December 5th, 2008
The changing of the leaves that signify the start of fall remind me of Saturdays spent touring the apple orchards in Southwestern Wisconsin as a child. On a recent trip back home to Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to experience the fall foliage that I have longed for for the last 4 years since moving to Southern California. During that trip, my sister, mother and I made a stop at a local orchard on the way to my grandparents' home to do some fall baking. When it was all said and done we had 6 apple pies, a pan of apple crisp and a pot of applesauce.
Since coming home from that trip we have begun to regularly receive apples in our bi-weekly CSA box. This inspired me to get back into the kitchen using apples. I have to admit that not all of my cooking endeavors involving apples have been successful. In fact, my first attempt at a pumpkin-apple pie was mediocre at best. That's one recipe that I'm going to continue working before sharing. I did, however, have better luck with the applesauce and an apple pancake that is to die for!
Homemade Applesauce Ingredients
6 apples (Jonathan, Jonagold, Pink Lady or see
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup sugar (this will vary depending on the sweetness of your apples)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
¾ cup water
¼ cup apple juice - Its best to opt for a high quality juice, I prefer the
Homemade Applesauce Recipe
1. Mix apples, lemon juice and zest, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in saucepan. Add water and apple juice and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Apples will begin to breakdown after about 20-30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. If you prefer a smooth applesauce process through a food mill or with an immersion blender. If you prefer your applesauce chunky (as I do) mash against the side of pan with a wooden spoon or with a potato masher. Serve warm or cold on its own, or alongside pork or with a scoop of ice cream.
After making the applesauce I still had some apples left and had recently seen a recipe for an apple pancake that I was dying to try! This will easily serve 4 or more (2 if you are greedy), especially if you add it to a breakfast or brunch spread.
Apple Upside-Down Pancake Ingredients
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3-4 large apples, peeled, cored, quartered and cut into ½-inch slices
¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Apple Upside-Down Pancake Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 500°F and move rack to upper-middle position. Whisk together in large bowl flour, sugar and salt. In separate bowl whisk together egg, half-and-half and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth.
2. Over medium-high heat melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick (ovenproof) skillet. Add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook about 10 minutes until apples are golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
3. Pour batter in skillet over apples, starting around the edges and then over all the apples. Add skillet to oven and reduce oven temperature to 425°F. Bake until edge of pancake is brown and rises just over the skillet, about 16~18 minutes. Using a heatproof spatula loosen pancake edges and invert onto a large plate or serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and cut into wedges.