German apple pancakes

sunnuntai 10. toukokuuta 2020

A while ago I read the New York Times bestseller "Save me the plums", a gourmet memoir by Ruth Reichl. She was editor in chief of the American Gourmet magazine for ten years. Previously she was the restaurant critic for The New York Times and served as the food editor and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times.
There are a few of her favorite recipes included in this book. This pancake recipe comes from the restaurant Lüchow's in New York. It was located at 110 East 14th Street in East Village and was famous for its huge portions of classic German food. Ruth went there once a week with her family all through her childhood. Her mother always ordered this pancake, nothing else. Only many years later, overcome with a desire for the taste of her childhood, Ruth decided to try making the dish herself. The pancakes consist of apples, eggs, lemon and sugar ... so go ahead and make some for dessert or brunch. They are the yummiest pancakes I've ever tasted, not to mention the lovely smell lingering around the house!

Ingredients for 4 large pancakes:

2 tart cooking apples (Granny Smiths are good)
1 lemon
4 tablespoons (unsalted) butter
0,5 dl brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used at least 1 teaspoon)
small grating of nutmeg (left out)
3 eggs
1,5 - 1,8 dl flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2,2 -2,4 dl milk
sugar for sprinkling
rum or cognac (optional, if you want to flame your pancakes

1. Peel the apples, core them and slice them thinly. Shower them with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

2. Melt half the butter (2 tablespoons) in a medium skillet and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the apple slices and cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, until they've become quite darkly caramelized and smell impossibly delicious. Remove them from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, beat the eggs. Gently whisk in the flour, salt and sugar. Add the milk. The batter should be thin.

4. Melt a couple of teaspoons of butter in a skillet (20 cm in diameter). When it's hot, pour in a little batter, tilting the pan so that it covers the entire surface, making a thin crêpe. Cook just until set, about 2 minutes.

5. Evenly distribute a fourth of the apples over the crêpe, pour a little batter over the apples. Turn the pancake (use two pancake turners and do it quickly) and allow the bottom to brown. Turn out onto a large plate, sprinkle with sugar, and roll the pancake up like a roll. sprinkle with a bit more sugar and if you like a splash of lemon juice.

6. Repeat this until you have four plump rolled pancakes. If you want to flame your creations, lightly warm a few tablespoons of rum or cognac for each pancake in a pan, add the pancakes, spoon the liquor over the top and set the pancakes on fire.

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