Hooray! My favourite day of the year is nearly upon us. Pancake Day is just the best. I could eat pancakes all day every day given half a chance.
I’ve been favouring the thicker American-style pancakes for a while, but I recently rediscovered the simple joy of a French-style crepe.
I know from teaching cooking that pancakes are one of those things that people think must be so much more difficult than they actually are. It’s probably got something to do with all the flipping. But honestly, they are so simple and easy to make.
I always think its strange that you can buy ready-made pancake batter in the shops when a perfectly delicious homemade batter only needs three simple ingredients that you’ll already have in your cupboard.
I always face a dilemma on Pancake Day as to what I am going to have with my pancakes. Lemon and sugar is pretty hard to beat, but then I also love some melted Nutella or golden syrup. Or, y’know, one of everything!
This year I’ll definitely be making these caramel apple pancakes. They are just gorgeous and take the whole Pancake Day thing to another level.
- 100g plain flour
- 2 egg
- 300ml milk
- pinch salt
- vegetable oil for frying
- 5 large apples, peeled and chopped (I just used normal apples, not cooking apples)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (dairy free if you like)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- ½ cup double cream (you can also use thick coconut milk too if you want to keep it dairy free)
- Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Crack the eggs into the middle, then pour in a little milk. Start whisking from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the eggs and milk.
- Once all the flour is incorporated, beat until you have a smooth, thick paste. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff to beat. Keep adding the milk and whisk to loosen the thick batter. Continue pouring and whisking until you have a batter that is the consistency of slightly thick single cream.
- Use a piece of kitchen paper to grease a small non stick frying pan and pour about half a ladle of batter at a time to make a pancake.
- (Traditionally, people would tell you to allow the batter to sit for 30 mins, so that the starch in the flour can swell, but I never find any need for this and don't bother to be honest.)
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Peel, core and chop the apples into ½-inch dice. Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and sprinkle brown sugar. Cook covered over medium-high heat until apples begin to soften. Uncover and continue to cook, stir until the apples are soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add vanilla, salt and stir. Using a slotted spoon remove apples into a separate bowl keeping the juices in the pan. Add cream and reduce sauce until the consistency of thin caramel sauce. Remove from heat.
- Fill each crepe and fold into a triangle and place in a baking dish. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until filling is hot. To serve, arrange on plate , drizzle with the caramel sauce.
You can make the pancakes ahead of time and keep them warming in the oven if you don’t fancy the pressure of flipping them in front of other people.
These apple caramel pancakes are great because you can make them well in advance – even a day or two before, because they then get assembled and baked gently in the oven.
Seriously easy peasy lemon squeezy*
*additional lemon and sugar pancakes optional.
Oh, and don’t forget to pre-order my book, Guilt-Free Nice Cream!