An easy-to-make baked apple puff pancake is perfect for breakfast for dinner or a late Saturday brunch, and it’s just the thing to get the whole family involved and cooking in the kitchen.
My very first memory took place in a kitchen. A tornado was also involved. When I got older (as in past the age of one), I started making my way up on top of the kitchen desk to where the cookbooks were lined up, taking them down and turning their pages. Up there on that shelf was Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls, a cookbook that taught me how to chop, dice and bake because, well, my mom wasn’t so interested in those things.
Breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps, I made my first ever meal for my family when I was just six or seven. Roasted chicken, green bean almondine and a from-scratch yeast bread (shaped like a turtle, thank you) were all on the menu. I instantly wanted to dig further into the depths of the cookbook, trying new recipes, looking for new foods and forcing my family to come along with me. That cookbook had such a great impact on me, imagine my excitement when a dear friend of mine wrote her own.
In The Whole Family Cookbook, Michelle Stern of What’s Cooking with Kids has taken easy-to-folow steps and 75 recipes and paired them with tips to get your kids involved, information on eating locally and sustainable environmental practices and put it all in one book that is meant to engage all ages. For a new generation of responsible cooks, I am thrilled to be able to let my kids thumb through the pages of this book and choose what they want to make for dinner.
My copy of Michelle’s book arrived, and we were instantly drawn to the baked apple puff on account of its breakfast-like nature, but also because it involved cracking eggs, which my kids love to do. Some children are more experienced in this house, but practice makes perfect.
Little hands measured and mixed the milk, vanilla, sugar, flour and spices into the eggs.
Because we were leaving several apples exposed on top and not stirred into the pancake, we tossed the whole lot in a bit of lemon juice.
Melt butter in an ovenproof skillet and add 3/4 of the apples. By the time you get all the apples in a single layer, you’ll be ready to pour the batter over.
And once you’ve covered up the first layer of apples, add another before popping the whole thing into the oven.
As you clean up the counters and set the table with the kids, all that mixing will be puffing up in the oven into a golden pancake, perfect for dinner or breakfast or an easy brunch served alongside bowls of fruit and egg dishes.
Plus, you can win one! I’m giving away a copy of The Whole Family Cookbook to one lucky reader who tells me a story about one of your first food experiences or cooking memories as a kid. Just comment to enter. This giveaway will run until Monday, June 6th at 11:59 p.m. EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using Random.org from all eligible entries.
This recipe has been adapted from The Whole Family Cookbook by Michelle Stern.
What I changed from the original:
::I wanted this to be a bit sweeter in the batter rather than sprinkle the sugar on top to cook it in, so I added the sugar straight to the batter.
::I have a thing for cardamom. It’s nearly a disease how often I sprinkle it in. This recipe is no exception.
::I adjusted the apple cooking method, tossing them in lemon juice and barely cooking them at all before pouring the batter over and tossing them in the oven. This resulted in cooked apples that still held their shape, but rest assured they were cooked through.
::Because I left out the sugar from the top, I offer powdered sugar or maple syrup to go alongside the pancake, but it’s not really necessary.
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium-sized apples
3 tablespoons butter
powdered sugar or maple syrup to serve
Preheat oven to 450° F. In a medium bowl, crack eggs. Beat lightly and then mix in milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking in. Continue to mix until everything is well blended.
Cut apples into thin slices and toss with juice from half a lemon. In a 10″ ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 of the apple slices in a single layer to the pan. Allow to cook for 60 seconds. Pour the batter over the apple slices, covering them completely. Take the remaining 1/4 of the slices and arrange on the top layer. Place the entire skillet in the oven and bake at 450° F for 15-20 minutes until brown and puffed.
Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve. Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.