Apple Pie Pancakes
It’s no mistake that we have a week themed around comfort foods. I’m a fan of most dishes categorized as comfort–foods like mac and cheese, pancakes, tuna casserole, apple pie or grilled cheese. These meals are like my jeans from 2006 that slouch in the perfect spots (read: oversized giving the illusion of weight loss) or my Zac Posen for Target cotton “varsity” pullover that has the two, dime-size holes over the left boob. (Seriously, a tank top works underneath.) And, unlike these worn and over rotated items in my closet, my family (or myself) never tire of these dishes. (You’re not wearing that pullover out are you?) Comfort foods can be anything to anyone as they are the meals from your life that are nostalgic and sentimental–bringing back all those warm and fuzzy memories of the Summer you worked as a counsellor at a sleep away camp in the Catskills eating cold, processed grilled cheese sandwiches with canned tomato soup as 20 8-year olds fought, cried and whined around you at the table. Ok, not that one, but you get what I mean.
For me, my true comfort dish is pancakes. I grew up eating them as often as my mother would allow, they were the first dish I learned to cook and my family never gathers without having a meal that includes them. We’ve tried every recipe, made every addition and shown a few box brands the door. So there was no way I was going to trot out any recipe other than cakers this week, but I needed something new.
There is nothing exceptional about apple pancakes. But apple pie pancakes? That idea sounded good. Besides apple pie is another great comfort food, and it’s also the ultimate American dish. As an American living in Canada, it sometimes a little annoying to me that my daughter hears ‘Oh Canada’ every morning during her school announcement. It’s not because I don’t love Canada (I love Canada, Ok. Don’t get upset.) but more because I really love my country too and I don’t want its traditions lost on her. So we sing it at home and eat apple pie pancakes. Not a bad deal really. The only drawback is that I couldn’t find a way to pack a buttery crust into the recipe too.
What I did manage to do with this recipe is achieve the perfect pancake. No kidding. My husband is always talking about how my pancakes are too dense, too thick but not these babies. They’re light and airy and just the right size. Every Saturday we visit a little cafe that serves the most amazing pancakes–light, fluffy and with a super taste that I always wanted to replicate. So when I made-up this recipe and served them to Scarlett she confirmed what I’d been hoping for: they tasted exactly the same. The addition of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg give them their apple pie flavor and the buttermilk gives them their airy texture. If you opt in for the carmelized apple topping then you really feel like you’ve cut yourself a slice of a decadent pie. So if you’re looking for a brunch recipe this weekend or just want a way to put a smile on your family’s faces give these a try. I promise they won’t disappoint and will taste a whole lot better than that other dish the American’s made famous–the Big Mac.
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Topping (optional)
- 1 Gala apple, peeled and cut into thin, even slices
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In a medium size bowl, whisk milk, buttermilk, egg, applesauce, butter and vanilla extract.
Combine wet ingredients into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
(Don't over mix the batter, in other words you can leave some lumps, since overworking it will cause the gluten in the flour to be released causing chewy pancakes.)
Let your batter rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of butter into a skillet over medium heat.
Allow butter to melt and for the pan to get nice and hot.
Remove batter from the refrigerator.
Working in batches, ladle batter into skillet and cook pancakes until bubbles appear on surface.
Flip and cook another minute or two.
Remove from skillet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat until you've used the batter.
In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat and mix in the sugar.
Add the apples and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
Cook the apples until they are tender crisp, about 4 minutes.
Plate the pancakes and serve with a tablespoon of the apple topping with a side of maple syrup
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