Did you just go apple picking and over-excitingly pick more apples than what you bargained for? Don't worry! We always have the same dilemma. However, not a bad situation to be in!
Fall is the perfect season in our opinion. It comes with all sorts of fun fall activities, but it is also the perfect food season. *Queue in apple picking outings and spiced baking!*
In my mind, "apple" season means it is time to break out all my sweaters, enjoy some hot pumpkin spiced lattes, turn on the Red album by Taylor Swift (Taylor's Version, of course), and watch the leaves change colors. The reality is that it is still hot and humid during September in New Jersey. Despite the heat getting hotter and hotter each year, we still try to go apple picking every September, since it is the month for apples.
Besides it being way too hot for September, we still want to embrace all there is for the fall season. That includes pretending like it isn't 80° to 90° F, throwing on a chunky sweater, and baking autumn-tastic treats! There are all kinds of things you can cook and bake with fresh apples: everything from apple pie to muffins and even these delicious apple pancakes!
So, how did we create these pancakes? After Ashley went apple picking with her in-laws one year, she brought home an overabundance of apples. There were so many apples, we started to run out of ideas on how to use them. We had already made a pie and I had made apple muffins, but there were still more apples!
After a long day of work for me and my mom and school for Ash, we were trying to decide what to make for dinner that wasn't going to be too much of a cleanup. We decided to have breakfast for dinner and we would make pancakes. In Ashley's half-exhausted state, she exclaimed that we should add slices of apples to the pancakes. Honestly, it was not a bad idea at all, so that is what we did!
Get the most out of your fresh apples!
Before we get started, there are a few things you can do and how to store your harvest to make it last - tips we wish we had known about when Ash brought home her apple abundance.
First, don’t wash your apples until you’re ready to use them! This will prevent them from spoiling.
For storage, keep them in a cool place, ideally in a basement, cellar, or your refrigerator’s fruit/vegetable drawer. When kept cool, apples can stay fresh for weeks, sometimes even months, depending on the variety.
Joe's Cooking Tip
Joe's tip is to roast the apple slices on an oiled skillet or on the BBQ beforehand. It ensures the apples will come out soft in your pancakes, similar to how apples are in apple pie.
Now, let's get to pancaking! (That's a word, right?)
Ashley's Apple Picking Pancakes
2 cups buttermilk
1 and ½ teaspoons of lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature*
1 teaspoon vanilla
* Replace the butter with oil or palm shortening, if needed
1 teaspoon sunflower oil (or oil of choice) or cooking spray
3 to 5 apples, thinly sliced
Cinnamon, for garnish
Maple syrup, for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until well combined, about 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl or stand mixer, add the buttermilk, lemon/lime juice, eggs, and butter; beat together. Once combined, add in the vanilla and give the mixture another mix.
Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined. At this point, the batter is going to be very thick. Add the second half of the dry mixture and mix until lumpy and just combined. (If the batter is too thick, add some water to loosen it up). Let the batter rest for 10 minutes
In the meantime, you can slice the apples. We left the skin on, but that is entirely your preference.
Working in batches, add a heaping quarter-cup of batter onto the skillet, spreading lightly with the bottom of the cup or with a spoon. While the bottom of the batter is cooking, add the apple slices to the top portion. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the top portion of the batter, surrounding the apple slices starts to bubble and the edges are beginning to set. Flip the pancake and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Repeat step 6 until you are out of batter.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve with maple syrup.