This is a treat: it takes a bit of time, but it’s all simple steps. It’s just the kind of thing I like on a weekend morning. I make pots of tea and coffee, putter around in the kitchen for a bit, clean up while the pancake is in the oven, and then sit down to apple cinnamon goodness. There’s no waiting in line at the big pancake house: it’s a perfect start to a lazy day.
Baked Apple Pancake
- 2 large (or 3 smaller) apples – tart ones are best
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
Heat the oven to 400˚F. Peel, core, and quarter the apples, then slice them. The slices should be about ¼ inch thick. If the slices are very large, cut them in halves. You’ll end up with about 3 cups of chopped apple.
In a small bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon, and the ginger. Set this aside.
Cut the butter into chunks and put them in a deep cast iron skillet or a similar sized baking dish. Put this in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the butter is melted. Remove pan from the oven, scatter the brown sugar over the butter. Spread the apples on top of the brown sugar, and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the apples. Put the pan back into the oven to caramelize the apples and sugar.
Whisk the flour with the remaining sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to beat out any lumps. When the flour/milk mixture is smooth, beat in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Beat by hand 2 minutes or until foamy. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
Put it all together and bake
By now the sugar should be bubbling around the apples. Take the pan out of the oven, and pour the rested batter over the apples. Return pan to oven, and bake about 20 minutes more, until the center is set, and the sides are browned. The pancake will puff up dramatically but will fall a few minutes after you take it out of the oven.
Ta-da! Serve it forth
While you can certainly serve the pancake right out of the pan, it makes a dramatic presentation if you put a platter over the pan, flip it, and serve the upside-down apple pancake at the table. If there are any bits that don’t come right out of the pan, just scrape them out with a spatula and spackle them on top. No one will mind!