Today is my birthday. After breakfast, we’re going to drive to get our four new chickens. The coop is (almost) all ready. What a great birthday present! Tomorrow morning– eggs maybe!
In the meantime, I’d better use up the Goat Man’s eggs (from the farmer’s market). As I tucked her in last night, the 3YO requested “that big deyishious pancake that’s as hot as a fire and has apples on top” for breakfast. First time she’s ever pre-requested breakfast, or any other meal, for that matter. Shows a certain ability to grasp the future.
I know there’s lots of recipes out there for what most people call Dutch babies, or puff pancakes. But they all seem unnecessarily complicated or ridiculously rich. This is my whole wheat tweak on my mom’s recipe. It’s super easy, and just a little rich. She always called them German pancakes, and topped them with cooked apples.
If you’ve never had these before, they puff up gorgeously in the oven, and then fall back down as they cool. So plan on bringing that big beauty straight to the table, scalding hot, with everything else read to go. And keep little fingers away. Seriously.
Fiery Deyicious German Pancakes
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup white all purpose
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
Maple Apple Topping
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- a bunch of leftover, half-eaten apples, or 2 big virgins
- maple syurp
Turn the oven to 375. Although the pancake itself is super easy, the order of doing all the other particulars is important, so that everything else is on the table and ready to go when the pancake comes out. Start by slicing up the apples. You can cook them while the cake’s in the oven, but get them sliced up now. I like to use all my kids’ half-eaten apples, which I keep in the fridge until I have a pile. Then I make this pancake, or this pie, or a big pot of applesauce.
Whisk together everything for the batter except the butter, or just throw into the blender and whiz away. Get out an 8 inch cast iron, oven proof skillet or pie pan and set the butter in it. When the oven reaches temperature, stick the pan in. As soon as the butter starts to spit (watch so it doesn’t burn), remove the pan and swirl to coat. Give the batter a stir in case it’s separated, then pour right into the hot pan, it will sizzle and make a big fuss. Pop it into the oven, and then DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN for at least 15 minutes.
Now get those apples cooking. Melt the butter in a large cast iron over medium-high heat, throw the apples in and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Cook five minutes or until about half done, then drizzle on maple syrup. It doesn’t take much, since the apples themselves are very sweet. I probably use 1/4 cup? Ish. Maybe less. Keep the heat high, keep stirring, and the syrup and apple juices will reduce into a lovely ambrosial goo. If the apples still aren’t softened enough, put a lid on and simmer on low until they are.
Meanwhile, if your oven has a window you can actually see through, turn the oven light on and let the kids watch– after ten minutes or so the pancake starts to puff. It puffs, and it puffs, and it puffs! It should look like a crazy crater. When it turns beautiful burnished brown on the upper edges and is set in the middle, it’s done.
Quick! Get everybody to the table, which you should have set while the pancake was baking and the apples were cooking! Present the glory! Cut while still “hot as a fire” and serve big wedges with apples piled on top.
Happy birthday to me!