Waste Not Want Not Cooking: Baked Apple Pancake

I have to admit that I have not always been a good steward of our food supply.  I’ve never been a particularly methodical person, which is really important in order to make sure that all foods you buy get used in a timely manner, especially those with a “short shelf life” like meat and fresh fruits and vegetables.  So I do occasionally throw something away just because I didn’t use it soon enough.

But I’m getting better!  I bought quite a few packages of meat when I thought we might be snowed in.  And I’m pleased to say that when I make barbequed chicken today (with the last two of the baking potatoes and the last bag of salad), I will have used up most of my fresh prepared-for-blizzard purchases.

But when I came into the kitchen this morning I noticed the last two apples in a bowl on the counter.  They weren’t spoiled yet, but they definitely didn’t look very fresh.  They were no longer rock hard like we like our snacking apples to be so I would have normally thrown them away.  But I suddenly remembered a recipe for apple pancakes that I had set aside from the newspaper a few days ago and wondered if two slightly past their prime Gala apples would work for that recipe.

We have a once-a-week column in our evening newspaper that is written by an Amish wife and mother.  I don’t always read her account of what has been going on in her family for the week, but she usually includes a recipe and I do always look at it.  The Amish are known for their good cooking and many of their recipes are ones that you don’t find in English (in their lingo, that’s all of us who aren’t Amish) cookbooks.

So, I looked for the recipe in the cupboard where I keep my recipes and, eureka, the recipe called for two apples and luckily didn’t specify “fresh”!

So, I made it for breakfast and we really liked it.  Here it is:

When I removed each slice from the pan, I turned it over on the plate so that the apples were on top.  She didn’t specify that, but I thought it would look the most appetizing that way.  (Note to self: next time you should really take the time to “arrange” the apple slices.  It would look even better.)

Apple Oven Pancakes (serves 4)

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Put an oven-proof 9″ or 10″ skillet in the oven.

My Note:  Melt 3 T. of butter in a small bowl or cup in the microwave now so that it will have time to cool a little before you add some of it to the egg mixture.

Ingredients:

2 tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 C. brown sugar firmly packed

3/4 t. cinnamon

3/4 C. flour

1/4 t. salt

3 large eggs

3/4 C. milk

1 t. vanilla

3 T. butter, melted (cooled slightly)

Assembly:

In a bowl, combine apple slices with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Toss gently to coat well.

In another bowl, combine flour and salt.

In a small bowl or large cup, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and 1 T. of the melted butter.  Add to the flour and blend.  The mixture will have the typical slightly lumpy appearance of pancake batter.

Take skillet from oven and add the remaining melted butter.  Swirl to coat bottom of pan.

Arrange apple slices over bottom of pan.  (There was  a little brown sugar “goo” left in the bottom of the bowl of apples, so I used a spoon to scrape it out and put it on top of the apples.)

Pour batter over the apples.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked and lightly browned.

We ate this as soon as it came out of the oven.  Because it’s called a pancake, I had put butter and syrup on the table, but we found that neither was necessary.  It was delicious just as it was.  A great Saturday morning breakfast!

No matter whether you are one of those who are going through tough times money-wise or not, it is smart for all of us to look for ways to be good stewards of what we have.  So this breakfast not only tasted delicious to me, but it made me happy that I found a use for those two slightly past their prime apples.

“Waste not, want not.”, is an old saying that still makes sense.  And, like me, you’re never too old to adopt it as your own.

12 Responses to Waste Not Want Not Cooking: Baked Apple Pancake

  1. Debbie says:

    My recipe is a little different, but the results are the same. Mouth-watering warm goodness! I know what you’re sayin about waste. My bananas usually end up in a smoothie or banana bread and my apples baked or in this recipe. I know my husband loves it when we have “spare fruit goin” to waste, because he loves an apple pancake! Have a warm weekend!

  2. Linda says:

    This does sound good. But you know me…if throwing the apples away was not an option and the only choices were to either eat them or cook with them…I’d be choking down those past-their-prime apples. 🙂

  3. Sandra says:

    Debbie — I know what you’re saying. Hubby doesn’t usually get enthusiastic about new recipes I try, but after we ate this one, he said, “You can make that any time you like. It was delicious!” A great way to use up apples. And I wonder if it wouldn’t be good with some other fruits too, like peaches or raspberries.

  4. Sandra says:

    Well, Linda, I know that is kind of your history, but you might want to try this. We really did like it, so you might find it worth that whole cooking thing. 🙂

  5. Mary Bowlin says:

    That looks delicious…what time is breakfast?!!! 🙂
    I read that column too…find it interesting and thank goodness everyday, I have electricity!!! 🙂

  6. Sandra says:

    Mary — I did think about what I know about how the Amish cook while I was making this. I know they don’t use electric ovens, but they may have gas. I don’t think they do without much because they don’t use electricity — I think they’ve learned pretty well how to improvise. 😉

    It IS delicious. But I think we probably eat breakfast a little too early for you, at least at this time of year. 🙂

  7. Hilary says:

    That looks yummy! I love cooking with apples and used to make pancakes with them all the time.. just stove top. I imagine this recipe would be scrumptious with fresh peaches and raspberries. Drooling, here!

  8. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I have never been a big pancake eater, but this really appealed to me. It had a slight custard flavor — and I love egg custard. Yes, I will probably try it with some other fruits, but I think since we liked the original so much, and because apples are the fruit that we usually have on hand, we’ll probably end up making it just this way most of the time. I’m drooling too — and already trying to figure out the next time I can have an excuse to make it!

  9. Amy Ostrowski says:

    When is breakfast next weekend? Reservations for 5 please. They look unbelievable yummy!

  10. Sandra says:

    Amy — That would be fun. You make the trip and I’ll cook the breakfast!! 🙂

  11. Suldog says:

    I like trying to find uses for the leftover bits in the fridge that would otherwise just be thrown out. I’m not always successful, but sometimes. Problem is, I almost never write down what I’m doing, so most of the time a really good dish will be a one-time-only because I’ll never remember how to replicate it.

  12. Sandra says:

    Amen, Suldog. I’m the same way. I made nacho dip for our super bowl snack last night, and by the time I got it to the point it tasted good I had put so many extra ingredients in it that I would never be able to make it exactly that way again. I’m always doing that. I guess that’s just the curse of us creative cooks! 🙂

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