Saturday, February 2, 2013

How do you like them apples?

I had a handful of Granny Smiths that had been sitting in my fruit bowl ever since I made apple and blackberry jelly almost a month ago. They really needed using, so I decided I'd make Dutch layered pancakes (p216), a dessert made by layering pancakes with stewed spiced apple.

I'd intended to make this as last night, but didn't get around to it. By the time I'd even made any dinner, it was nearly 10pm! Instead, I chose to do the pancakes as a brunch this morning.

I started by peeling and chopping the apples, and stewing them in a pan with sugar and cinnamon. I'm guessing it's the apple and cinnamon that's the 'Dutch' bit in this recipe, though the stack itself might be a Dutch thing too, for all I know.

When the apples were soft, I took a potato masher to them till I had a reasonably smooth puree. It was thick, with very little excess liquid. This consistency turned out to be ideal, as a moist apple mixture would make the pancake stack soggy.

Next, I turned to the pancakes. These are made with Edmonds pancake mix, but you could use your own preferred pancake recipe. If you're going to use this one, make note of the fact that the egg and milk required  for the pancakes are listed in the instructions on the box, but not in the actual recipe, which merely says 'make pancakes according to packet directions'.

I'm not great at making pancakes. My first few were a bit thin and flimsy around the edges, but after that, I managed to make them fairly uniform. I found that the pancake mix had a lot of lumps in it, which I couldn't get rid of, no matter how much I whisked. If you use the pancake mix, put it through a sieve before you mix in the eggs and milk - hopefully it'll reduce the number of lumps.

I got eight pancakes out of the mixture that should theoretically have made fifteen. Still, I guess I was using a bit more batter for each pancake than it said on the box. Eight was plenty enough for my purposes, anyway.

I started layering the pancakes, spreading each with a thin layer of the spicy stewed apple before placing the next pancake over the top. It was quite hard to judge how much apple to use - I was spreading quite sparingly, and wound up with more than I needed at the end. I lifted up the stack in a few places and eased a bit more in to some of the lower layers.

The final stack did not really look that impressive: just a squat little pile of mismatched pancakes. When I cut into it, however, I was delighted to see that both stack and slice held together perfectly, and that all the layers actually looked relatively even.

The slice holds together just like a piece of cake. You can eat it with a cake fork or pick it up with your fingers. More importantly, it tastes delicious. You wouldn't think you'd get that much flavour just from apple, sugar and a bit of cinnamon, but it's just really tasty. Everyone loves pancakes; add a bit of spicy apple and I'm more than happy.


  1. Hi Robyn.
    I was searching for gherkin relish/fresh gherkins and I came across your blog. Two years ago you said that you had been on the look-out for fresh gherkins for a particular recipe, and that when all hope had been lost you had managed to find some - I know that feeling :). I, too, am now on the look-out for fresh gherkins. I know it's a long shot, but I was wondering whether the person you brought yours off is still selling and/or where in the country you found them? Again, I know this was a while ago, but I love gherkin relish and the company that used to make it is being sold, so I am trying to make it myself - somethings in this life are just worth a little extra effort. Cheers, Leisha :)

  2. Hi Leisha
    I got the gherkins from a place on Russley Rd; it's not a shop, just someone who sold them from their house. They used to have a sign out on the street with a phone number for orders, but I'm not sure it's still there with all the 4-laning roadworks. You could take a drive down there and have a look. Good luck!

  3. Will definitely give these a go some time, really good!c


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