Monday, September 23, 2013

Apple ring "pancakes"

Somewhere in all of the pumpkin madness, I carved out (zing!) some time for another quintessential fall fruit -- apples!

I tend to forget that apples' time to shine is autumn because they're readily available all year round.  Other than the much-celebrated but blink-and-you'll-miss-them Honeycrisps, nearly every other variety is carried by most grocers.  Maybe we take them for granted.  Heck, I eat at least 5 apples a week.  Love me some apples.

But apples don't seem to garner quite the pomp and circumstance that pumpkins do.  My Pinterest homepage isn't flooded with creative dessert ideas or "Click here for 20 savory pumpkin recipes!"

By the way, is it just me or are those pins totally annoying?  I mean, Pinterest appeals to me because I can see concepts and accompanying pictures and decide whether or not I want to pursue them.  "Clicking here" is one too many clicks for this girl.  I don't care if you've got the most brilliant 15 uses for a toilet paper tube ever, I will never know because you insist upon hiding them from the world.

Whew.  Thanks, I feel better getting that off my chest.

Back to apples.  And certainly the most unique apple recipe I've ever made -- apple ring pancakes!

Cored apples are thinly sliced, coated in pancake batter, and cooked on the griddle just like traditional flapjacks.

But the first bite?  And second and third and so on?  Totally not traditional in the best way possible.  It reminded me of biting into warm apple pie thanks to the cinnamon and nutmeg-spiked batter.

The apple slices are thin enough to soften while the batter cooks and puffs around them.  Sweet, warm, and fork-tender, guys!  Or bite-tender if you can't help but stand over the griddle and sample them before they make it to the plate.  Ahem.  

I loved these even more than I thought I would.  Puffy heart, doodle-on-my-notebook kind of love.

Although they were delectable enough to eat plain, a generous drizzle of maple syrup never did anybody wrong.

Hot diggity, these were delicious!  I couldn't help but think of the possibilities for next time I make them -- a true sign of a successful new recipe.

Slathered with apple or pumpkin butter.  Maybe sandwiched around a layer of peanut butter or Nutella (or both!).

Or topped with a scoop of ice cream, sprinkled with chopped pecans, and a dollop of whipped cream. Sweet... mother...

Did you almost just faint?  I almost fainted.  Because of apples.  Take that, Pinterest.

One year ago: Chicken fajitas
Two years ago: Chicken artichoke pesto panini

Apple Ring "Pancakes"
(adapted slightly from The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook, 2nd Edition)
-serves 2

2 apples (I used Pink Lady, but any kind will do), cored
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar)
Maple syrup, for serving

Slice apples crosswise into 1/8-inch thick rings (use a knife or mandolin).  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Stir in egg and buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated.

Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Dip apple rings into batter, coating completely, and allow excess batter to drip off.  (If batter is too thick, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time.)  Cook apple on skillet or griddle until golden brown.  Flip and cook on remaining side.  Remove cooked apple rings to a plate and cover with foil until ready to serve.  Repeat with remaining rings.  Serve with  maple syrup immediately and enjoy!

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