For many people, autumn is the best season of all. (Apple cider! Plaid! Falling leaves!) Summer will always have my heart, but I must say that I do love the beginnings of fall – the first night when you really need a blanket, those first crisp apples and pears, and being in the Northeast, the beautiful autumn colors. Since it seems like now it is officially the end of summer, I have decided to embrace it –and what better way than with apples?
Pancakes aren’t my favorite (I’ve always been more of a french toast kind of girl), but since Ari loves them I try to make them every now and again. I had picked up a few apples last weekend at the farmer’s market, and while I love eating them sliced with a little peanut butter, how can you say no to adding a little butter and sugar? This baked “pancake” tastes indulgent and yet is surprisingly healthy, thanks to very little sugar and the addition of whole-wheat flour. A perfect fall breakfast (or dessert).
On a side note, does anyone else only like sliced apples? I can never eat them whole. Or is it just me?
Baked Apple Pancake (adapted from Food & Wine)
2 apples, halved, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick (I used Honeycrisp)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, plus warmed syrup for serving
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the apples, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the lemon juice and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden, about 6 minutes. Add the 1/4 cup of maple syrup and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Spread the apples in an even layer and remove the pan from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flours with the baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk the egg yolks with the milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk the liquid into the dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold the beaten whites into the batter and scrape it over the apples; spread the batter to the edge.
- Bake the pancake in the upper third of the oven for about 20 minutes, until it is golden, puffed and set. Let the pancake cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the pancake, then invert it onto a serving plate. Replace any apples that may have stuck to the pan. Cut the pancake into wedges and serve at once with the warmed maple syrup.