Whenever birthday season rolls around, we like to give the birthday child a few treats of their own choosing, within reason. I do believe my middle child is a budding foodie. The days leading up to his birthday he talked about how he wanted to have apple pancakes for breakfast, something we have never made or even offered. I got to thinking. How could I alter my buttermilk pancakes to create a version apple-y enough for a four-year-old’s palate, but not cloyingly so for the rest of us? As I was mulling over the idea, I realized that this was a perfect Fearless Friday experiment.
Apple Cider Pancakes
- 4 TBSP butter, melted
- 2 cups vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose or plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 large apple – sliced very thin
- Cooking oil- optional
Just like with the buttermilk pancakes, it’s very helpful to let the liquid ingredients approach room temperature. Measure the yogurt and apple cider and set out the eggs about 30 minutes before you begin the recipe.
When you’re ready to get started, melt the butter. Crack the eggs and beat them just until they are one color. Combine all the liquid ingredients in a large bowl, stirring thoroughly. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. If you tried the buttermilk pancakes, you may have noticed I omitted the sugar. Both the apple cider and vanilla yogurt bring enough of their own to this recipe.
Pour half the dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet. Whisk or stir briskly until there are no lumps. Carefully add the second half of the flour mixture and gently stir until it is just combined. We’re trying to not disturb the chemical reaction we started with the first half of the dry ingredients.
Begin heating your skillet. If you’re using an electric skillet, I found this recipe needed to be 275F, vs the 300F of the buttermilk pancakes. If you are using a skillet on the stove, you’ll need to be on the lowest setting, but give the pan plenty of time to get hot before adding the first cupful of batter. Don’t forget, if you need to grease your pan, to wipe out all of the excess oil. Pancakes are little sponges and easily get greasy. If you use a nonstick pan that is in good shape, cooking oil is probably not necessary.
While the skillet is heating and the batter is resting – actually the batter is very busy, there’s a reaction between the baking soda, powder and the acids in the yogurt and apple cider- slice your apple. It’s best if the apple is not red delicious or any of the blander varieties. We are huge fans of Gala or Honeycrisp, they have enough tartness to survive heating, but aren’t so tart that they aren’t fun to eat out of hand. If you are doubling or tripling this batch for an event, sprinkle the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning.
When the skillet is hot, pour the batter onto the skillet by 1/3 cup fulls. Place 2 – 3 slices of apples on each pancake and allow them to cook for about 2 minutes each side. Be careful, these are a little harder to turn than the plain buttermilk ones.
Unless you enjoy playing short-order cook for people, keep the finished pancakes in the oven set at 200F. This will keep them at serving temperature until the whole batch has been cooked.