Puffy Pancake...journey through time!

How many of you have heard of the puffy pancake?  How about a German pancake?  Apple pancake?  The first time I had a puffy german pancake was at the Original Pancake House back in college in the 1990's.  I think my mother-in-law introduced me to it.  It quickly became a favorite of mine and of my mom.  It was light, puffy and so yummy with butter, powdered sugar and drizzled syrup!  I really never thought I'd be able to recreate it at home.  I mean the thought literally never entered my mind!  And I used to cook back then, but it just seemed to be one of those recipes that would be too complex to attempt at home. 

Flash forward to 2002....I'm finally a stay at home mom (after 5 years of teaching)....a long awaited dream of mine!!  I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter, a newborn and have just discovered The Complete Tightwad Gazette which is a book that revolutionized my life.  Times were tight for us, and this book really helped me to save every penny off our budget.  Yeah, some of her ideas may seem extreme, but you take what you can use and leave the rest.  It's a great resource that I still use to this day!  Not to mention there are loads of easy, frugal recipes in there.  Create your own muffin recipe, lentils and brown rice - a tasty way to substitute beef in tacos...........and the puffy pancake!!

Wow....was it ever easy to make, and delicious!  My girls were delighted with the large puffs and pools of syrup!  I was stunned it was the same recipe, and that I could now eat it at home!  Eating out wasn't in the budget at the time...and still isn't.  Though now I have many other reasons I'd rather eat at home, which is a topic for another post. 

Which brings us to this morning.  I haven't made the puffy pancake in a long time.  I have a 21 month old in the house (our third daughter), which meant my cooking was scaled back quite a bit during pregnancy and the first 9 sleep-deprived months of her life (my life that is!).  I've really gotten back into my cooking groove over the last year, but for some reason I hadn't ventured into making our beloved puffy pancake.  I hadn't forgotten about it, but rather had forgotten how easy it is to make...how good it tastes! 

So when a breakfast dilemma ensued this morning (no bread for toast, no homemade granola made for cereal, no muffins made and already had eggs and oatmeal this week), I decided to embark on making the puffy pancake.  The new twist is that this would be the first time I'd created it with our freshly ground whole wheat flour!!  The only thing it affected was the puffs....they were there at the end of cooking time, but deflated after I pulled it out of the oven.  So if you really want those...you'll be in luck...because most of you will probably be using all purpose flour. 

I also doubled the recipe since four of us were eating it.  I diced up a granny smith apple to make it an apple puffy pancake (german pancake).  I also grated the zest of one lemon to mix with the diced apples.  The mixed in some honey granules (sugar for you) to bring out that zesty flavor of the lemons.  It smelled divine!! 

Puffy Pancake

Preheat oven to 425.  In a 9 x 13 pyrex pan, place 5 T of butter diced up.  Put pan in oven to melt butter while you are mixing up the pancake.  Pull out when the butter is melted. 

In a blender mix:

2 eggs till frothy

add in:
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup flour

blending well after each addition.  Pour into hot pan with melted butter and bake 15-20 minutes until golden and puffy!  Eat sprinkled with powdered sugar, butter, squeeze of lemon and drizzled with pure maple syrup.  YUM!!

To make it an apple pancake simply slice 1-2 apples thinly and place along bottom of pan in melted butter before pouring pancake mixture in.  Then serve with some cinnamon sugar instead of powdered sugar.

Recipe from The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

*I doubled the above recipe today and used my large white corning ware dish which may be slightly larger than a 9 x 13.  I doubled the ingredients, but not the butter in the pan.  I also cooked it for close to 25 minutes since it was doubled.  The puffs didn't appear until about 19-20 minutes into the cooking time. 

I also used freshly ground whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.  My apple mixture included 1 apple diced, 1 tsp lemon zest and 3 T honey granules mixed in to bring out the lemon flavor (always make sure to mix sugar in with lemon zest to intensify the lemon flavor).  I also added 2 T of honey granules to the pancake batter to sweeten it up a bit.  This use of whole wheat flour gave it nutritional value and made it a lot more filling. 

So there you have the 15 year saga of the puffy pancake and how it found it's way into my life, my heart and eventually my kitchen!  Can't believe I now have 3 girls to share it with. 


 


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