The word apple goes hand-in-hand with a vivid image of the iconic Red Delicious apple, a shiny, picture-perfect beauty, the poster fruit for Autumn. But true appledom extends far beyond that one variety. Over 7500 different cultivars of apples are now available, with more being developed every year for cooking, eating and making cider. Apples are not native to the New World. They originated in Central Asia and even today China produces roughly half of the world's apple crop. That said, Washington State is justifiably proud of its record of producing more than half of all apples grown in the United States for fresh eating. This week I'm especially fond of Honeycrisp for eating fresh and Granny Smith for baking purposes.
Apples are an especially welcome Fall treat as local berries and stone fruits disappear from the market. The versatile apple shines whether eaten raw as a snack, added to salads and sandwiches, or used as a main ingredient or a sweet filling in all sorts of baked goods and breakfast foods.
This week we had our first Apple Pie Swedish Pancakes. Saturday's breakfast celebrated apples, filled the kitchen with the enticing aroma of apple pie, and was on the table in under 30 minutes. Woo Hoo! Think apple pie substitute, incorporating all of the flavors and fragrance without the hassle of preparing a pie crust. Oh yes, that was a very good move before my first cup of coffee.
We often enjoy apple-filled crepes, but this is the first time that I've seasoned the pancake batter with apple pie spices. Mmmmm, these thin pancakes were light, flavorful and totally applelicious even before I added apple filling. Folded and filled they were even better. This recipe is a keeper.
Apple Pie Swedish PancakesMakes 8 to 10 pancakes in a 9-inch skillet
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk, + more as needed to thin batter
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice Mix (I use Penzey's)
1/3 cup butter, melted
juice plus the grated zest of 1 small lemon
Apple slices, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and warmed in a small, non-stick skillet (optional)
Use a blender and combine the first 10 ingredients, eggs through Apple Pie spice. Cover with a lid, but remove the center piece. Run the blender at low speed and slowly add the melted butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Use a spatula to dislodge any flour pockets and briefly whiz up again. Set aside while you heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. (Caution: use a pan with a smooth interior; grooved, non-stick pans will grab the batter, causing the pancake to stick... I guarantee it!)
Hold the skillet in your right hand. Use your left hand to ladle a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the bottom of the heated pan while at the same time turning and tilting the pan to distribute the batter thinly and evenly. (Think crepe.) Cook until done and lightly browned on one side, then flip to finish and brown slightly on the other side. Roll up into a cylinder or fold in half or into quarters; place on a rack and hold in a warm oven (200 degree or less). Repeat with remaining batter.
Fill with warmed cinnamon-sprinkled apple slices and serve.
Or serve with warm sauce, jam or syrup.
Or dust with powdered sugar and serve with lemon wedges.
Other apple recipes you might enjoy from OnTheMove-In The Galley:
Fresh Apple Quick Bread
Apple Cheese Torte
Apple and Walnut Coffee Cake
Apple Skillet Pancake
Apple Almond Crostata
Tangy Mixed Fruit Chutney