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German Apple Pancake

February 6, 2012
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One of my favorite parts of the weekend is standing over the stove, drinking coffee, and making something extremely yummy for breakfast.  Usually it’s blueberry pancakes, omelets, french toast, or some sort of potato hash.  And bacon (there’s always bacon).  A couple weeks ago I tried making this German apple pancake, which has now been elevated to several-weekends-in-a-row status.  In fact, I’ve written the recipe down and tacked it to the inside of the spice cabinet door so that it’s even easier to make.

I talked about how much better apples are cooked/baked, and this is another way to use up that last couple apples sitting in fruit bowl that no one seems to want.  The best part about this pancake is the edges, which are crispy and caramelized.  I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t serve myself the piece with the crispiest edges.  All I can say is that this recipe supposedly serves four, but Nate and I always finish the whole thing between ourselves!

German Apple Pancake
From Cook’s Illustrated

A 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet works perfectly for this.  You can also use a non-stick skillet but if it has plastic or rubber on the handle, wrap it in aluminum foil before putting it in the oven.  The last time I made this I only had skim milk, but Nate said it tasted even better than the last one (which had cream added).  So I think it’s safe to say you can just use skim milk if that’s all you have!

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples or Braeburn apples (3 to 4 medium apples), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position; heat oven to 500 degrees.

Whisk to combine flour, granulated sugar, and salt in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, whisk eggs, half-and-half, and vanilla until combined. Add liquid ingredients to dry and whisk until no lumps remain, about 20 seconds; set batter aside.

Heat butter in 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon; cook, stirring frequently with heatproof rubber spatula, until apples are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon juice.

Working quickly, pour batter around and over apples. Place skillet in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 425F; bake until pancake edges are brown and puffy and have risen above edges of skillet, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Using oven mitts to protect hands, remove hot skillet from oven and loosen pancake edges with heatproof rubber spatula; invert pancake onto serving platter (do this immediately, otherwise the sugar will cool and stick to the skillet). Dust with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges, and serve.

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