Do you like apples? Do you like pancakes? Whiskey? Do you like playing with fire?
Then you’re in the right place.
Meet our current favourite Sunday breakfast. A breakfast we’ve had five Sundays in row. Except one of them was a Saturday because on the Sunday two weeks ago we had to get up at five to jump in the car and head to Calais and not even I am crazy enough to get up at four to make a pancake. I mean, there are some limits. But because the prospect of missing our Sunday appointment with caramelized apples enveloped in a fluffy pancake made me sad, I had to move it to the Saturday before we left.
Because: caramelized apples! Flambéed with whiskey! In a pancake! That you bake in the oven which frees you from standing at the stove for half an hour flipping enough small pancakes to feed a family.
And then the finishing touch: when you take the pancake out off the oven you put slices of a sharp cheese on top to melt partially. Which might sound weird to you but the combination of sweet and salty flavors had even our initially suspicious children converted.
So do yourself a favor and make this your fall weekend breakfast, too.
The recipe comes from the infallible Deborah Madison and about the only change I made to the recipe is not peeling the apples. Not because I am lazy (honestly) but because I find that the slices tend to remain intact when unpeeled instead of falling apart during the baking which makes them difficult to flip and move around. Plus I like the bit of color red-skinned apples add. Tastewise, I do not think the bit of skin is noticeable.
In the beginning of my love affair with this pancake I used our “Manks Codlin” apples, but since they are gone now, I moved on to “Topaz”, a tasty scab-resistant modern czech variety we picked in an organic orchard. Deborah Madison’s recommendation is to use “Wolf River or other tart apples”. I think it would be delicious with any apples, but some take better to baking.
Soufléed pancake with caramelized apples and aged cheese
Adapted from Deborah Madison: Seasonal Fruit Desserts
serves 2 to 4
For the batter:
30 g (2 tbsp) butter
30 g (3 tbsp) organic sugar
180 ml (¾ cup) milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
70 g (½ cup) all-purpose flour
For the apples:
30 g (2 tbsp) butter
20 g (2 tbsp) organic sugar
2 tart apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 tbsp whiskey or bourbon
thin slices of aged Cheddar or Gouda cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius(425F).
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Add milk, vanilla extract, salt and flour and whisk to combine thoroughly.
In a 24 cm (10 inch) skillet (as always I am using my Le Creuset Tarte Tatin Pan here because I use it for everything, occasionally even to making tarte tatin) melt the butter. Swirl around to coat the sides and pour into the batter. Whisk and let stand while you get on with the apples.
Melt the butter for the apples in the same skillet and sprinkle over the sugar. Add the apple slices to the pan and cook over a high heat, flipping them occasionally until they begin to caramelize. Lower the heat once the apples begin to color and flip them more often to ensure an even caramelization. Raise the heat and pour over the whiskey. Stand back and tilt the pan so that the alcohol will flame and burn off (personally I find it safer to light the whiskey with a lighter). Pour the batter over the caramelized and flambeed apples and bake in the oven until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Lay the cheese on top and serve immediately.