Mmm..tasty Apple Pancake. Nothing makes me feel more like Homer Simpson than a giant baked Apple Pancake. When I was a kid my dad and I would sometimes play hooky from work and school and go for a late morning breakfast at the Pancake Pantry or Original Pancake House. The Apple Pancake contains eggs, flour, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, butter and lots of apples. It takes about 40 minutes to bake in an iron skillet and is served all puffed up and steaming hot. With a side of bacon it's comfort food with no equal. The name doesn't do this masterpiece justice. Most people when they think of pancakes think of being full with a plate of half eaten mush still on their plates. The Apple Pancake really isn't much like a pancake at all. It's more a like a souffl' or really, really moist bread pudding.
The only way to truly appreciate it is to try one yourself.Original Pancake House in your neck of the woods you should go there as soon as possible. Don't make the mistake of confusing the Original Pancake House with the infamous chain the International House of Pancakes or IHOP, they're hacks and should be avoided at all costs except for the most basic breakfast dishes or if you are stuck somewhere off the Interstate and really don't have a choice. Locations in Detroit, MI and Beaverton, Oregon are the best we've been to.
The Original Pancake House is all about breakfast done right. In addition to the Apple Pancake they have a whole menu of tasty dishes to keep your cholesterol in check. Okay it's not a health food joint, although you can get oatmeal and bananas and other fiber laden stuff. But if you're going to go out for breakfast you might as well indulge. Brock, one of our spotty contributors, recently found a recipe for the Original Apple Pancake and after experimenting with it for a while perfected the Apple Pancake clone. We've tweaked it and tweaked it and tweaked it. Also, since some of you have tried this at home we've gotten some really good suggestions. Thank you Roxanne Schultz! As of May 2004, I think we are really close. This recipe is so good we actually now prefer it to eating out. We've had the real thing in Detroit, Chicago, Oregon and California and this is just as tasty. If you don't have an Original Pancake House in the neighborhood do yourself a favor and try this recipe today! Your home will smell great all day long too. Oh yeah, one last thing, you'll want an apple peeler. No really, it's one of the greatest little gadgets and it works on spuds too. I know the skin is good for you and all, in fact I sometimes eat a potato just like an apple. CRUNCH! But baked apple dishes usually taste much better nice and clean without the skin. Surlatable sells them for $25. It's well made and well worth it for apple lovers. That said, this thing is so tasty with or without the skin it really doesn't matter. We used to use an iron skillet for this monster but we're having such good luck with Pyrex that we now use it exclusively. 10x10 works great.
5 Tablespoons of butter up to 1 stick, we like lots of butter
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin. Actually we also like the apples simply chopped up with the skins left on. It's better for you this way too.
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla, use the good stuff from Mexico
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
In a mixing bowl, add flour, milk, vanilla and eggs. Mix well until it's nice a smooth. In another bowl, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and cinnamon to a 12 inch Pyrex pie deep dish or square dish and put in the oven. (deep dish Pyrex is great) Crank to 375 degrees. When the butter is completely melted remove from oven and add the apples. Apples should completely cover the bottom of the pan and be nice and coated with butter and cinnamon.
Now pour the batter into the Pyrex dish directly into the center of the apple, butter, cinnamon.
Next coat the entire surface with the brown sugar, cinnamon and granulated sugar mixture. To little and it won't be sweet enough. To much and it will be too sweet. So you really have to tweak this until it's the way you like it. Generally, a thin layer across the top of the surface will work.
Now, let it cook for about 40 minutes depending on your oven. When the edges are golden to dark brown but not burnt it's time to remove and let the monster sit and cool for a few minutes. Then slice and enjoy!
-- Rick Spence with recipe research by Jeff Brock