke drifts through the backyard.
A retreat indoors will reveal apples baking or tomatoes simmering as I try to wrap up a small piece of my favorite season and store it in jars on pantry shelves and in the freezer to be available at a moment’s notice to revive the family during the grey winter months. Apples are frozen inside pie crusts and under crisp topping, and then they are served every way I can think of for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacking in between.
Whether you call these puff pancakes, Dutch babies, or pannenkoeken they are a staple in our home, the caramelized apples on the bottom offering a contrast to the custard-like middle and the bready sides. While I serve this as an indulgent weekend breakfast or sometimes as breakfast-for-dinner, it can easily be transitioned directly to dessert by simply adding a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top of the hot-from-the-oven pans.
Maple Crunch Apple Puff Pancakes
YIELD: Makes 2 servings
For the batter:
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted butter
For the apples:
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, thinly sliced
For the crunch:
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup your favorite Uncle Sam Cereal (Original or Rye and Hemp)
Preheat the oven to 425º F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly mix in the milk mixture with the flour until combined. Add the vanilla and melted butter and beat together. Set aside.
Place two 6″ or one 10″ cast iron skillet(s) in the oven. Add a tablespoon of butter to each. Close the oven door and allow the butter to melt completely. Pour the maple syrup over the butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add in the sliced apples and stir lightly to coat with the sauce made by the maple syrup.
Pour the batter over the apples and close the oven door. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pancake edges are golden brown and puffed and the center is set.
While the pancake is baking, combine the last tablespoon of butter and the maple syrup in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Cook until bubbly. Stir in the Uncle Sam cereal. Serve the pancakes fresh from the oven with the crunch topping spooned over the center.
ShainaCheck out my latest posts here