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Monday, October 28, 2013

Apples Need a Home? California Apple Pancake To the Rescue! (Recipe)

Do you have some apples in your house that need a home?

The perfect California apples grow on a little tree overhanging our driveway. We planted it there because our yard is pretty shady and we have to tuck in the sun worshippers where we can. Kind of fun though, as we can share the produce with our neighbors.  If it's hanging down on their side, those are their apples!

It's a little golden delicious apple tree and that's perfect for us. Not being big time foodies, there's a limit to how many apples my husband will turn into sauce and can, how many apple crisps he'll make or how many California Apple Pancakes I will bake. Those pancakes are, however, a lovely, simple dish, something I can make quickly and easily. I've been making it since college days, and I never get tired of it. Here's how.

~ ~ ~
California Apple Pancake

Serves 2 -3

Leftovers OK, saved in refrigerator and reheated the next day


 * two skilletsone must be oven proof. I use a good old cast iron skillet for that. The other will go on top of the stove, so whatever works there.
* An oven
Blender or wisk and medium large bowl

Locate your ingredients
* 3 (or more apples) whatever kind you like when they're cooked or that you have handy. Of course I prefer the ones that fall down into my driveway
* 3/4 cup flour
* 3/4 cup milk
* 3 eggs
* Some cinnamon
For the apples - Sugar or Not to taste (maybe 1/4 of a cup or more, or none at all, depends on what you like, and the sweetness of your apples)
* Something to grease a pan with (spray on stuff, margarine, whatever works in your house)

Now do the work

* Turn on your oven to 410 degrees, so it will be ready

Core and Cut up the apples into slices or chunks. I leave the skin on of course - good for you, and we like the taste.

Grease the skillet that goes on top of the stove. (Grease the oven-proof one at the same time so she's ready). Toss in the apples and as much cinnamon as you like (we don't add sugar anymore but you might like it at this stage). As it heats up pour in a little bit of water. Sauté the apples and when there brown enough for you, turn down the heat to simmer, pour in enough water so that they will cook up into cooked apples, not be too wet, and not burn - a judgment call. My husband likes a little apple syrup left on the apples that top off his pancake, I just like the apple pieces.

Work Continues , While your apples are cooking...

* In blender, or with your whisk, beat/froth up all those other ingredients - eggs, flour, and milk
* Turn the heat on the stove top on medium high, pop on your oven-proof skillet, and pour in the mixture. I just leave it on there for maybe 30 seconds, so it helps make a tiny bit of a bottom to the pancake, don't over do that. You just want it to kind of stick on when you swirl the pan. Better to under do this step.

* Pop the skillet into your hot oven.

After 15 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees (with the pan still in the oven). Back another 10 minutes, but check it occasionally to make sure it's not overdone, since ovens vary a bit, don't they? (If you forgot to preheat the oven, you might just bake it a little more. This is not a picky item.)

* When it puffs up into a beautiful ever so slightly golden brown - but mostly still egg colored - it's done!

* Take it out, cut into 2 or 3 wedges and serve with the cooked apples.

~ ~ ~ Variations ~~~
Clearly you can use other seasonal fruit- Oregon Bosc Pears are nice in the winter. You can also experiment with baking the fruit and batter together in the oven. I have a personal-pancake version for one I do in the microwave, where I use 2 eggs, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup flour, and I bake it over chunks of one piece of cut up fruit. I have to take that out and loosen it up several times during the microwaving process, and how it bakes depends on what fruit is in it.

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