Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apple Jacks

Apple flapjacks, of course. Back in the days (last week) when I was feeling all homestead-y, I had a show down at the farmer's market with a certain 10-lb. bag of apples. Apparently it prevailed because that bag has been plopped in one of the chairs at my kitchen table, just high enough to peek over the surface and taunt me with its perishability.

Thankfully apples are hearty and, I recently learned, in a plastic bag with a few slits cut in it, will last for weeks in the back of your refrigerator. Hopefully the pioneer spirit will return to me soon and I will engage in some apple saucing or butter-ing, but until then, don't be surprised if those little beauties start showing up with great frequency around these parts.

Here's a perfect apple pancake for a crisp fall morning. Maybe you know or maybe you don't, some secrets to making pancakes: (1) Do not over beat the batter. You want to mix the wet ingredients together as well as the dry, then combine the two just until the dry stuff is moistened. Small pockets of flour are a-ok. This is one of the secrets to fluffiness. (2) Let the batter rest 10 or so minutes. Ever wonder why the first batch of 'cakes is always a throw away and the last ones are perfect? Partly it's you figuring out how hot your pan is, but its also the batter itself. If you give it 10-15 minutes to rest, you'll get more of the perfect kind and less of the give-that-one-to-dad-he'll-eat-anything kind.

Apple Pancakes
serves 2; takes about 20 minutes, including rest

1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk (or just plain milk is ok)
2/3 cup white flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or just 1 c white)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large apple, cored, quartered and grated (leave the skin on--more fiber!)
  1. Whisk egg and buttermilk in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flours, sugar, soda, and cinnamon. Pour dry into wet and using a spatula, mix the two until flours are distributed but NOT fully incorporated--lots of white streaks. Add the apple and continue to stir until evenly distributed. Don't overdo it! Let batter sit 10-15 minutes
  2. With 5 min to go in your wait time, set your preferred pancaking-pan over medium heat and allow to heat up gently.
  3. When your pan is ready, scoop out batter in about 1/4 cup amounts. Use a spatula to flatten into thin circles. Because of the apples, these won't cook as easily or quickly as regular pancakes, so you don't want them to be too thick. Wait for bubbles to appear on surface and flip. You've made pancakes before, you can take it from here.
  4. Serve with real maple syrup or, if you're me, peanut butter!

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