Friday, November 11, 2016

Appelpannekoeken (from The Netherlands)

Special request from younger daughter who is in bad need of comfort food this week.

We used to make these apple pancakes when she was growing up. Sprinkled with powdered sugar they're obviously not something I make often thesedays now that I'm all about healthy eating! But we didn't know any better back then. All that mattered was that they were comforting and delicious!

Dutch Apple Pancakes  (makes 4 large)

2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 lrg eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
12 Tbs butter (1/4 lb stick)
2 med. sized tart cooking apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1/4" thick slices
Syrup for serving (optional)

Combine the flour and salt in a deep bowl. Make a well in center and pour in the eggs. Whisk to gradually blend Then, stirring constantly, pour in the milk in a thin stream and mix until batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
Melt two Tbs butter in a non-stick skillet over moderate heat. When the foam subsides add one fourth of the apple slices to the pan stirring until lightly and evenly browned. Pour in one cup of the batter and cook the pancake for 2 -3 minutes. When it is browned around the edges place a plate over the pan and turn the pancake onto the plate, browned side up. Add 1 Tbs butter to the pan and slide the pancake back in for two minutes longer to brown the underside. Slide out onto a heated plate. With a fork roll the pancake into a cylinder, cover loosely with foil to keep it warm while you fry the remaining pancakes.
Serve as soon as possible with syrup, whipped cream or ice cream.

Variation: Spek pannekoeken (bacon pancakes.) Instead of apples cook 8 slices of bacon and use two in the center of each pancake.

Palachinki (aka Crepes)

When our children were growing up one of their favourite treats was palachinki. Whenever we visited their Ukrainian grandmother she would make palachinki. As fast as they came off the pan they'd disappear, like worms down hungry baby birds' gullets! At the time I was pretty much intimidated by anything that smacked of French Cooking. Julia Child I was not, though I could manage a close enough imitation of her voice to have the kids rolling around the kitchen --- impressed either by my nailing it or by how ridiculous I sounded in the effort. I'm chill with going to my grave not knowing which. My children liked them best plain --- with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a thin scrape of jam. Roll them up close your eyes and munch! Delicious.

I am no longer intimidated. Palachinki/crepes are simple and quick to make. You can make them savoury or sweet and fill them with anything - fruit, vegetables, cheese, whatever.

Grandma's Palachinki:

3 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbs sugar (for dessert crepes.) Omit for savoury.
2 cups flour

Mix everthing together in a blender or whisk in a medium bowl.

Let sit at covered in the fridge for an hour.

Heat a small pan, then brush lightly with butter or oil. I use a small ladle to spoon out just enough to swirl quickly over the bottom of the pan. You should have just enough to cover it. Adjust the amt. for subsequent crepes.Cook about 30 seconds, until it looks dry, then flip and cook the other side 10-15 seconds until brown freckles form on the underside. flip out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool while you continue making more. When they are cool you can stack them with wax paper between. Will keep in the refrigerator for several days -- but probably not if you have little people or palachinki seeking big people around.
 Just warm up when ready to serve.

As Julia would say - Bon appetit!

Note# 1: Be sure the pan is good and hot before you start otherwise the first few panachinki will be rejects..

Note# 2:  I also like Alton Brown's recipe which you can find on the internet. He adds 3 tbs melted butter to the batter. In that case you won't need to butter the pan as you go.