Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another Apple Pancake

This is my world famous apple pancake. At least, if you are in my world, it is world famous. It is another way to use apples for breakfast or lunch. It is easy to make and very good. It requires a skillet that can be put into the oven.  I usually make half the recipe and use a 10-inch skillet. This is from A World of Breads, by Dolores Casella (David White Co., 1966).

German Apple Pancake (Apple Pfankuchen)

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon flour                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder                         ¼ cup lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt                                           3 cups peeled and finely diced apple
6 large eggs, separated                                 ¼ cup butter
1 cup sugar                                                  1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually beat in ¾ cup of the sugar. Continue beating until the whites are stiff. Beat the egg yolks until thickened and beat in the milk and vanilla extract. Pour the lemon juice over the apples. Beat the milk mixture into the flour, beating until smooth. Then fold in the egg whites and the apples. Melt the butter in a 12- or 14-inch skillet. Pour the pancake mixture in and sprinkle it with the remaining sugar and the cinnamon. Bake about 15 minutes until it is set and lightly browned. Cut it into wedges and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

German Apple Pancake

It’s apple season. We are finding good ripe Wisconsin apples at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and growing in orchards or wherever apple cores may have landed and grown.

The most famous apple is in the Bible. Remember Adam and Eve? Just a bite of that apple brought about knowledge of good and evil along with eviction from the Garden of Eden, God’s first real estate relocation. Some other very famous apples are the result of Johnny Appleseed, who went through the USA at some time in American history. He was a salesman. He sold apples, or apple trees, to everyone who would buy. Sweet American lore.

We had what I called an apple core tree in our yard in Green Bay, and we enjoyed the apples. It seemed to produce no identifiable variety of apple, just the wild kind. In the parking lot at the library in Seymour where I worked, branches of the apple tree growing next door yielded plenty of apples for me to take home, with the blessing of Jim and Dan, who owned the tree. Today I brought home a bag of apples of a nondescript kind, from a couple of trees in a public space near my home in Madison. They are somewhat sour and very good. It’s my third harvest. Needless to say, apples like these require some work to remove suspicious black and brown spots, but it is worth the effort. No spray. Organically grown.

People who like apples have created many ways to eat them, including sauces and desserts. I made apple soup for my husband and me many years ago, and he refused to believe that apples could be made into soup. Such is life. Like many people, he believed that the natural habitat for apples is in a pie or some other dessert. Goodbye apple soup; hello apple dessert, or again, hello German apple pancake.

This recipe is adapted to serve one or two people, depending on appetites. It is a pancake that bakes in the oven until it puffs up. Once out of the oven it sinks quickly. It tastes very good, and probably isn’t very healthy even with apples in it. After all, it is made with flour, butter and sugar, which are not known to promote good health.  I adapted the recipe from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook (General Mills, 1980). It is called Apfelpfannkuchen. It doesn’t make a lot of pancake and isn’t served with syrup.

German Apple Pancake

2 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup apple slices (or about 1 medium apple)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel, core and slice the apple(s). Find your round 9-inch cake pan and warm it up in the oven. In the small mixer bowl, beat eggs, flour, milk and salt at medium speed for one minute. Remove the cake pan from the oven and place 2 tablespoon margarine in it. Rotate the pan until the margarine is melted and coats the side of the pan. Place the apple slices in the pan. Pour the batter over the apples. Mix the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle it over the batter evenly. Bake the pancake uncovered about 25 minutes, until it is puffed and golden brown. Cut it in quarters and serve without syrup.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Overused Words and Phrases

It’s time for an update on the year’s thesaurus-challenged words and expressions. Well, absolutely, there are plenty for everyone.  I am serving them up for you. If you don’t read my go-to list, I will be devastated. It’s a must-have.

1.       Good to go. I hear this on television, in stores and everywhere else. One would hope that people on television would be leaders in good usage, but they are just like everyone else. When something is finished for you, you are good to go. Even the highly educated Doctor Oz uses this expression.
2.       Absolutely. Why don’t people want to say “yes” when that is what they mean? On television interviews, I have heard people using “absolutely” instead of “yes” five times in one sentence. That’s not the only place.
3.       Go-to.  When something is good, it is a go-to thing. Woodman’s is the go-to place to buy food. Jesus is the go-to guy who will save your soul.  Go-to doesn’t seem to be restricted to a place. Sometimes go-to is related to must-have (see below).
4.       Way, shape or form. I hear it used with a negative thought. If we think something is incorrect or inappropriate, we reject it by saying we don’t agree with it in any way, shape or form. Come on, people. Think of another way to be emphatic.
5.       Devastated.  This word is used to express a spectrum of upset feelings. I am okay with people being devastated while in the middle of a hurricane or forest fire that takes away their homes, because destruction is part of devastation. However, other words exist to describe situations of destruction or heartbreak.  I don’t deny the emotion. I protest the one word used to describe them all.
6.       Back in the day. Many people use this word to describe the past. One of my daughters uses it.
7.       Must-have. Related to Go-to. Television commercials are especially guilty of using this expression. The must-have outfits and shoes are at the mall.
8.       Buzz and buzzword. Buzzwords are all around us, maybe even on this list. The buzz is like gossip, or things we don’t need to know about celebrities but are told anyway.
9.       Up.  This is a superfluous word. How many people are serving up dinner? Back in the day, dinner was served without “up.”  We hang up the phone when we disconnect. Not every use of “up” is suspect. It’s used when the sentence is complete without it, and it is superfluous.
10.   Some acronyms, especially LOL, WTF, FAQ. Nuff said.