Wednesday, July 11, 2012

. . . Baking It Easy

It is a glorious day here in Vermont - bright and sunny but not too hot, just the kind of day Grandma used to love to climb on a motorcycle and go!  These days, one of Grandma's dreams is to have one of those "tricycle" sorts of motorcycles, one that looks a bit like this

One Very Happy Dog!
Grandma went out to the grocery store on Sunday and what did she see getting out of the car but this great, bright yellow rig with a custom trailer for the family pooch!

Isn't this just the luckiest dog alive?  Grandma has never known a dog that didn't love to go riding, but few of them get their very own motorcycle ride!  That red band around his belly is his very own seat belt.  His favorite teddy bear is along for the ride and his little trailer is lined with a comfy rug and has a wind screen to keep stuff from blowing in his eyes.

Grandma went to the store to get the few things she needed to make a special meringue and lemon curd dessert, the kind of thing that makes you look like a rock star but takes no time at all!  With one thing and another, she hasn't gotten the meringues done - you do need to "cook" those the night before - and as usual, Grandma keeps taking "just one little taste" of the lemon curd.  Last summer she took a notion to make some lemon curd tarts and it took six tries to get both tart shells and lemon curd ready in the kitchen at the same time.  Lemon curd is just so scrumptious straight off the spoon when it is too hot to cook.

Never mind, try again! 


Bake it Easy with Grandma

Grandma has an aunt that in her younger years was famous in her rather large circle as the "hostess with the mostest."  She always made entertaining look SO easy!  She could lay around in the swimming pool all day long, get out at 5 pm, towel dry and be beautifully attired & greeting guests by 7 pm!  No, she did not have a maid!

Grandma has never had quite Auntie's aplomb when it comes to entertaining, so she adores recipes that make it look like she does.  This Dutch Apple Pancake is one of those.  You could even make the apple part a day or two ahead. One pancake will serve two to four, depending on what you serve along with it.  (Grandma particularly likes bacon or sausage, perhaps some fresh fruit and of course vanilla ice cream.)  If you are feeding more just use two skillets and double the recipe.

Dutch Apple Pancake

Inviting people for Saturday or Sunday brunch is a fantastic way to entertain!  The atmosphere is much more relaxed, the food is usually much less expensive.  This Dutch Apple Pancake is one of those things that is guaranteed to make people think that you just SLAVED in the kitchen. Don't tell anybody, but it only takes about 5 minutes!

Apple Filling:

Apples added to the pan to sauté

Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan.  Peel, core and thinly slice two tart apples.  Grandma used Granny Smith's here.  Toss the apples with the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2  teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, a pinch of  powdered cloves, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of white sugar.  (You can also use maple sugar instead of the brown.)

Sautéed apples, ready to cool

Add the apple mixture to the pan and cooking, stirring now and then, for 4-5 minutes until the apples are partially cooked and the sugar forms a small amount of sauce.  Set aside to cool.

NOTE:  You can make this the day before (or even two) and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook the pancake.  Let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before continuing.

Pancake Batter:

Ready to add the milk

Place 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of salt and 2/3 cup of flour into a medium bowl.

Batter ready for the pan

Add 2/3 cup of milk and whisk until smooth, about a minute.

NOTE:  You can make the batter the night before and refrigerate it overnight.  Let it stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking.

Baking the pancake:

Put 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter into an oven safe pan.  Grandma uses her trusty, well-seasoned cast iron skillet.  Place the skillet into the oven to melt the butter and heat the pan while the oven preheats to 425F, about 10 minutes.

Into the hot pan with the batter!

Pour the batter into the hot skillet.  This is easiest to do if you leave the skillet right on your oven rack while you add the batter.  Grandma took her's out of the oven for picture taking purposes.


Distribute the apples fairly evenly over the center of the pancake batter.  Be sure to add any extra sauce.


Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pancake is puffed and golden around the edges.  Dust with powdered sugar if you want and serve immediately.  One pancake serves 2-4.  Grandma particularly likes her's topped with a little vanilla ice cream -

A taste of Vermont, made right up the  road from Grandma's

but a dab of whipped cream is good too . . or even nothing at all!


So, Grandma must confess that her friend the pooch up at the top of the page brought a certain movie to mind . . . you know the one, where the French Mama gives her daughter the book How to Train Your Dog as the secret to a happy marriage?  Grandma just had to go look it up on Youtube:

Grandma looked and looked for this movie, but apparently the internet lied this time.  It is not available on Amazon Instant Video or on Netflix. I guess I'll just have to break down and buy If a Man Answers - they don't make them like this anymore!

Taco Salad for dinner, thanks to a great idea from a reader!  Here's a little more Bobby Darren and Sandra Dee on my way out the door -

Stay cool!


  1. I adore that movie. I took a lot of my marriage advice from it. Reward for good behavior, etc.


    1. I should have done! Unfortunately I realized that a little too late, though in my defense he did go off to basic a mere two months after we married. By the time I had the opportunity to put any advice to good use it was too late I think.

      Still, I do adore this movie. And since nobody has it for me to watch for free now and then I'll grab myself a DVD.

  2. Wow - what a great recipe for Dutch Apple Pancake. Gonna copy this one to my Desserts and/or Breakfast recipe sections of my cookbooks. As always, great work Grandma!

    1. I'm not sure this would make a great dessert SueM. It is not very sweet other than from the little bit of sugar in the apples and any ice cream you might use. Many years ago when I was at college (again) there was a restaurant in town we liked to go to that always had this on the menu for Sunday brunch. They would bring it out in oval cast iron skillets and, OH, it was just wonderful. I love to make this for brunch, even just for myself.

      I was dumbfounded when I ever found how easy it is to make and almost nobody believes you haven't been in there sweating away.

  3. That is one lucky puppy!

    I do remember making this dish when I was a young lady. My girl friends warned me NOT to make this dish for a guy I was dating that I didn't particularly want hanging around too much longer because I would never be able to get rid of him!

    Luckily, I did make it for another young fella, who has been hanging around for more than 36 years. He is of Dutch descent and likes this pancake with a little caramel sauce drizzled on top, or sometimes some pure maple syrup. Pretty darn tasty. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It has been awhile since I made it - seeing your scrumptious photos makes me want to make it again in my old cast iron skillet.


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