When I discovered how easy it was to make an apple pancake at home, the angels sang. Trust me, you can do this, too. And it all started as a pipe dream from childhood.
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An apple pancake is one of my favorite foods, but I never dreamed I could make it at home. I was so very wrong.
Growing up in Minnesota, there was a breakfast restaurant we loved going to anytime we could. The food was fantastic, but as a kid the best part was the waitresses.
Pannekoeken was their specialty in the Dutch restaurant featuring delft blue kitsch everywhere, a baked apple pancake crispy and soft, sweet and delicate – all at the same time.
When you ordered a pannekoeken, the waitresses ran through the restaurant with it held high in the air, yelling, “Pannekoeken!” as they delivered it.
As good as the pannekoeken were, the fun of watching the order delivered made it even more special. On lucky days, my mom let me add cinnamon ice cream to the top of my pannekoeken.
Most times, I had my pannekoeken plan, but it remains fantastic even without the ice cream. Save your calories where you can, right?
That was months ago, and I’ve played and tinkered with the recipe a lot to find what works best for us. I found I didn’t need as much sugar as I thought (yay!).
I decreased the butter, too, which made it less greasy than my first couple attempts (greasy but yummy). And now? My apple pancake is easy to make, perfect for a weeknight dinner. The eggs provide protein, and there’s little enough sugar that we all feel good about eating it.
Best of all, just like the original Pannekoeken, I can switch up the flavors. Yep, there’s a sour cherry puff pancake recipe coming soon, too. Plus, this bakes in my cast iron pan, further justifying my need for this tool to my husband who resists yet another kitchen gadget!
I also now make mini apple puff pancakes, which are just as tasty and another way to enjoy these yummy flavors in an adorable form.
What kind of apples should I use for an apple pancake?
Ideally, you want to use Granny Smith apples. They are fairly tart and do not lose their shape when baked.
If you do not have Granny Smith, you can use another firm baking apple, but you want to avoid sweeter apples. The tartness from Granny Smith is ideal here.
You can use Crispin or Braeburn if needed, but this is not a recipe where I would ever use Honeycrisp apples.
Do I need a cast iron pan to make Dutch apple pancakes?
You do need one. The heat transfer and heavy pan really are what makes this recipe work.
I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. This is the best size for to make a Dutch apple pancake.
This does not work with another style pan, so please don’t try.
Should I peel apples when I make an apple puff pancake?
I do not peel the apples for this, though you can if you choose to do so. Traditionally, a Dutch apple pancake leaves the peels on.
As they bake, the peels soften, and when you cut into the pancake, they slice cleanly.
What is the best way to slice apples?
You want to core your apples before you slice them. That makes it easier than trying to remove the seeds after you cut the apple open.
You generally want to end up with 16 slices per apple, so if you use the corer/slicer, you want to cut each piece into two slices.
Are apple pancakes a breakfast or dessert?
An apple puff pancake is traditionally a breakfast or a brunch item. It actually has less sugar than you might expect.
But our favorite restaurant offers it up with cinnamon ice cream as an option. So go ahead and enjoy this as a dessert, as well.
No matter what time of day – or night – you eat this, you’ll love it!
How To Make A Restaurant Quality Apple Pancake At Home
Turn oven to 400 degrees, but do not wait for it to preheat.
Add butter to your cast iron pan and place in the oven to melt while you prep the apples. Core and slice the apples fairly thinly; we do 16 slices per Granny Smith.
Once the apples are ready, remove the cast iron pan from the oven and add brown sugar.
Stir to distribute at the bottom of the pan, and layer apples over it. Sprinkle one tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a hint of nutmeg over the apples and return the cast iron skillet to the oven. Note that it is still preheating at this point. Set timer for 10 minutes.
While the apples bake down a bit, make the batter for the apple pancake.
Add flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly and pulling flour from the edges to the center gradually.
This helps ensure you don’t have lumps. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time, whisking between additions.
Continue whisking for two to three minutes. You want the batter foamy and airy. Let the batter rest.
By now, the oven should be fully preheated. Remove the apples from the oven when the timer goes off. Immediately pour the batter over the apples and return the skillet to the oven.
Bake for another twenty minutes. The of the apple pancake will puff up, especially around the edges. It should be golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.
Have you ever had an apple pancake? Did you know you could make them at home?
For the base:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2-3 Granny Smith apples
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
For the batter:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 eggs
- Turn oven to 400 degrees.
- Add butter to cast iron pan and place in the oven.
- Slice the apples fairly thinly.
- Once sliced, remove pan from oven and add brown sugar. Stir and layer apples over it. Sprinkle one tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a hint of nutmeg over apples and return skillet to oven for ten minutes.
- Make the batter: Add flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time, whisking between additions.
- Whisk 2-3 more minutes, then let batter rest.
- Remove the apples from the oven when timer goes off. Immediately pour the batter over apples and return the skillet to the oven. Bake another 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven when pancake has puffed and the edges are a golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.
- This is traditionally made with Granny Smith apples, but you can use another firm apple that won't break down if needed.
- For more tips and hints, be sure to read the full article.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 9g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.
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