I’ll turn pretty much anything into brunch. Breakfast pizza, ham and egg quesadillas, pumpkin brunch cake. We’ll talk about all of those some time soon, I promise. But the point is that I love twisting just about any recipe to make it fit the morning hours. It probably started in the years I ran a Bed & Breakfast, when all of my creative cooking energy was necessarily channeled into that one meal. After three hundred plates of Eggs Benedict one simply has to branch out!
During Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, we celebrate life and wish each other a sweet new year by toasting with chunky wedges of apple dipped in honey. As a kid, I loved the blue-striped dish my Aunt Beth brought out only for Rosh Hashanah. The dish had a little well in the center, which held just enough honey to dunk as many apples as she could pile around the platter. I was probably in college before I realized that this magical dish was simply a repurposed chip-and-dip tray.
Crisp apple wedges slathered with sticky honey make a fantastic snack, but as with so many holiday treats, they seem to make an appearance but once a year. A shame, really. But these apple pancakes are simply fantastic. Drizzled with a bit of good, local honey, this is the decadent breakfast version of Rosh Hashanah’s signature dish. Which is why the pancakes appeared in my September Cozy, Delicious column for the Dedham Transcript (you can read it here). If you have never drizzled pancakes with honey instead of maple syrup, try it now! And if you can, go for a deep, rich local honey instead of that supermarket squeeze-bear stuff.
I love the double apple impact in these pancakes. The grated apple imparts flavor and the apple slice is not only beautiful, but gets a wonderful caramelized texture as it cooks. I go for granny smiths myself, but it’s up to you. I think that a nice crisp pear might work well here too, and the shape of the slice would be really fun, if you prefer pears to apples.
Apples ‘N Honey Pancakes
2 medium apples
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter
Additional warm honey for serving
Grate one apple. Cut the other apple into thin slices (you should get 10-15 slices from the apple).
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, yogurt, milk, honey and lemon zest. If the honey is too viscous, warm for 10 seconds in the microwave. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture, along with the grated apple, and stir just to combine.
Heat a griddle (or large pan) on medium. Grease the griddle with a bit of the butter. Drop the batter the by the half-cup onto the hot griddle. Top each pancake with a slice of apple. When bottoms are set and bubbles appear around the edges, flip the pancakes. Cook until the apple slice begins to caramelize and darken (carefully lifting an edge to check after a minute or two). Repeat with additional butter, batter, and apples until all of the batter is used. Serve hot with plenty of honey.