When daughter Elizabeth and her husband Brendan phoned one Sunday morning to say they were walking over with my grand pup, Whitman, and they were hungry. I had less than a half hour to throw together something festive for breakfast, a tall order for a refrigerator that had been ignored for the past week and was filled with only the bare essentials: milk, eggs, butter and some Fuji apples in the vegetable bin.
As usual, Cooks Illustrated came through with the goods: a German Apple Pancake. Fifteen minutes later, when the kids walked in the kitchen door, they were met with an aroma akin to apple pie.
It was one of those I-pulled-it-off hostess moments that I’ll probably never have again. I felt so…Ina Garten!
One tip I learned this time around: the only apples I had, Fuji apples, were a tad bit too sweet for our tastes. Next time I’ll use the recommended Granny Smiths, but don’t hesitate to make this if you don’t have Granny Smiths, just use less brown sugar.
And don’t roll this out only for special occasions. My mother used her Grand Baroque sterling silverware all the time because she said life was too short to save the good stuff for someone else. (I now have the Grand Baroque and let me tell you, it’s well worn.)
German Apple Pancake:
1/2 cup flour 1 T. sugar 1/2 t. salt 2 eggs 2/3 cup half-and-half (I used fat-free) 1 t. vanilla extract 2 T. unsalted butter 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, & cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 t. cinnamon 1 t. fresh lemon juice Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and whisk until no lumps remain. Set aside.
In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and add the lemon juice.
Quickly pour the batter over the apples and place the skillet into the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake until the pancake’s edges are puffed above the edges of the skillet and are nicely browned, about 18 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven and loosen the pancake’s edges with a spatula. Invert onto a serving platter, sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and serve.
This serves four very nicely.
As Ina says, “How easy is that?