Monday, August 11, 2008

Breakfast on the Barbecue: Baked Apple Pancake


Despite my profound love of cooking and baking, there is one essential culinary task that I absolutely detest: peeling. I'm painfully slow at it -- we're talking 3-5 minutes for one potato. The good news is, I bought myself a peeler which rests in the palm of my hand and shaves at least a minute off of each potato, apple, carrot, whatever. The bad news? My boyfriend and his roommates only own a dollar store quality peeler--and we were planning on making a baked apple pancake for breakfast two weekends ago.


There's something else: I'm not the most patient person in the world. So when it took me 20 minutes to peel three apples, I was on the verge of tears. We slept in, so my hunger wasn't helping, either. Irrationally frustrated, I was relieved when I finished the apples and walked over to the oven. I was about to preheat the oven when I remembered -- my boyfriend's oven is broken.


Oi. Luckily, I thought to use a cast iron dutch oven and try to barbecue breakfast instead. I am happy to say that my barbecued breakfast turned out beautifully.

The brown sugar forms a bit of caramel on the bottom, while the batter is like clafoutis -- firm, but custard-like. Served with a drizzle of maple syrup, it's a very decadent breakfast that's also perfect for brunch.

I've included oven instructions for the recipe, because for most of you it's probably easier to pop it into the oven than to stick it on the grill. But the barbecue modifications are very simple, and you can find those at the very bottom of the post.



INGREDIENTS

Apples
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter (or margarine, if you're at your non-baking boyfriend's house)
3 medium baking apples (I used McIntosh), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Batter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Melt butter over medium-high heat in an ovenproof frying pan or dutch oven. Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to brown and most of the juices have evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

2. Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, and salt until smooth.

3. Spread apples evenly across the bottom of the pan or dutch oven. Pour the batter over the apples. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the pancake is golden and puffed, 18 to 20 minutes.You can also put a knife into the centre of the pancake; if the knife comes out clean, it's done.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and cut into wedges. Serve immediately with a drizzle...or a big splash...of maple syrup.

Serves 4... or 2 really hungry people.


Note: if you do want to barbecue the pancake--say, if you're camping, or your oven's on the fritz--heat the barbecue to 425F as well, and just watch it closely after 15 minutes. Just as with the oven method, when a knife or toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, you'll know it's done.

3 comments:

Matty August 11, 2008 at 10:09:00 PM EDT  

What a yummy breakfast!

Lynnylu August 17, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM EDT  

Great for a camping trip! Looks easy and tasty.

R. Mansfield August 18, 2008 at 8:45:00 AM EDT  

I've created a link to this post in the "Recipes" section of our newest "Cast Iron Around the Web" entry at http://www.cookingincastiron.com

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