Ready in 45 minutes
The German apple pancake is actually a cross between a pancake and a popover. This recipe produces a pancake that has crisp light edges, a custard-like center, and buttery sauteed apples baked into the batter.
Position oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees F.
In a mediium bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt, mixing well. In a second medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half and vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to dry and whisk until no lumps remain, then set batter aside until needed.
Heat butter in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet (or a well seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet*) over medium-high heat until butter is sizzling hot. Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon; cook, stirring frequently, until apples are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice. Working quickly, pour batter evenly over apples. Place skillet in the upper-middle position of oven preheated to 500 degrees F. Immediately lower temperature to 425 degrees F. and bake until the pancake edges are browned and puffy, and have risen above edges of skillet, about 18-20 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven, loosen pancake edges with a spatula and invert pancake onto a serving platter. Dust pancake with confectioners sugar and cut into wedges to serve. If desired, the pancake can be served with warm caramel sauce, or warm melted apple jelly, or warn apple butter, or warn maple syrup, and/or a big dollop of whipped cream.
*Note: If using a cast-iron skillet, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and when cooking the apples, cook them only until just barely golden, about 6 minutes. Cast iron retains heat better than stainless steel, making the higher oven temperature unnecessary.
To make Caramel Sauce: Place water in heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan. Carefully add sugar to center of pan, making sure not to let sugar crystals adhere to sides of pan. Cover and bring mixture to boil over high heat. Once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored (300 degrees F.), about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until syrup is deep amber (350 degrees F.), about 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring cream and salt to simmer in small saucepan over high heat (if cream boils before sugar reaches deep amber color, remove cream from heat and cover to keep warm).
Remove sugar syrup from heat and very carefully pour about one quarter of hot cream into syrup (mixture will bubble vigorously), and let bubbling subside. Add remaining cream, vanilla, and lemon juice, whisking until smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Sauce can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight container for up to 2 weeks. If you make the caramel sauce ahead, reheat it in the microwave or a small saucepan over low heat until warm and fluid.
Using half-and-half will give the pancake a rich flavor without sacrificing texture.
If you like tart apples, use Granny Smiths; if you like sweet apples, use Braeburns, or try a combination of both. Cutting the apples into at least 1/2-inch thick pieces keeps them from turning mushy when cooked.
Preheating the oven to 500 degrees gives the batter the initial high heat it needs for a quick rise...lowering the temperature to 425 degrees provides the moderate heat that cooks the pancake to perfection.
TokiWartooth 4y agoIt's really good, but for some reason mine fell apart. I also used different apples and they got mushy. But my failure is probably from not following the directions 100%... I want to try this again and get it perfect, but it did taste very good even with mistakes.
moaa 5y agoThese are by far the best german pancakes! I forgot the lemons but didn't miss it. Also, drizzled it with my leftover buttermilk syrup (from allrecipes).
6y agoThis isn't adapted - you have to actually change something to adapt it. And sgrishka, you should learn the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. They're not the same thing. While you may or may not have infringed on Cook's Illustrated's copyright, you most certainly have plagiarized them - you took credit for their work.
jendbecker 6y agoHello! I would love to make this recipe for Easter brunch. I do have a cast iron skillet but, considering I am having 20+ people for brunch was wondering what you might suggest for preparing this in a larger quantity? Do you think a pre-heated glass baking dish would suffice? Or, am I better off, borrowing another cast iron skillet and making two? Your advice is appreciated!
sgrishka 6y agoBiancaMC - Once again, this recipe is adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe...and, when originally posted, that source information was also posted in the "source" field. Since you seem to have such a big problem with this issue, why don't you open a problem ticket in the "Help, Problems and Fixes" forum? Also, when you accuse someone of plagiarism, you should at least spell plagiarism correctly! For your information: "Mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds, or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection. However, when a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection." This is copied from the website of the US Copyright office. The first sentence is very specific, saying that a list of ingredients is "not subject to copyright protection." Nevertheless, the second sentence does include the modifier "may", leaving the question open to debate and creating a lot of confusion in cyberspace about where to draw the line. As a home cook, when I post a favorite recipe that I've gleaned from another source, I am obligated to attribute credit to the source using the phrases "adapted from," "based on" or "inspired by," depending on how much I've revised the recipe. I will make some degree of change to the wording of the instructions; sometimes more, sometimes less, just not copying entirely word-for-word. As for ingredients, I may or may not use the exact ingredients. Sometimes something may have been added, or removed, or maybe some of the ingredient amounts could have been changed. Other times, especially if I like the recipe results, the ingredients will not be changed, nor am I obligated to change them!
BiancaMC 6y agoBut, this recipe isn't even adapted, so it's a complete plagerism. Unless you consider taking the word "sea" from sea salt, then you adapted it. Even if a source feature isn't available you should still be true to yourself, and your followers and give true credit to the team at Cooks Illustrated in the words of the method.
sgrishka 6y agoThis recipe is adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe. I use many recipes from many sources but I always adapt a recipe to some degree as well as give source credit for any recipe that is not one of mine or my families. When I originally posted this recipe the source information was also posted in the "source" field. However, the source field in BigOven stopped functioning several years ago. Whenever a new recipe, or a revision to a recipe, are posted in BigOven, the program either removes or does not retain the source data. I opened a problem ticket for this issue back in September of 2007 and again in January of 2008. BigOven added this issue to a list of features to be worked on for a free maintenance release for sometime in February of 2008. Unfortunately, the source field was not repaired and still does not function. I hope this resolves any confusion.
BiancaMC 6y agoThis recipe is copied exactly from Cooks Illustrated. No wonder it works well and everyone likes it. You should at least put a reference to Cooks Illustrated in your recipe.
sgrishka 9y ago[I made edits to this recipe.]
sgrishka 9y agoUsing half-and-half will give the pancake a rich flavor without sacrificing texture. If you like tart apples, use Granny Smiths; if you like sweet apples, use Braeburns, or try a combination of both. Cutting the apples into at least 1/2-inch thick pieces keeps them from turning mushy when cooked. Preheating the oven to 500 degrees gives the batter the initial high heat it needs for a quick rise...lowering the temperature to 425 degrees provides the moderate heat that cooks the pancake to perfection. [I posted this recipe.]