By Jorj Morgan
This fall recipe really cheered me up. We had a rainy summer and a couple of she-devil hurricanes here in the mountains of North Carolina, and it all but killed the autumn leaves. Before they can turn golden, orange and red, they’re blown to the ground. This would be deeply upsetting, if it weren’t for the fact that apple trees LOVE rain!That’s the surprise on the side…warm, seasoned apples to eat with your pumpkin pancakes. Thanks to all the rain in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the apple crop this year is about as abundant as I’ve seen. The varieties are too numerous to taste, but I managed to grab several varieties of apple (and a hefty haul of pumpkins) at the farmer’s market this year.
Like all my best recipes, this breakfast comes from a childhood memory.I have made so many dishes that take advantage of pumpkin and apple. I’ve shared many of them with you. But, this one for pumpkin griddle cakes with sautéed apples – from my book Fresh Traditions: Classic Dishes for a Contemporary Lifestyle is a favorite.
My grandmother, Mary Magner made flapjacks the size of a pie in a large cast-iron skillet every Sunday morning after church. She served them with rich maple syrup and spicy pork sausage. (please don’t ask me about the sausage…. I remember playing with da pigs….).
My other grammy, Marie Cohen, made delicious applesauce she served alongside her delicate potato pancakes, always dousing both with powdered sugar. The kicker was that potato pancakes were served for dinner! What a treat to happen upon the Sunday you ate flapjacks in the morning, and latkes at night. Those were the days.
Start the fall season with a brunch that features pumpkin pancakes. Sugared apples make the dish even more festive. If you are not counting calories, add a bowlful of whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted nuts for an over-the-top garnish.
I bet your family will love it!!
Serves about 4 to 6 (about 12 4-inch pancakes)
30 minute cuisine
4 tablespoons butter, ½ stick, divided
4 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced, about 4 cups
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of ½ medium lemon, about 1 tablespoon
For griddle cakes:
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the apples in the butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle the apples with brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for 2 minutes or until the apples are golden and syrupy. Stir in the lemon juice. Keep the apples warm.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs and milk. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture to form a smooth batter.
Stir in 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan or on a griddle over medium heat. Ladle about ½ cup batter into the pan. Continue layering to create as many cakes as you can without over-crowding the pan. You need room to flip! Cook until the top begins to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve the griddle cakes with a spoonful of syrupy sautéed apples.
For more delicious recipes visit Jorj’s website.