I grew up with an apple tree in my backyard. That may explain, at least in part, why I get so excited this time of year when the farmer’s markets are filled with bins of bright, colorful apples in a dizzying array of varieties. I am drawn to the rosy orbs as a moth to a flame, and I frequently arrive home from my farmer’s market Saturday with bags of the beautiful fruit.
I love to cook with apples. So far, I’ve gotten no objections from my family. I love their firm feel in my hand as I peel them, and the tart scent that arises when I slice them. I love their crisp snap, and the scents of complimentary spices, reminding me of fall. Apple season is here, and dang it, I couldn’t be more excited!
When I cook with apples, my dogs line up in the kitchen to “help.” As I prepare my apples, I cut them tiny, crisp slices. I have an insanely crazy affection for the sound of my dogs chewing on crispy apples.
While many varieties exist, I have a few favorites for cooking. Usually, I mix up a few varieties in any recipes in order to obtain variations in texture and sweetness that adds a delicious complexity. Some of the varieties I particularly enjoy include:
- Pink Lady
- Lady Alice
Over the next several weeks, I’m guessing you will be seeing some apple recipes appearing in this blog. I hope you’ll indulge me and pardon my enthusiasm. I hope you’ll even venture out to a farmer’s market to take advantage of fall’s bounty and then try some of the recipes I offer. Today, I’m going to start with a favorite that I share with my kids when I get on one of my several weeks’ long “pancakes from around the world” kicks where every weekend I make pancakes ostensibly from another country.
German Apple Pancake
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. white sugar
- 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- Dash salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 to 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 large apple, sliced (I like honeycrisp for this, though any apple will do)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a blender or food processor, beat eggs.
- Add flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, and salt and process to combine. Leave blender running.
- Combine wet ingredients (milk, vanilla, 2 tbsp. unsalted butter), and pour slowly into running blender or food processor until ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
- In a 12″ skillet you can put in the oven, heat 3 tbsp unsalted butter to bubbling.
- Sprinkle part of the sugar in the butter and arrange apple slices over the top. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of apple slices.
- Saute over medium high heat for a few moments, until apples begin to soften.
- Carefully pour the batter over the top of the apples and move the pan to the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 375 and bake an additional ten minutes.
- Slice into wedges and serve, sprinkled with powdered sugar.