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German Apple Pancake

The traditional way to make this beloved German dish, known as Apfelpfannkuchen, is to flip the pancake in the pan while it is on the stovetop to cook the second side. This can be a tricky maneuver since you don't want to displace the apples. Here, the pancake is finished in the oven, which is an easier option. Most other European pancakes, such as Swedish pancakes, are also cooked at least partially in the oven. European pancakes often contain pieces of fruit or meat, such as the apples used here or the ham called for in Swedish pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 large, tart apples, peeled, cored and cut
     into wedges 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

Directions:

In a blender, combine the eggs, vanilla and the 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar and blend until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds more.

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

In a 10-inch ovenproof, nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foaming has subsided, add the apples and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon and the remaining 1 Tbs. granulated sugar. Stir together and sauté until the apples are glazed and the edges are slightly translucent, about 2 minutes more.

Spread the apples evenly in the fry pan and pour the batter slowly over the top so the apples stay in place. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the bottom is firm, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the top of the pancake is firm, about 10 minutes more.

Remove from the oven and invert a flat serving plate over the fry pan. Holding the pan and plate together, invert them together and lift off the pan. Cut the pancake into 3 or 4 wedges and transfer to individual plates. Sprinkle each portion with confectioners' sugar and scatter with a few raspberries. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and serve immediately. Serves 3 or 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Breakfast, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2003).