I’ve been learning a lot of recipes in culinary school and every once in a while, I come upon one that’s such a show stopping piece that I have to share it. This is the German Apple Pancake recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.

I would easily say that if you like apples and you’re going to be making pancakes for breakfast anyway, you have to try this recipe. It’s especially good if you have friends over because it looks like you put a lot more work into the pancakes than you really did. Just the sheer size (made in a 10-12-inch cast iron skilliet) and amount of apples gives the finished product this magnificence about it. This recipe easily feeds three, maybe four people.

What I love the most about German pancakes is how egg-y it is. I personally do not like the taste of eggs unless it’s in a cake or something, and I suppose this counts. But what the egg does is it gives the pancakes this lightness. I mean, it is a dense pancake because the batter is heavy and fortified with the eggs, but the egginess gives the actually pancake texture a lightness as you bite through it.

There’s nothing too much I would change about the recipe. The chef that was showing it to us mentioned beating the egg whites and folding it in to get a lighter batter. I would also say 3 apples in the filling can sometimes be too much, especially if you have big ones. Also, sometimes it may seem like there is a lot of liquid from the apples, but it does soak into the pancake quite well. If however, you think you have way more juice that necessary, then I would recommend straining out the apples and reducing the liquid just for about 1-2 minutes before pouring it over the pancake with the apples.

German Apple Pancake

(Makes 1 large 10-inch pancake)

Pancakes:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 apple, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • 2-3 apples, sliced thin

Topping

  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix eggs, milk, flour and salt together. Fold in the apple.
  3. In a heavy 10-inch pan, melt the butter. While the pan is hot, pour in the pancake batter and place into the oven. After 15 minutes, rotate pan and lower to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until tops are light golden brown, about an additional 10 minutes
  4. While pancake is baking, prepare the filling by melting the butter, sugar and spices together in a pan over medium to medium high heat. Toss in the sliced apples.
  5. Once pancake is finished baking, take out of the oven and pour apple filling onto one-half. (Note, if there is a lot of juice from the apples, strain the apples and reduce the syrup for 1-2 minutes before pouring.)
  6. Fold the other half of the pancake. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.