October 8th, 2011

Apple Pie Pancakes

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Serves 4 (makes 12 four-inch pancakes)
Time: 30 minutes

Maybe Vegan Pie In The Sky has me dreaming of pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but woman can not live on pie alone! Or can she?

These pie-inspires pancakes are actually a recipe that I created for Appetite For Reduction (but forgot to put in the manuscript), so they’re deliciously healthful with no added oil. Applesauce and a few tablespoons of flax seeds make them moist and fluffy. Laced with fragrant spices and topped with sweet, luscious cinnamon apples, they’ll satisfy any sweet craving and time of day.

Choose whatever average sized red apples look best to you; honeycrisp, gala and fuji are all good choices. I would stay away from super tart green ones for this. Prepare the apples first then start the pancakes while the apples cook, and you should be able to get everything done in 30 minutes or so.

And just a pro-tip about prepping here: Apples are kind of my culinary nemesis. I love eating them and cooking with them, but for some reason prepping them drives me crazy. The peeling, the coring…if ever I’m owed a favor, you know that person is gonna’ be peeling my apples. If you feel similarly, rest assured that you don’t need to be too meticulous with your peeling. Just get most of the skin off, a few surviving strips here and there is fine and actually looks pretty. I also don’t bother with apple corers because those devices are made in Satan’s workshop. Just slice around the core and you are good to go.

For Apple Topping:
4 apples, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon organic cornstarch or arrowroot
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For Pancakes:
1 cup plain almond milk (or preferred non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (sold as flax meal)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour, but not regular whole wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2/3 cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Prepare the topping:
Toss all topping ingredients in a medium (4 quart) pot, sprinkle on the cinnamon. Mix it up so that the corn starch dissolves. Use an angled wooden spoon to do the mixing since it reaches the bottom corners of the pot.

Cover pot and bring to a boil, keeping a close eye. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Once apples are nice and tender, smash a few of them to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.

Prepare the pancakes:
Pour almond milk into a measuring cup. Mix in apple cider vinegar and ground flax seeds with a fork. Set aside; mixture will thicken.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture and the apple sauce, apple juice, vanilla and maple syrup. Use a fork to mix until relatively smooth, a few lumps are okay. Let the batter rest, and preheat a large, non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat.

When pan is hot, spray with a thin layer of cooking spray and use an ice cream scooper or scant 1/4 cup measure to pour batter and form pancakes. If you can fit three at a time that’d be great. The pancake should start to form little air bubbles, but not as much as pancakes with oil do, so don’t worry if they don’t bubble too much. Cook until the edges are dry and the tops of the pancakes are only slightly wet, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Keep warm on a plate covered with tin foil until all pancakes are ready to serve.

Serve hot with apple topping.

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