Apfelpfannkuchen (Apple Pancakes)

Anna Pump, Loaves & Fishes

We always arose before dawn on the farm, had our breakfast, then headed out to deal with our individual chores. By midmorning we were ravenous, and that’s when we would have apfelpfannkuchen — our second breakfast, served with homemade plum jam or fresh peach preserves. I added the touch of Calvados to bring out the apple taste, and now I serve it at home for breakfast, lunch, or brunch.

Yields: 6 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons Calvados
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
6 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 cup unbleached white flour
1½ cups milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons(¾ stick) clarified butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 200ºF.

Sprinkles the Calvados over the apple slices and set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Transfer to another bowl. Pour the egg yolks into the mixer bowl and add the flour. Mix at medium speed until creamy. Add the milk and the vanilla. Mix to blend well. Fold in the egg whites.

Heat some of the clarified butter in a 9-inch skillet. Pour in 1 cup of the batter and cover with about one-sixth of the apple slices. Allow the pancake time to set and brown nicely. Slide it out of the pan, onto a large lid. Then return it to the skillet, apple side down. Sauté, shaking the pan now and then, until the pancake is browned on the other side and the apples seem tender yet firm.

Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, folding it omelet style. Keep it warm in the oven. Repeat the process until you have six apple pancakes.

Sprinkle them with a combination of the cinnamon and sugar and serve.

To turn the pancake (sidebar): Select a handled pot lid which has a relatively flat surface. When the pancake is ready to be turned over, slide it onto the lid, cooked side down. Then, in one simple movement, turn the lid over, returning the pancake to the pan, cooked side up.

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