Apples were never my favourite fruit. Growing up I found ways and excuses to avoid them. My mom, however, found ways to feed me apples. Maybe those ways weren’t the healthiest, but at least I got some nutrition out of them. Mom made cinnamon, walnut and apple quick and easy cakes during fall. She baked apples stuffed with raisins and dollops of butter until they were smooth and melty. She boiled apples together with dried fruit like prunes and apricots and made drinks (these were called Compote in Russia and were served instead of exotic juices that were very rare). She also made pancakes.
I loved waking up to the aroma of sweet doughy pancakes frying on the stove. The smell of apples hitting the hot pan filled the air and I’d steal one pancake and eat it fast, burning my mouth. Later, we would sit down to a big platter filled with a mountain of Apple Pancakes. We used to eat them with thick and tangy sour cream and a spoonful of peach jam, drinking tea and watching morning TV shows.
I haven’t had Apple Pancakes for a very long time. After buying a many-pound bag of apples at Costco, I knew that I had to make Apple Pancakes, soft and fluffy from buttermilk, filled with crisp pieces of apples and a faint hint of cinnamon. Contrasting flavours and textures. The smell of the batter frying hit me with memories, but the pancakes weren’t as I remembered. There was no carefree childlike happiness of grabbing a hot cake off the pan. There was no sour cream and jam. There was no weekend ahead filled with possibilities of adventures and toys and cartoons.
These pancakes became an adult version of my childhood memory. Served with deep caramel maple syrup, made with little oil to conserve calories, but still eaten over a long breakfast on a weekend filled with possibilities of good books and favourite tv shows and purring cats.
Buttermilk – 1 1/2 cups
Eggs – 2 large
Brown sugar – 1 tablespoon (or more if sweeter pancakes are desired)
Quick oats – 1/3 cup
Cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt – a pinch
Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
All purpose flour – 1 1/3 cup
Apples – 1-2 apples (I used 1 1/2)
Oil for pan frying
- In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and brown sugar.
- Add quick oats, cinnamon, salt and mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until flour disappears. Mixture will still be lumpy.
- Dice the apple into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the batter. You can also grate the apple, but the texture of the pancakes and flavour will be a bit different. Also, if apples are grated, they’d need to be squeezed and flour would need to be adjusted. I prefer diced apples. I like the contrast between the texture of soft pancake and cooked but still crispy apples.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat, brush with oil and drop big spoonfuls of batter.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles start to form. Flip and cook another 2 minutes or until cooked through.
- I usually keep cooked pancakes in 200F oven while I make them in batches.