First off it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about food. But just because I haven’t been writing about food certainly doesn’t mean that I haven’t been cooking in the last six months. Too the contrary, I remain dedicated to making homemade food for every meal but I’ve been busy with a new job as a local news reporter. So I’ve been writing a lot too, just not about food.
Last weekend I went apple picking in Wisconsin with my family which is one of my favorite fall activities. Fresh, crisp apples picked from the source? Yes please. But now that we are home I’ve found myself awash in apples.
Which brings me to the apple pancake I made this morning. Absolutely delicious. The recipe caught my eye on The Kitchn website because the writer mentioned a restaurant that happens to be right in my town – Walker Brothers Original Pancake House. Let’s just say Chicagoans are a bit obsessed with pancakes, and this particular restaurant draws crowds daily. One of its specialities is an apple pancake. I knew immediately I had to try this recipe.
If you’ve ever made a dutch pancake this is basically the same recipe but with apples, brown sugar and cinnamon spices. I made mine in a cast iron skillet, and with five eggs in the recipe, I was overjoyed when I took the pan out of the oven and it was puffed up to the edges of the pan. The cake sank down as it rested but that initial effect was worth it.
Dutch Baby Apple Pancake
3 medium apples
4 T sugar, divided
1/2 t ground ginger
1/3 C unsalted butter, cut up
1/3 C dark brown sugar
3/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1 C milk (preferably whole)
5 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar with cinnamon and ginger and set aside. Peel, core and cut thick apple slices which should yield about three cups. Put the butter into a cast iron skillet or an 8 X 8 baking dish and place in the oven for about 3-4 minutes, or until melted (it’s helpful to set the timer).
Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the melted butter with brown sugar. Add the apples and then sprinkle the top with the sugar and spice mixture. Put the pan back in the oven to caramelize the apples while you make the batter.
Whisk flour with remaining sugar, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. Continue to whisk the eggs for about two minutes until the batter is foamy.
When you remove the pan from the oven the sugar should be bubbling around the apples. Pour the batter over the apples and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the center is set and the edges are lightly browned.