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Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch are so easy

Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch are so easy

We have developed a bit of a routine on the weekends when we aren't traveling or at a show. We sleep in a bit, dink around the house, play with the kitties, maybe watch some of the tv we DVR'd from the week then make fresh pancakes.

The experimentation with pancake recipes began when I realized I was out of pancake mix from the grocery store. I thought we were doomed to a pancakeless morning but refusing to be thwarted I started researching pancake recipes online. As it turns out, it's just as easy to make them from scratch and they're even fluffier! 

This recipe will make 8 pancakes about 4-5" each which is a little too much for the two of us. If we have people over for pancakes, I usually double the batch.

Here is a list of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it isn't expired so your pancakes are nice and fluffy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (optional but highly recommended)
  • Vegetable Oil

If you want to add the sauteed apples, you'll also need:

  • 1 Large or 2 small apples
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

So here's what I do. First, I find a nice mixing bowl like my Small Mixing Bowl, and melt the 3 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Usually 30 seconds on high is enough, if not then continue in 15 second intervals.

Add in the egg, Vanilla, Milk and Lemon Zest. (If you don't have a citrus zesting tool, just peel the lemon with your vegetable peeler and finely chop the zest you've peeled off). Mix well with a whisk.

Add the Baking Powder and mix well again.

Add the All Purpose Flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix well.

If you want to add any fruit like blueberries, raspberries, bananas, or you're going really decadent and want to add chocolate chips, this is the time.

Pour your vegetable oil in a skillet. I usually use about a Tablespoon. Once the oil is heated, pour your pancake batter and cook them as you normally would.

I usually prep and start the apples before the pancakes so they have a little longer to simmer. They're so easy you may find yourself making them just for a snack on their own. 
Core and rough chop your apple(s). Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and drop in the apples. Simmer the apples, stirring occasionally, until tender. 
Once I start the pancakes, I add in a teaspoon of cinnamon to the apples and stir it in well. Yum! I don't add any sugar. The apples are sweet enough when you factor in the maple syrup and powdered sugar that will top the pile of brunchy goodness, but if you're not using syrup, you may want to toss in a couple Tablespoons of sugar or brown sugar and simmer for one more minute.
When all your pancakes are finished, plate them on a handmade plate then top with the apples, drizzle some maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
They're also amazing drizzled with warm caramel. Ooooohhhh yeah, that's tasty as hell. Sometimes if I am making chocolate chip pancakes, I'll use orange zest instead of lemon zest. 
However you choose to embellish your pancakes, this recipe is going to make a nice fluffy base for whatever you're adding. Enjoy!

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Apple Crisp for Two

Apple Crisp for Two

As the air starts to become crisp and the rustle of autumn leaves is dancing across the yard I know it's time to fire up the oven.

Last week the grocery store had an awesome deal on apples. Three pounds of Gala apples for $1.99. I was delighted to find that the sale was still going on when we made our grocery run this week.

There were still three apples left from last week. You know the ones. The apples that are fine but not so pretty. They are a little bruised and maybe a bit soft where they clunked around on the bottom of the bag. I like to save those apples for baking.

Apple Crisp in Handmade Ceramic Brie Baker Ingredients

The other secret weapon I have in my kitchen arsenal is Vietnamese Cinnamon. Holy mother of cinnamon, this shit is good. Regular cinnamon from the grocery will work just fine but I'd highly recommend getting your hands on some really great cinnamon like the Vietnamese cinnamon I bought two pounds of this summer. Yeah. Two pounds. You read that right. This shit is so damn good it's going in everything I can think of. If you don't have a chef friend to buy it in bulk for you, Penzey's is really fantastic.

Digging through all my old recipes, everything I was finding for an apple crisp is for at least a 9" pie pan and that's just too big for the two of us. There's also no way these 3 apples are going to stretch far enough to fill that pan. I've modified a classic apple crisp recipe here to fit into my handmade ceramic Brie Baker which is just the right size for 2-4 servings. 

Apple Crisp Brie Baker Recipe in progress chopped apples

Ingredients:

3 small apples (or 2 large). I prefer Gala apples

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon (or more to taste)

2 Tablespoons Sugar (more or less to taste)

Optional: 1/2 lemon (if you like your apple crisp a little extra tart, squeeze half a lemon over the apples before adding the sugar and cinnamon)

Topping:

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 Tablespoons melted butter

Now let's make some yum!

  • peel, core and chop the apples
  • layer the apples into the Brie Baker
  • Optional: for a tart crisp squeeze 1/2 a lemon over the apples
  • sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of sugar (or more) over the apples
  • sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of tasty cinnamon over the apples

Apple Crisp Apples in Brie Baker sprinkling sugar

In a separate small mixing bowl:

  • melt 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • add oatmeal, flour and brown sugar
  • mix with a fork until the butter is evenly distributed

Apple Crisp crumble topping in process

Pile the topping mixture over the apples and place the whole thing in the cold oven.

You might have been wondering why I didn't tell you what temperature for preheating the oven. It's because there is no preheating needed. Also, if you're using a handmade ceramic dish, you always want to put it into a cold oven so it doesn't temperature shock and crack.

Apple crisp ready to go into the oven

Crank that bad boy up to 350 and let it bake for 35-40 minutes.

Your house is going to smell AMAZEBALLS.

Sometimes we like the apple crisp steaming hot from the oven with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. Other times, a simple bloop of fresh whipped cream is in order. Tonight, we're just going to eat it simple and plain on the new plaid snack plates.

Enjoy!

Apple crisp ready to serve

 If you'd love to have the ceramics I've used in the recipe you can find them right here:

 

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