Thursday, 8 December 2011

Baked Apple Pancakes

So how have you been? Has your flat transformed into Santa's Grotto or something along those lines yet?
We decided to embrace the Christmas spirit on sunday and rather than making sweet potato pancakes we made baked apple pancakes. I don't know about you but there is very little that makes me happier on a cold winter evening than baked apples. And these pancakes give you the same warm and fuzzy feeling on the inside that baked apples give you (or is that just me?) without having to wait forever while the apples bake away.
I think you should make these this weekend and while you are in the kitchen, how about you listen to Frankie Sumatra's Christmas Cocktails (anything he touches turns to gold and this is no exception). Oh, and while you are sitting in your hopefully very cosy kitchen, send me some warm thoughts because I will probably be freezing my fingers off in Stubai this weekend.

Baked Apple Pancakes

3 Apples (mine were fairly medium)
2 tbsp Orange Juice
A few drops Almond Extract
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves (and whatever other spices you can think of that you can find that remind you of Christmas)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
350 ml Buttermilk
225 g Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
50 g Sugar
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
Vegetable Oil or Butter 

Peel and grate the apples. If you are like me and can't go near anything resembling a grater without trying to dismember yourself, the trick is to keep grating and finishing the apples before you bleed out.
Then you transfer the grated apples and orange juice into a small saucepan and heat things over a medium heat. While the apples heat up you can go on a hunt for band aids. Give the apples 5 to 10 minutes so they soften but don't turn into applesauce.
Add the maple syrup, some almond extract and some spices (I kept adding stuff so I don't have a clue how much I added in the end). You want the apple mix to taste the way baked apples do so be generous with the spices.
Add the buttermilk and then the eggs.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then fold in the wet mix (don't worry if there's still some lumps left).
Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. This time it is really important that you keep the heat on the low side of medium because the apples will soften even further as the batter heats up and if you bake the pancakes too quickly they will burn on the outside while the inside is nowhere near done.
Heat some butter or oil in the skillet and drop a few spoonful of batter in there for each pancake (I prefer small pancakes because they seem to bake more evenly throughout  with the pans I use).
Be patient while the pancakes sit in the pan, I don't think I have ever waited that long for pancakes to be done but it was well worth the wait. They will be softer than plain pancakes because of the apples but if you are worried that they are not quite done but that they are getting starting to look more like charcoal than pancakes, you might want to heat your oven to 100˚C and give them another 10 minutes or so in there while you make the remaining pancakes.
These lovelies love to be drowned in more maple syrup while they are still warm but they also make a perfect monday morning lunchbox addition :)
I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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