Once a week, B and I like to eat vegetarian. Not only is it healthy, but it forces us to think of ways to incorporate vegetables into our diet in creative ways, and it saves on our grocery bill by keeping high-priced meat purchases down. We’re also big fans of breakfast for dinner, which conveniently fits right into vegetarian night. Add to this that the pancake recipe I have is one of the fastest meals on the planet to whip together, and you’ve got yourself a recurring pancake supper in the L household.
Tonight we found ourselves with a) a desire not to slave in the kitchen all night, b) two organic Jazz apples that were on the cusp of being too old to eat, and c) two cups of leftover buttermilk. What did we do with this? Apple pancakes, my friends.
I am in love with the Southern Living Pam-Cakes recipe for pancakes. I swear by it. They are the fluffiest, lightest pancakes you will ever eat. They will ruin you on all other pancakes. You’ll eat Cracker Barrel’s and think they’re hockey pucks. Seriously.
So the first thing I did was to find a suitable pancake topping recipe. I thought about putting the apples into the pancakes, but I was in the mood for a topping instead. Immediately I went to another ol’ standby from SL: 2008’s Warm Ginger-Pear Topping. Yuummmm. This is another one I could eat all the time. It happens to have a variation for apples. Check!
So the first thing I did was to prep the apple topping recipe. Since it’s just B and me and I only had two apples, I halved the recipe, but below it’s listed in it’s original form.
Warm Apple-Cinnamon Topping
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 4 peeled and coarsely chopped organic Jazz apples or any type that you have on hand
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
1. Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a medium skillet. Add apples and next 4 ingredients, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, 8 to 12 minutes or until apples are tender. Don’t know if they’re done? Stick a fork in one of the bigger chunks. It should feel soft on the edges and a bit firm in the center. Try one! If you like the texture, remove it from the heat. If not, cook it a bit longer. Remove from the heat, and stir in butter.
As you can see, my mixture isn’t very ooey-gooey. I’ve made this before with the original recipe for the pears, and it was fabulous, but I remember it being more, well, ooey-gooey for lack of a better explanation. It could be because I halved everything. Perhaps I should have kept the brown sugar mixture the same? Still, this was perfect for the pancakes. And Scout enjoyed the apple peels.
So once I got the apple mixture simmering, I started the pancakes.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
1. Heat a griddle to 325° to 350°, or a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Whisk together the flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Gradually whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Gently whisk in butter. (The batter will be lumpy! That’s good; you want the lumps, so don’t stir it until they’re gone.)
2. Ladle about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto hot griddle or skillet. Some people prefer to coat the griddle with butter, but I’ve never noticed that big of a difference in the flavor, so I coat the griddle once at the very beginning with cooking spray, and never again. Seriously, I never use it again. I don’t find that I need it, so why waste it? Cook the pancakes until the tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry and cooked.
Turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
So, I’ve got a bit of a technique to this. I don’t do huge pancakes; I find them hard to flip and heavy to eat. Mine are about 5-6 inches in diameter, the perfect size to fit a salad plate. So I start with two pancakes on the griddle, cook those until they need to be flipped, and then flip them onto one side of the griddle. This way, I have room to add two more new pancakes to the other side of the griddle, and can rotate through batches. I’m not talented enough to have four pancakes going at the same time and not end up flipping them on top of one another, so this was my solution.
We served the pancakes with the Warm Apple-Cinnamon Topping and pure maple syrup, which is pricier than the Aunt Jemima stuff but sooo worth it.
Now aren’t you in the mood for some pancakes?
Some Things We’ll Do Differently Next Time
- Add toasted chopped pecans or walnuts to the apple topping.
- Top it all with a maple whipped cream.