You know those foods that warm a special little nostalgic nook, or as my mom calls it the cockles of your heart? The smell alone sends you flipping through those mental photo albums back to your old home or to a younger, less worn family.
For me, German Pancakes are one of those foods.
One bite and I can see my Dad’s seasoned farmer hands gripping the mixing bowl and hear the sound of the spoon scrapping the side. I can smell the sweet and woodsy smell of Old Spice as it converges with wafts of maple syrup and butter, greeting the sunrise with a tantalizing dance. One look and I am practically licking the sticky-sweet sap off my fingers with each warm bite of fluffy egg batter perfection.
Suffice it to say, I love any chance that I get to crack my knuckles and whip up these beauties.
With a bushel of freshly picked apples staring me in the eye I had no choice but to turn them into a spiced German apple pancake.
After the royal treatment of sugar, brown butter and all of my favorite fall spices, those apples were ready to give that German pancake a big ‘ole hug.
For you it may be breakfast. But for me, it’s memories.
Spiced German Apple Pancakes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
2 granny smith or pink lady apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons apple cider
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
5 tablespoons of butter, separate uses
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Soak the sliced apples in the apple cider and lemon juice for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Add in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and toss the apples.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan. Cook the apples in the melted butter just until softened – about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron pan or other oven-safe pan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Cook the butter just until the milk solids start to turn golden brown and smells nutty.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and kosher salt.
- Add the apple mixture into the brown butter in the cast iron pan and spread them out evenly. Immediately pour in the egg batter.
- Cook the pancake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, jam, bananas – whatever you want!
Try making these in a larger 9×13 pan to get more height with the pancake.