Did anyone else take full advantage of National Pancake Day yesterday? No? Just us? I have no idea who is responsible for determining such food holidays – but I can totally get on board with that one. As can my entire household.
You see, we are a breakfast family. One of the things we hold to be quite sacred in our house: Big Sunday breakfasts. On the few occasions where we’ve been unable to stick to the plan, I get an instant request for breakfast for dinner. Because who wants to go a whole week without wonderful, homemade breakfast food?
There are a few reasons we love Sunday breakfast:
1) The obvious: Breakfast is delicious.
2) The practical: Ever since the boys started sports and activities, our weeknights are chaotic (to say the least). Sunday breakfast became the one meal every week I could count on eating together.
3) The sentimental: It was actually a family tradition when I was growing up. We would drive into my grandparent’s house every week where they had cooked up a spread. Pancakes, sausage, eggs, you name it.
So when someone declares National Pancake Day, who am I to question?
In honor of such an occasion (excuse?) I decided on something light, soft and fruity. And since our breakfast fixation is deeply rooted in family tradition, I decided my grandfather’s polish heritage could be part of our “celebration”, as well.
Admittedly, classic Polish Apple Pancakes are a bit different from this. I have yet to perfect the use of yeast in my pancake recipes, but typically it is a part of this equation. (Made by someone more adept than me, the yeast version is very tasty.) I also like to add in cinnamon and brown sugar, because, well, we only live once.
In my version of Polish Apple Pancakes, we start with the star. Those apples. I peel mine and then use my small food processor to pulse them into shreds. You can just as easily dice them very finely – either way works well. If you choose the processor route, truly stick to just a few pulses. We aren’t trying to make applesauce pancakes.
Once the apples are shredded, scoop them into a small bowl and mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Fully coat them in the spices. At this point, you can set them off to the side while you prep the rest of your batter.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda together with fork to remove any clumps you may have.
For the wet ingredients, I typically use a large 2-cup glass measuring cup and whisk the milk, egg and vanilla briefly together. Breaking up the egg is the goal in this case, so you don’t need to spend a ton of time. You will empty this cup into your dry ingredients, and mix everything together to form the batter.
Just before you get back to your apples, melt a half stick of butter in microwave. I’ve tried skipping butter in pancakes. Let’s be clear, when people say “everything’s better with butter”, this is no exception. Butter, in my opinion, helps to make your batter smooth, a little richer, and your end result cooks up far better.
Fold the melted butter and apple mixture in to make sure both are distributed throughout the pancakes. Your batter will resemble a bowl of oatmeal or some grits at this point – that is not a mistake!!
If you have invested in an electric griddle, now is the time to put that baby to good use! Ours is well-loved with our weekly breakfast schedule, so I think that sometimes it feels lonely if it doesn’t get put to work.
I use a ladle to scoop pancakes on to cook, but a smaller measuring cup works just as well. The point is to have them relatively the same size so that they cook at a consistent pace. And, if I may say, so they are easier to stack.
These finish pretty quickly. Cooked at 350 degrees, you can let them sit for 3-5 minutes per side and you should have nice, golden brown pancakes ready to go.
My 11-year-old would 100% advocate that apples go perfectly with peanut butter, so why not serve some on top of these pancakes? For the rest of us, (who refrain from serving everything with peanut butter) syrup or a sprinkling of powdered sugar work like a charm.
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tbsp granulated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
- 3 apples (peeled and diced or shredded)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Heat a large skillet or griddle to about 350 degrees
- Peel apples and dice or shred
- Place in a small bowl and coat with cinnamon and brown sugar; set aside
- Combine flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and soda in a good sized mixing bowl
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg and vanilla
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together
- Add in melted butter and incorporate batter fully
- Fold in apples and spice mixture
- Scoop or ladle batter onto heated skillet or griddle (approximately 1/3 cup portions)
- Cook for 4-6 minutes, or until bubbles form
- Flip and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes
- Serve warm with butter and syrup or sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar