THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE APPLE PANCAKE

With newly obtained intel I have developed a much better version of the batter for this pancake and the Dutch Baby that follows. Buttermilk now replaces the cream in the previous recipe after I discovered that the chain uses a powdered form of buttermilk in the mix, according to my inside source. It makes for a lighter—and lower fat—finished product that more closely matches up with the original. There’s also the necessary addition of a bit of nutmeg often found in traditional German pancake recipes. After baking, this pancake is inverted onto the plate so that the apples wind up on top of the pancake with the cinnamon and sugar glaze dripping down onto the plate. The secret here is to keep the apples from floating up through the batter when the pancake bakes. We do that by allowing the sautéed apples to cool in the sugar. This way, the sugar hardens and the apples stick to the bottom of the pan when the batter is poured in. After an hour of cooling, you can tip the pan to see if the apples slide. If they do, stick the pan in your refrigerator for 30 minutes and those apples won’t budge until the pancake is turned over onto your plate just before serving. Use a 9-inch cast-iron skillet for the best results.

2 small or 1 large Granny Smith apple(s)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
½ cup whole milk
½ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon salt
2 pinches of ground nutmeg
3½ ounces (about ⅔ cup) all-purpose flour

GARNISH (OPTIONAL)
Powdered sugar


Cooking method

1-Peel the apples. Slice the apples into halves and use a melon baller to remove the core from each of the halves. Slice the halves into approximately 10 slices each and set the slices aside.

2-Melt the butter in a 9-inch skillet over medium heat. A cast-iron skillet is best, although you can use any oven-safe 9-inch skillet or sauté pan. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and apple slices, stir until the apples are coated, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, then use a spoon or spatula to evenly spread out the apple slices. Let the pan sit and cool for 1 hour so that the sugar hardens and the apples don’t slide when the pan is picked up and tilted. If the apples slide around when the pan is tilted, put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will ensure that the apples will stay on the bottom of the pan when the batter is poured on top.

3-
Make the batter by combining the beaten eggs with the milk, buttermilk, sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the flour and mix for 1 minute. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes, then mix it again briefly before pouring it into the pan.

4-
While the batter is resting, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

5-When the oven is hot, pour the batter over the apples and bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until the top of the pancake is beginning to brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 1 minute. Run a spatula or butter knife around the edges to loosen the pancake. Invert a plate on top of the pan, then flip the pan over so that the pancake falls out onto the plate upside down. Serve with an optional dusting of powdered sugar over the top.

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