Friday, March 15, 2013

German Apple Pancake Pie for National PI day! (belated)

I know it's a little bit of a stretch, but yesterday I decided to make German Apple Pancake "Pie" for National PI day. 

I'm often late to the game on things, so when everybody started yappin' about National Pie day I was like, whaaaaa? I looked up National Food Holidays in an effort to avoid being side-swiped by yet another national day of food celebration and discovered it was actually PI day. Go figure...literally! Hahahahaha.

Side-swiped may seem like a strong term for being simply caught off guard by a mere food holiday, but as a food blogger left scrambling to come up with a pie to honor this day, I was flummoxed. Flummoxed, I say! It turns out that yesterday was also National Potato Chip day, so to continue with the histrionics, how about this? "Dude, I totally got round house kicked on national potato chip day! I ate like ten bags of Lays Sriracha ...youch!" 

Ok, I'll stop.

Anywho, here's my adaptation of the German Apple Pancake from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. It's especially fabulous served along with some bacon (what isn't?) and is one of the few things I make fairly regularly because it's one of my husband's favorites. 

The first time I made it for him he looked up from his fork and with a distrustful sideways glare and said, "Tell me you wrote this recipe down!"  He asked this of me distrustfully because until I started my blog, I rarely recorded my recipes and so I couldn't always exactly duplicate them. In most cases, that was fine but the hubby was nearly hysterical at the thought of never having exactly the same German Apple Pancake experience (another awesome band name!) again. All that said, this is actually a variation from that first time but it's still amazing, warm, comforting and decadent. And now, it's recoded for posterity. You're welcome, hubster.

German Apple Pancake PI
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, German Apple Pancake 
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup half and half (or milk) *I actually used hazelnut milk and it was very good but I think a richer milk would have benefited the dish.
2 large organic eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons salted butter
3.14 sweet apples, cored and sliced about 1/4 inch thick *I used 4 apples but probably ate enough while I was cooking that it ended up at 3.14. Just fill the pan with apple slices so it's pretty crowded but not overflowing and you're good to go!
1/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar *sucanat is just less refined, granulated brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash ground cloves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
confectioner's sugar for decorating
*PI stencil, optional!

Preheat your over to 500F.

Wash, core and slice the apples. Set aside.

My attempt at 3.14 apples! I'm not good at math.

Combine the four, granulated sugar and salt well. Set aside. 

In a separate bowl, combine the half and half, eggs and vanilla with a whisk. Mix the wet into the dry and whisk until the lumps are gone. 

In NYC extra counter space=empty sink! 

In an oven safe 10 inch pan, add the butter, sucanat and a pinch of salt and heat on medium until melted and gooey. Add the apples and spices and saute for about ten minutes on medium/low heat until the slices are tender-firm and well coated. Snack of delicious, hot, buttery, spiced apple slices to divert yourself! 

Cut off the heat and squeeze the lemon juice over the apples. Top with the batter starting at the outer edge of the pan and working inward in a circular motion (you're just looking for even dispersion here).

Note: As you can see, I didn't get all my lumps out of my batter but it still tasted great. If I'd been making this for company, however, I would have passed the batter through a sieve.  

Place the pan into the hot oven and reduce the heat to 425F. Bake for 18 minutes until puffed, golden and set.

Decorate with confectioner's sugar (or not) and enjoy!