People who live in warm climates aren’t allowed to eat pancakes.
It’s true: pancakes are for cold winter mornings, still in your pajamas, curled around a space heater and holding your coffee mug close to your face. Pancake batter is basically cake batter and the only way you can justify eating cake at the start of your day is to keep warm; so Floridians, stay away. This recipe is for those of us who saw our breath this morning.
The recipe comes, as most great recipes do nowadays, from the website Food52. While some pancakes have buttermilk (like these beauts from my archives), this recipe is just a simple batter of eggs, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and eggs. What sets them apart is the addition of apples; thinly sliced apples that you caramelize in a skillet with some butter and maple syrup.
You add these caramelized apples to your pancake batter and suddenly everything’s infused with a lovely caramel apple essence. If you’d like, you could probably add cinnamon and nutmeg and create an apple pie pancake effect. But part of what makes these so enjoyable is their simplicity. Oh, and their lightness which you achieve by beating the eggs until they’re extra foamy.
So, to start, just grab 3 granny smith apples, peel ’em, core ’em, and slice ’em extra thin. Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a nonstick skillet, add the apples and when they release their liquid add 1 Tbs of maple syrup. Keep cooking and cooking until the liquid’s gone and the apples start to caramelize; let them turn a deep gold color before taking them off the heat.
Then whisk together 2 cups of flour, 4 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1 Tbs of sugar. Put 2 eggs, 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract, and 1 3/4 cups whole milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat until it’s frothy. Then add the flour mixture on low spead just until the flour disappears. Blend in 1/4 cup melted butter and then the cooked apples. That’s your batter.
Now, you just cook ’em like normal pancakes. Heat about 1 Tbs (or less) of butter in a skillet (I used a cast iron). When it sizzles, ladle in your pancake batter (I did two at once):
As they bubble and get hard around the edges, carefully flip ’em over. Let them cook on the other side (as Amanda says in the Food52 pancake video, the 2nd side cooks faster). Sometimes I squash them down to make sure there’s no uncooked batter in the middle, but that ruins their shape. The choice is yours.
Finally, remove them to a plate, top with powdered sugar and serve with REAL maple syrup (not that synthetic stuff).
A perfect breakfast for a cold winter’s morning. Floridians, go drink some OJ; Hawaiians, go eat a pineapple–these pancakes are for those of us with winters, those of us who are shivering right now. You have your beaches in February, let us have our pancakes.