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Baked Apple Pancake

My favourite desserts are, usually, very simple.

If Patrick and I go out for ice cream, he will almost always choose an elaborate flavour – like caramel fudge donkey tracks – and will laugh when I order a plain vanilla in a waffle cone. While some folk enjoy extra chocolate chunks in their chocolate brownie (with chocolate frosting, of course), I prefer a moist, plain brownie topped with cream.

This blog is, so far, quite dessert heavy, so I will understand if you want to call me a liar, but I’m just not into crazy, multi-component sweets. Getting into my seventh month of pregnancy, though, I have been – let’s say – craving sweeter things as of late. When dinner is finished and there’s no cake or ice cream in the kitchen, I feel incomplete. Patrick says it’s because I’m having an Irish baby (did you know, alongside Weetabix, that the Irish are very fond of cake? Like, more so than most people.).

There are ways to satisfy my cravings without having a huge chunk of cake for dessert, thankfully. This baked apple pancake is one of them. It has very few ingredients and is leavened using stiffly beaten egg whites. The caramel-apple topping is the source of the sweetness and the base is oh-so light and fluffy. It’s perfect with a cup of tea, or if you’re feeling extra-naughty, a scoop of vanilla bean Haagen Dazs. Since it’s made with stuff you’ll probably have in your pantry, it’s also a great dessert to make if you have unexpected company (it literally takes 15 minutes of your time, from start to finish).

Like all of my favourite desserts, it is simple. But why over-complicate such a wonderful thing? For all its simplicity, it is a perfect, light dessert – made for sharing.

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Baked Apple Pancake

Ingredients:

For the caramel:

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Granny Smith (or any baking) apple, peeled and sliced

For the pancake:

2 2/3 Tbsp all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

2 eggs, separated

2 2/3 Tbsp milk

2 2/3 Tbsp sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees Celcius, no fan).
  • In a cast iron frying pan (or any pan that you can put in the oven), melt butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon into the pan, followed by the apple slices.
  • Cook the apple slowly, allowing the sugar to caramelize, over medium-low heat for five minutes.
  • In the meantime, mix the flour, salt, egg yolks, milk in a bowl until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks are formed and the whites are able to hold their own shape.
  • Mix a third of the egg whites directly into the batter, then slowly fold in the rest of the whites.
  • Pour the batter over the caramelized apples, ensuring it’s spread evenly over the surface of the pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. The batter should rise significantly (similar to a soufflé) and be golden brown on top when you take the pancake out.
  • While it’s still hot, cover the pan with a plate and turn pancake over onto the plate. Serve with freshly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or just as is.

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