German Apple Pancakes, along with Dutch Babies, remind me of family celebrations at the Original Pancake House in Portland. I will be honest and say, not a day goes by that I don’t miss Portland and all the people who fill it. I am realizing the possibility that nostalgia might always be my dear friend. Quite honestly, I like it this way. I am most inspired in this state. I am learning that it is not a sign of being discontent or wishing for the past, it is just a process that helps me remember, feel more creative and ultimately more human. When I remember, all of my senses come alive and this is when I feel most myself. Through tastes, scents and sounds I remember past versions of myself as they spontaneously come back to say hello. I suppose they are never really gone. This morning I made this pancake and I remembered ordering one on my 17th Birthday just days after I returned home from my first solo trip to Italy. I was proudly wearing my Italian denim jacket and peasant style skirt with some ridiculous designer shades that were totally unnecessary in Portland, not to mention cost me months of work. The denim jacket still smelled just like Italy and so I refused to wash it. I ate this pancake with people I love while sharing every last detail about my life changing trip. Almost 10 years later this pancake is still relevant. 10 years later I am making it in my own kitchen for my family. One day I will miss this very season we are in. One day I will long for the time and space when I made German Apple pancakes on Sundays. One day Octave might even have memories of this pancake. Oh how I love tradition! Especially when it evolves and becomes our own. Memories are what I cherish most. My dear friend Jasmine once observed that I often say “I have to remember everything,” or “I want this moment to last forever.” I know this is not possible but through food, especially this gorgeous pancake, it becomes a little bit easier, a little more joyful and a little more tasty.
German Apple Pancake
2 granny smith apples, thinly sliced
½ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
¾ tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. salted butter
½ cup+ 2 tbsp. whole milk
¼ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup spelt flour or other flour of choice
Pre-heat oven to 475. Place 9 inch pie dish in oven while it is heating. If you have a 9-inch cast iron skillet use that. We don’t so I sautéed the apples in a saucepan and then transferred to a pie pan. If using cast iron you only need just that one skillet. Melt 3 tbsp. butter on medium heat and add in apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Once the apples start to simmer cover and reduce to low for 5-8 minutes or under tender. Meanwhile whisk together all the wet batter ingredients, adding in the flour last and set aside. Pour sautéed apples into the pie dish. Spread apples out evenly in the dish and quickly pour batter over the apples. You don’t want to mix anything just let it be after you pour and place in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar and fresh squeezed lemon. YUM YUM YUM!