Yesterday my co-worker, Renee, said she had watched Donna Weihofen bake an apple pie on TV. She said Weihofen made the pie look so easy and so delicious that now Renee is craving apple pie, as well as pumpkin bread, baked squash, and all the other fall comfort foods. Not me though, I said, I don’t need fall comfort food because I’m clinging to summer. If I can deny the on-coming winter by continuing to eat garden salads and corn on the cob I will. I won’t surrender warmth so easily that one TV show about apple pie makes me cook cold-weather comfort food.
Well, mine was a lot of talk I confess today, or maybe I’m just a wimp. Last night we got our first blast of arctic wind and this morning I was baking an oven apple pancake. I was trying to take the chill out of the house by running the oven. Heating the house with the stove rather than the furnace was a feeble, last act of defiance, I admit. And by nighttime, I’d turned on the furnace. (But those few hours of chilly defiance saved me a fortune on my heating bill! I’ll swear to it!)
But don’t be impressed that I was up baking before breakfast. This recipe was easy because I didn’t have to peel the apples. Peeling apples is one prep chore I don’t like to do, probably because I’ve peeled too many apples in years passed. Renee says peeling apples is easy, – no work at all. “I’ve peeled so many potatoes for my family I can peel an apple in no time,” she said. No doubt she can; Renee’s been cooking ‘Slow Food’ since before it became trendy.
This recipe for oven apple pancake also worked for me because the ‘pancake’ could bake in the oven. Ordinary pancakes require babysitting at the stove. With this recipe, you just put apples in a pie plate, cover them with a mix of eggs, milk, flour, and spices, then bake them while everybody gets dressed for the day. In a half hour you slice up a delicious custard enfolding hot cinnamon apples. It truly was a great breakfast and made a delicious, after-school snack. Hot or cold, it’s a winner. Click on “Continue reading…” for the recipe.
This oven apple pancake is great to serve company either as a dessert or a brunch side dish. I found it in the cookbook Apples Everything: Cooking with America’s favorite fruit by Jean Hill and Jody Littler. This recipe for oven apple pancake is Jody’s.
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 apples, cored and sliced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar, and butter; beat with whisk until smooth. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; toss with apples to coat evenly.
Warm a pie pan with a little butter in it, just until the pan is hot. Put apples in pie pan. Pour batter over apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
I confess to an ulterior motive in baking this oven apple pancake. I thought it might be an effective ally in my effort to get my daughter to eat breakfast before she runs to the bus. She prefers to spend time perfecting her outfit and hair-style to pumping her brain with fuel for school. We’ve been getting into those distasteful mother-daughter arguments about it. Better to think strategically rather than reactively I decided. So I thought that If I could fill the house with the delicious aroma of apples and cinnamon, she might be enticed to the table. Sure enough, the plan worked. Lauren sacrificed her appearance for two helpings of apple pancake, and I was very happy.
In closing, I just want to ask if others of you prefer not to peel apples. Or is there some other particular kitchen prep chore you avoid if you can? I hope someone will name at least one so I don’t feel like such an apple slacker.