My grandmother lived to be ninety-five years of age. When in her eighties, she reached a point at which, although she was still vibrant and active, no one wanted her to be home alone at night. Of her forty-some grandchildren, at least fifteen lived within walking distance of her home. A rotation came into being, and we would take turns spending the night. She was a firm believer in starting the day with a good breakfast. Bacon, sausage, eggs, fried mush, pancakes and more all appeared on her breakfast table. She made silver-dollar pancakes with perfectly crisp edges. She turned them with a spoon, the bowl of which had been flattened and bent into a make-shift turner. Apparently the first time she made pancakes in her new home, she didn’t have an appropriate turner. Her husband came to the rescue with the repurposed spoon. Fifty years later, it was still her preferred pancake turner.
I don’t know if Grandma ever added apples to her pancakes. I’d guess she’d think it a bit prissy. I’ve grown to love apple pancakes. They welcome a sprinkle of sugar, but render syrup unnecessary. Just chop up a not-too-tart apple and add it to your favorite pancake recipe. Don’t forget the bacon.
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium apple, coarsely chopped
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk (or sour milk, buttermilk, whey, or combination)
1 tbsp cooking oil
fat for cooking
In large bowl stir together dry ingredients. Stir in apples and make well in center of mixture. In small bowl (or in the measuring cup used for milk) beat together egg, milk, and oil. Add wet mixture to well in dry mixture and stir until just combined. Heat oil (or bacon fat) in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon pancake batter into skillet to form desired size of pancake. Flatten apples into batter if needed. When bubbles emerge throughout pancake*, flip. Cook a few more minutes on the second side. Serve right away or hold in a warm oven. If you have an extra apple, slice it and saute in a little butter with a sprinkle of chopped rosemary. Top pancakes with butter, sugar, and/or sauteed apples.
*Usually pancakes are ready to flip when just the edges are bubbly. The addition of apples makes them take a bit longer.