Friday, September 08, 2006

Puffy Pancake: Now With Apples

You may recall my past ramblings about my obsession with the puffy pancake. Since there's hardly a morning that passes without my thinking that a puffy pancake would be nice for breakfast, I think it's safe to say I'm still obsessed.
Enter a whole new version of puffy pancake love:

That, friends, is an apple puffy pancake, or perhaps apple waspuffy pancake is a better description. But never fear, getting it onto the plate in still puffed form (or not, as the case may be) has absolutely no effect on it's eatability. You'll be happy to know that this one made it from plate to stomach without incident and was insanely delicious.

The basic puffy pancake recipe remains as per my previous post. For this one, you'll also need cinnamon, sugar and an apple that you have readied by peeling, coring and slicing. Personally, I like a mostly tart apple that doesn't turn to mush when cooked. Most importantly, it MUST be fresh and hopefully local. In this case, my choice was a Zestar!, but Haralson is another of my favorites for cooking.

So, in your trusty well-seasoned cast iron skillet--you DID go buy one, right?--, saute the apple slices in a tablespoon or two of butter, adding in maybe 1 tsp. of cinnamon, a grating of fresh nutmeg and a tablespoon or two of sugar. You want the apples to just start to soften and shrink and the sugar to begin to carmelize. With the skillet very hot, arrange them in a single layer and dump the pancake batter over. Pop everything into a pre-heated oven just like before, and in 10 or 15 minutes, you too can have an apple puffy pancake ready for plate and fork. Definitely, definitely serve this baby with butter and maple syrup.

I think the best thing about this fruity version is how the apples around the edges and on the bottom of the pan start to get a little carmel-crisp. And I also love the contrast between the tart, toothiness of the hot apples and the sweetness of the maple syrup. It's pancake bliss.

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