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German Apple Pancake

Serves 4
A 10-inch ovenproof skillet is necessary for this recipe; we highly recommend using a nonstick skillet for the sake of easy cleanup, but a regular skillet will work. You can also use a cast-iron pan; if you do, set the oven temperature to 425 degrees in step 1, and when cooking the apples in step 3, cook them only until just barely golden, about 6 minutes. Cast iron retains heat better than stainless steel, making the higher oven temperature unnecessary. If you prefer tart apples, use Granny Smiths; if you prefer sweet ones, use Braeburns. For serving, dust the apple pancake with confectioners' sugar and pass warm maple syrup or Caramel Sauce (recipe follows) separately, if desired.

½ cup (2 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ¼ pounds Granny Smith or Braeburn apples (3 to 4 large apples), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Maple syrup or Caramel Sauce for serving

1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 500 degrees.

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

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

4. Working quickly, pour the batter around the edge of the pan and then over the apples. Place the skillet in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until the pancake edges are brown and puffy and have risen above the edges of the skillet, about 18 minutes.

5. Using oven mitts to protect your hands, remove the hot skillet from the oven and loosen the pancake edges with a heatproof rubber spatula; invert the pancake onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar, cut into wedges, and serve with syrup or Caramel Sauce.

From Americas Test Kitchen




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Last updated September 16, 2004