Early on, my father was the pancake cook which meant corn pancakes: drained whole canned corn mixed into the basic Bisquick pancake recipe.
The exception was when apples were in season in the fall. Then he would peel and cut up fresh apples and add them in place of corn.
In college, I was the pancake cook so I made apple. The weekend of my boyfriend's graduation, some friends from his time growing up in Pittsburgh, including his best friend Scott, helped celebrate and crashed in my apartment. That Sunday, I made these apple pancakes.
It was one of those moments where you set down a heaping plate of food, turn around for one second and when you look back all that's left are a few crumbs. Were they that good? Maybe. Were we all a little hung over and in desperate need of some carbs to settle our stomach? (sheepishly) Yes.
Lately when we do have pancakes (as I said earlier, we are a waffle family now) I make them from scratch instead of from Bisquick. I like to avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils when I can, cooking from scratch allows me to do that. The recipe is adapted from here.
To make you need:
3/4 plus 1/4 cup of buttermilk*
2 Tablespoons melted cooled butter or vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Stuff to mix in to your pancakes like 2 apples (peeled, quartered and sliced into thin triangle-ish shapes) or chocolate chips.
- Pre Heat Oven to 200F and insert a baking sheet.
- Add all dry ingredients, including sugar, in a large bowl. Whisk briefly to combine.
- Whisk (you can use the same whisk as in step 1 if you don't want to make too many dishes) egg and 3/4 cup buttermilk until combined.
- Add slightly cooled melted butter while stirring just to make sure you don't cook any of the egg.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- If batter seems stiff add in a little buttermilk to loosen it slightly. You don't want a watery batter but you do want it to be liquid enough that it will spread a little when you ladle it into a pan.
- Gently fold your apples into the batter and let it rest while you prepare your pan.
- Set a non-stick pan over medium high heat (6 on a scale of 1-10 for my stove) with a pat of butter.
- Spread the butter around in the pan to make sure it it liberally greased.
- Accept that your first batch of pancakes may stick and turn out funny looking no matter what you do. Once you have a sense of the right temperature setting on your stove and how much your pancakes spread in the pan subsequent batches will turn out perfectly.
- Once the pan is nice and hot (a droplet of water splashed in the pan bubbles and cooks off quickly) but not smoking pour a soup ladle full of batter into pan. If you added apples or other extras make sure to give your batter a little stir and scoop from the bottom incase all of your add ins are on the bottom.
- Periodically check the cooking side of the pancake to make sure it isn't burning. Cook on first side until there are a lot of bubbles on top then flip. If your pancake is browning before bubbles form, then you heat is too high. Turn the heat down and pull the pan off the burner for a minute to let it cool.
- Cook pancake on the other side for another 1-2 minutes until cooked through.
- Transfer pancake to the cookie sheet in the warm oven.
- Repeat steps 11-14 until you use all the batter. The batter won't keep but you can refrigerate and reheat (in a toaster) extra pancakes.
- Enjoy with lots of real maple syrup or The Best Syrup Ever (recipe link coming soon).
*I never have buttermilk on hand. I usually have fresh lemons since they can be used in so many sweet and savory applications. I usually use a buttermilk substitute which is made by squeezing 1/2 of a lemon (no seeds please) into milk and letting it sit for 15-20 min. This will make pancakes that aren't too lemony. I happen to like lemony pancakes so I juice the whole lemon and zest the rind of the lemon into the batter for added zing.