Dutch Baby Pancakes with Apple Compote

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This is a super easy peasy breakfast item that makes you look all fancy pants. Though after you eat it your fancy pants won’t fit anymore. I found it in the paper a while back and saved it for a brunch with Krystopf, Atlas, and Gen. Zod.

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The pancake gets part of its fanciness from an apple compote that is spooned on top before serving. You can make the apple compote that goes with it ahead of time and just heat it up when you need it.

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Start with some raisins. Grab 2 tablespoons raisins and dump them in a cup of hot water to soak for 10 minutes.

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Then find yourself some apples. The recipe calls for 2 Golden Delicious apples and I went with that (though I doubled the recipe in these pictures for two pancakes), because the Golden Delicious is neither too sweet nor too tart and lends itself well to cooking.

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Core the apples, halve them, and then slice them (unpeeled) into 1/4″ wedges.

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Now, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet on medium heat until it’s melted. Toss in the apples and cook them until they start to get a bit brown and soft, but aren’t yet mushy, about 8 minutes.

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Drain your raisins and toss them in, together with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 maple syrup (use the real stuff here, don’t make me cry). Stir that around and then reduce the heat to a minimum just to keep things warm.

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You can also transfer the apples to a container to cool and store them in the fridge until you need them.

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To make your big fluffy pancake, heat your oven to 450°F and grab an oven-safe non-stick pan or cast iron skillet. I went with the non-stick option on these and it worked great. Grab a bowl and dump in 1 cup flour (you can do half whole wheat and half white if you wish, that’s up to you).

In a separate bowl, beat together 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Then beat in 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg whites.

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Look at the size of that yolk in my tiny hand.

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Add your liquids to your flour and whisk until just combined. You can have some lumps.

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Put your pan or skillet on the stove and heat it so that 1 tablespoon butter melts. Slide the pan around until the melted butter coats the whole surface.

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Pour your batter (lumps and all) into the pan and slide it into the oven. Bake it for 15-20 minutes, until it’s all golden brown and puffed up into a giant soufflé-like object. Leave the oven door closed until it’s done.

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When you’re ready, remove the pan from the oven and slide the pancake onto a cutting board (it will deflate, don’t worry). This is where the non-stick really comes in handy.

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Spoon the warm compote all over the pancake and cut it into four wedges – serve immediately. I promise it’s worth it. I doubled the batch for the apples but I made my batter in two separate batches so that while we were eating the first pancake I could slide the second one into the oven.

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 12

I’m not even kidding: these are amazing.  While mine aren’t as pretty as the ones Recipe Girl can churn out, they make up for their ugliness in being super dooper tasty.  I found them on imgur one day and couldn’t rest until I’d made them.  So here you go.

We used our favourite buttermilk pancake batter from the Joy of Cooking, so feel free to use whatever you prefer.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 9

For the cinnamon swirl, start with 4 tablespoons melted butter, then add in 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon.  It may seem like a lot of cinnamon.  It’s not.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 1

Give that a good stirring, then pour it into a sealable baggie and snip one of the corners.  Set it in a bowl for now to prevent spillage.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 5

You can use regular maple syrup (don’t even use the words “table syrup” around here you heathens) but what really makes these special is the cream cheese glaze.  For this, soften 4 tablespoons butter and 2oz plain cream cheese (which is a quarter of those 250g blocks).

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Mix those together, then add in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 cup icing sugar and stir until smooth.  I may have also popped this in the microwave for a few seconds just to make sure everything was extra blended.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 3

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Now you cook your pancakes.  Wait for the bubbles to appear in the uncooked surface, then carefully squeeze a spiral of the cinnamon syrup onto the pancake.  I blame my carpal tunnel on my wavy lines.

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When it’s ready to be flipped, flip that sucker.  Be careful not to burn the now-very-sugary side.  This is kind of what it is supposed to look like when it’s cooked.  Mine look a little demented.  But they smelled amazing.

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When you’re ready to serve, drizzle your pancakes with any leftover cinnamon syrup and then spoon some of that glorious glaze over top.

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Fluffy Gluten-Free Waffles

Gluten-Free Waffles

This recipe is a modified version of the one that Iris over at the Daily Dietribe came up with.  I am indebted to her extensive experimentation.  Jul, who eats only gluten-free foods, is also indebted.  And the Pie and Cait are just full.

Iris has experimented enough that she knows which flours will do what, so I followed her advice and used a combination of almond flour and brown rice flour.

Gluten-Free Waffles

Take 1 1/4 cups of the flour and whisk it together with 1/2 cup starch (potato works best but I used corn starch because I can’t find it here), 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Gluten-Free Waffles

In another, larger bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and between 1/2 and 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (the amount will depend on what kind of flour you are using.  Here I used about 3/4 cup).

Gluten-Free Waffles

For a dairy-free version (and this is already egg-free), you can use 2 tablespoons vegetable oil instead of butter, and instead of the buttermilk you could go for coconut milk.

Gluten-Free Waffles

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Add more liquid, if necessary, a little bit at a time.  If you are making waffles, you’ll want your batter to be a little thicker, while with pancakes you’ll want it a bit runnier.

Gluten-Free Waffles

Then you just pour the batter into a pan or smooth it into a waffle iron and you’re all set. I loved how this was just as simple as making regular buttermilk waffles and took no time at all.

Gluten-Free Waffles

These came out a little darker than I was expecting but they were lovely and crisp, even after I left them to warm in the oven.   Just make sure to spray your waffle iron or your pan frequently or they will stick.

Gluten-Free Waffles

Candy Bar Pancakes

Candybar Pancakes

Gren: “Are you guys making pancakes?”

Candybar Pancakes

Me: “No.”

Gren: “Really?  I don’t believe you. I’m pretty sure you’re making pancakes …”

Candybar Pancakes

The Pie and I rarely use our dining room (for eating at least) when it’s just the two of us.  But pretty much every Saturday morning since we moved into Elizabeth has been spent making “special breakfast”, where we do something a little more elaborate than the regular cereal or toast, and we eat it together in our dining room, which offers a charming view of our next-door neighbour’s shed.

In addition, we like to try to recreate things that we’ve eaten in restaurants, just to see if we can’t make them a little better.  Monday’s green curry was one example of that.  This is another, and it comes from one of our favourite restaurants.  They call them “candy bar” pancakes, which is a little odd, because most Canadians call things like Mars Bars and Snickerschocolate bars” (because they’re made from chocolate, not candy).  Maybe the creators just thought “candy bar pancakes” sounded better than “chocolate bar pancakes”, or maybe it’s because the high number of American soldiers stationed in Newfoundland at various points in history have left a lasting remnant of their dialect.  Who knows …

Candybar Pancakes

You can use any pancake recipe you’d like for this, though I would recommend a fluffy pancake rather than a flat one.  If you don’t have a favourite recipe, I’ll give you mine, which comes from the Joy of Cooking, and we usually cut it in half because it’s just the two of us.

Take a chocolate bar or two.  The “dry” kind work best, like Kit Kat or Coffee Crisp — anything without caramel or gooey things inside. We prefer the Coffee Crisp because of the different flavours inside. If you live in the US, see if you can get someone to bring one across the border for you — they are excellent.

Candybar Pancakes

Break it up into pieces and put it in the food processor.

Candybar Pancakes

Pulse until you have small crumbs.  Set that aside.

Candybar Pancakes

In one medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 3/4 tablespoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. If you are making this recipe with milk instead of buttermilk, then leave out the baking soda.

In another bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Candybar Pancakes

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and you’re ready to go.

Use a cast iron skillet to get the best crust on your pancakes.  Preheat the skillet at medium for a few minutes while you’re mixing up your ingredients.  And before you pour in the batter, melt a bit of butter in the pan first.  Then scoop in some batter and let it sit for a while.

Candybar Pancakes

Don’t touch it.  Wait until it starts to bubble and get pitted.  The trick with these pancakes is  in cooking them for as long as possible on the first side, so that when you add the chocolate bar pieces to the other side you don’t have to cook it as long and they won’t burn.

Candybar Pancakes

While you wait for it to get pitted, you can play fetch with your dog.

Candybar Pancakes

This squeaky carrot is from IKEA.  I’m never sure if their stuffed toys are for dogs or for children, but they work great either way.

Candybar Pancakes

Take a spoon and sprinkle some of your chocolate crumbs onto the pitted top of the pancake.  Let them sink into the batter a little bit.

Candybar Pancakes

THEN you can flip it, quickly.  Don’t cook it too long on the second side or the chocolate will burn.

Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

Candybar Pancakes

Or blueberry syrup.  Or whatever floats your boat on a Saturday morning.

Candybar Pancakes

Poached Pears

Poached Pears

This is another recipe I borrowed from Caroline over at The Wanna be Country Girl, who in turn got it from David Leibovitz, one of my favourite chefs.  I may have borrowed a few of his recipes myself on a few occasions.

Poached Pears

Fall is the time for apples and pears, and delicate pears lend themselves well to a gentle poaching. So cut up 4 firm, ripe pears.  These are Bartletts, I think — I got them at Costco.  They could be Anjou. There was a big pile and they were all messed around, and I’m not that good at fruit identification. Quarter, core, and peel the pear pieces and plop them in a large saucepan.

Poached Pears

Slide in 1 sliced lemon, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar. Pour 1 quart (1 litre) water over the fruit.

Poached Pears

Cut a square of parchment paper, fold it into quarters, and cut a hole from the centre.

Poached Pears

So when it’s unfolded you have a hole in the middle.  This will let the steam out.

Poached Pears

Tuck the parchment paper into the saucepan and bring the fruit to a simmer for 25 minutes.

Poached Pears

Then I removed the fruit to cool slightly and turned up the heat on the remaining liquid to reduce it to a syrup.

Poached Pears

As we had clafoutis for dessert that night, we let the pears cool and had them for breakfast the next day, with their own syrup and a daub of whipped cream.

Poached Pears

Amazing on top of pancakes!  Try the pears in sandwiches and salads, too.

Poached Pears