Apple Pancakes: Apfelpfannkuchen
It is imperative that you use a well-seasoned omelet pan or skillet
with gently sloping sides for cooking these big pancakes, otherwise
they'll stick and be difficult to turn or remove.
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium-sized Golden Delicious or tart cooking apples (about 1 1/4
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4
teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar or Vanilla 10X sugar
For the pancake batter: Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and
salt into a small mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Whisk
the milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla until smooth in a 1-quart
measure. Pour into the dry ingredients, and whisk until creamy.
Cover and let stand while you prepare the apples.
For the apple mixture: Quarter each apple, then peel, core, and
slice each quarter crosswise 1/8-inch thick, letting the slices fall
into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar mixture and lemon juice and
toss well. Melt the butter in a heavy 12-inch skillet over moderate
heat, then let it foam up and subside. Add the apple mixture and
saute 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the water, reduce the heat
to low, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to
moderate and boil, uncovered, shaking the skillet often, for 1 1/2
to 2 minutes, just until all juices boil away. Scoop the skillet
mixture into a 1-quart measure and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 150 to 200 degrees F.
To cook the pancakes: Generously oil the bottom and sides of a
well-seasoned 10-inch omelet pan or spray with nonstick vegetable
cooking spray and set over moderate heat for 1 minute. Remove the
pan from the heat, pour in a scant 1/3 cup of the pancake batter,
and tilt the pan first to 1 side, then to another, until the batter
coats the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer. Set the pan on a
hot pad on the counter, then by hand, arrange 1/2 cup of the apple
slices on top of the batter in the pan, distributing them as evenly
as possible. Pour in another scant 1/3 cup batter, covering the
apples as uniformly as possible. Tilt the pan gently to distribute
the batter more evenly, if necessary.
Set the skillet over moderate heat and cook the pancake, uncovered
for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, 2 minutes
longer, until the pancake has dried around the edge and holes begin
to appear on top. Spray a small, thin-bladed spatula with the
cooking spray, carefully loosen the pancake around the edge, then
shake the pan over the heat several times until the pancake moves
freely. Quickly spray a large, flat round plate with the cooking
spray and ease the pancake onto it right side up. Using potholders
to protect your fingers, invert the omelet pan on the plate, then
invert once again so the pancake is in the pan uncooked side down.
Set over moderate heat and cook the pancake, uncovered, for 2
minutes. Slide onto a large round, ovenproof plate, cover with foil,
and set in the warm oven. Cook the remaining pancakes the same way,
recoating the skillet with cooking spray before each new pancake. As
each new pancake finishes cooking, slide on top of the foil covered
pancake, top with more foil and return to the warm oven. When ready
to serve, slide each pancake onto a heated plate and dust with
Broiler method: Set the broiler rack 6 to 7 inches below the heating
element and preheat the broiler. Follow the basic recipe, but be
sure that the omelet pan or skillet you use has a flameproof handle.
As soon as a pancake has browned 3 minutes in the skillet on top of
the stove, transfer to the broiler and broil 3 to 3 1/2 minutes,
until nicely tipped with brown. Carefully loosen the pancake around
the edge with a spatula, ease right side up onto a large round
plate, cover with foil, and keep warm. Cook the 3 remaining pancakes
the same way. Dust with sugar and serve.
Recipe courtesy Jean Anderson and Hedy Wurz, The New German Cookbook