Whenever I’m in Chicago, which sadly isn’t very often, I always visit The Original Pancake House for breakfast.  It’s a chain of restaurants throughout the US – in 26 states – that I’d never heard of until a friend suggested I go there when I was in the Windy City on business.

My favorite thing to order is the house specialty, the oven-baked Apple Pancake.  It is monstrous in size.  And yummy in taste.

Wanting to enjoy an apple pancake at home, I set out to find a recipe that would satisfy a craving even when a Chicago-bound trip wasn’t around the bend. I scoured the internet, combined a couple recipes, added a few tweaks and came up with a final product that makes me happy. It’s a bit more eggy and a little less sweet than the Original Pancake House’s is, but I like it that way.  Sometimes called a “Dutch Baby Pancake” or a “German Apple Pancake”, I just call it delicious.

Baked Apple Pancake (Adapted from allrecipes.com)

Batter

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk (soy or almond milk can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I sometimes use Earth Balance vegan spread)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Apple Mixture of Goodness

  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, or more if needed (Earth Balance works here too)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, blend eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Gradually mix in milk, stirring constantly. Add vanilla, melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Let batter stand for 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Saute apples in a teaspoon of butter (or more, if the pan is looking a little dry) until just tender, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar to taste, if desired. (You can also saute the apples up to a day ahead, refrigerating them and the batter separately, and complete the rest of the steps just before baking.)
  4. Grease a baking dish or oven proof skillet (about 10 inches or so) with the tablespoon of butter, evenly covering all the way up the sides of the pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture in the dish over the butter. (You may not need to use all of the mixture; if that’s the case, just set aside for another time.)
  5. Line the pan with apple slices. Sprinkle remaining sugar over apples.  Gently pour the batter mixture over the apples.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes (time may vary with each oven), or until golden brown.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes.  Cut pancake into wedges and enjoy!

For more information on The Original Pancake House, visit http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/.

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