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
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.