Slow down, relax and make this breakfast in your pyjamas while everyone else is still dozing this long weekend. The ingredients are simple, yet the result of a German pancake, glorious and puffy right out of the oven, is spectacular.
When I first started making this, every once in a while it would be disappointingly flat, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why. My husband was convinced it was the mixing, he thought for sure an electric mixer had to be used to add air to the batter. I tried that, but to no avail. Finally I figured it out. The key to puffy german pancake perfection is a really, really hot pan. So many recipes tell you to put the butter into your dish and heat it in the oven until the butter melts, but this is inadequate, your pan won’t be hot enough. And if you leave it in the oven too long with the butter, it will be scalded.
What I do is place an empty skillet into the oven right when I turn it on. That way I know the skillet will be at oven temperature (450°) when I’m ready to add the batter. Butter gets added while the skillet is searingly hot (the butter will sizzle and melt almost instantly when you add it to the pan—just like in the video below). Twirl the pan with the butter until it’s melted and add in the batter, and pop it into the oven. 15 minutes later, it will be three times the height, buttery, crisp and golden.
As for the pan, I use an old heavy skillet with the handle removed (as it wasn’t oven safe to 450° with the handle). An oven safe skillet (please ensure that it can withstand up to 450°), cast iron pan or glass pie baking dish will work just fine as well.
While the batter is transforming in the oven, melt some more butter in a medium skillet, add the slices apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook for 12–15 minutes until the apples are soft and the sugar has caramelized a little. And that’s it—serve with a dusting of icing sugar and maple syrup, drizzled with the apple juices from the pan. What better way to spend a lazy weekend morning?
German Pancake with Cinnamon Apples
The ingredients are simple, yet the result of a German pancake, glorious and puffy right out of the oven, is spectacular. Cinnamon apples pan seared on the stove while the pancake bakes are the perfect accompaniment.
- 4 tbsp butter (or margarine)
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 apples peeled, cored and sliced into 12 slices each
- 2–3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Place empty oven-proof skillet (safe up to 450°) into the oven with rack in middle position (batter will rise well above the pan so ensure there will be room). Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine eggs, milk, flour and salt into a medium bowl. Stir with a fork until smooth and just a few small lumps remain.
When the oven has reached temperature, remove the skillet and add 2 tbsp butter. The butter will sizzle and melt; swirl the butter in the pan until melted, tilting to coat the sides with melted butter. Add the batter to the pan, and pop back into the oven. Bake 15 minutes, or until very puffy and golden.
While the pancake is in the oven, melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium skillet on the stove top, over medium high heat. Add apple slices and stir, turning to coat evenly with butter. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook on high for 10–12 minutes, until the apples soften and the juices have combined with the brown sugar and cinnamon and cooked down into a syrupy sauce.
Remove skillet from the oven, slice pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar on top. Add sautéed apples to the plate, spooning the sugary juices on top of the pancake.