Monday, November 14, 2016

A Taste of Autumn (Recipe Post)

One inescapable sign of autumn is the appearance of pumpkin-flavored everything on the market shelves. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin spice coffee… the list is seemingly endless!

With all due respect to fans of the currently ubiquitous orange vegetable, I’ve always associated autumn with apples: tart, sweet, and spicy. Apple cider, apple dumplings, apple and walnut dressing, and, on weekend mornings, apple pancakes.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the baked apple pancake, sometimes called a Dutch baby, ever since trying one at a local pancake restaurant in San Diego during last summer’s RWA.  Now that fall weather is finally here—after a long and protracted summer—I’m delving into recipes, comparing and tweaking proportions and ingredients to come up with one that produces the most satisfying results: not too wet, not too dry, not too sweet, and loaded with tender spiced apples.

So, straight from Casa Sherwood’s test kitchen, is my take on this breakfast treat!

BAKED APPLE PANCAKE

Batter

4 eggs
1 cup of milk
½ tsp. of vanilla extract
¾ cup of flour
1 Tbsp. of sugar
½ tsp. of cinnamon
¼ tsp. of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground cloves

Topping/Filling

2 medium-to-large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ ” slices (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Macintosh are good choices)
1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
2 Tbsp. of butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. of brown sugar (dark or golden)
2 Tbsp. of sugar
½ tsp. of cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients of batter in a bowl, mix and set aside. Beat eggs and milk together until foamy, then gradually add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add vanilla extract at the end. Batter should be thin and without lumps.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside

Melt butter in cast iron skillet, then add brown sugar, and heat until bubbling. Toss apple slices with lemon juice, then add to the sugar mixture in the skillet, stirring until slices are coated and tender (about 3-5 minutes).

Arrange apples in a single layer on the bottom of the skillet, then pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake pancake in skillet for 20 minutes or until the edges are puffed and brown and the center is fully set. The interior should be tender and moist, but not wholly liquid.

Remove from oven and serve at once. You can top the pancake with butter, syrup, or more cinnamon sugar, if deserved.

Makes 4 generous portions. Enjoy!


So, what tastes like autumn to you?

Pamela Sherwood

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