How smart were the Germans to think this one up? Not only do we have lots of eggs in the system, we have more apples than we can quickly process. We haven’t picked one apple this year, though. With the drought so fierce from June on, the trees have been dropping apples since the first week of July. My policy is to use up what’s on the ground before I go to the tree itself.
Lots of the apples have been a good fit for the pigs’ menu. Once they’re soft, and wormy, and semi-fermented, I figure they should go where they’ll be most appreciated. And believe me, the pigs do appreciate a snack of apples–as many times a day as they can get them.
A goodly number of the apples (less soft, less wormy, not fermented) have been converted–and are still being converted into applesauce and apple butter–through the tireless offices of the six quart slow cooker acquired for the farm earlier this year. Not only do these preparations keep well in the fridge, they freeze well–and even have enough acid in them to can using the water-bath method. So I’m still putting up applesauce and apple butter.
But people cannot live by applesauce and apple butter alone. And I’ve made nearly as much apple crisp as any household can reasonably absorb. It’s not quite greeted with groans, but the pan doesn’t empty as quickly as it did the first five or six times I set it on the counter.
If our choleric farm manager hadn’t had gout flare-up through the summer, I’d probably be setting out apple pies and tartes Tatin. But he needs whole grains, and lower fat in the foods he’s eating just now. So those recipes are not on the menu at present.
Which brings me to the German Apple Pancake. It’s a lovely breakfast food: not too time consuming to get to table first thing in the morning; not too complicated to be executed before the coffee’s kicked in fully; not so sweet that it tastes as though it would make a better dessert than breakfast. And everybody likes it enough to have seconds. Plus it uses up some eggs and apples both.
German Apple Pancake
1/2 cup white whole wheat, or whole wheat, flour
1/2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup top milk, or half and half
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 TBSP brown sugar
1 1/4 lbs of apples, tart or sweet depending on what you like and what you have on hand
Preheat the oven to 500°. Stir the flour, sugar and salt together. Beat the eggs and vanilla with the top milk. Stir the wet stuff into the dry until very smooth.
Peel the apples, core them and cut them into fat slices. Heat a 10″ nonstick skillet and put the butter in. Add the apple slices, the brown sugar and the cinnamon when the butter has finished foaming. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat until the apples are softened and the sugar caramelized.
Pour the batter around the edges of the apples and then over the center. Put the pan in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 425°. Let this cook about 18 minutes. Serve hot–sift confectioners sugar over the top if desired (which I don’t).