This puffed apple pancake is a healthified take on the classic German pancake, often referred to as a Dutch Baby. Although this version isn’t as thin and egg-y as a Dutch Baby, it definitely marries the qualities of a pancake and a popover. It’s crisp and golden on the edges, slightly custardy in the middle, and layered with perfectly cooked spiced apples. This pancake is a lovely fall upgrade to your usual breakfast menu.
½ cup white whole-wheat flour
¼ cup coconut sugar, ground, and divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 Granny Smith apples (1¼ lb.), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
⅔ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Toasted, chopped pecans or slivered almonds
Pure maple syrup
Heat oven to 500°F.
Whisk together flour, 2 tablespoons ground coconut sugar, and salt.
Heat oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add apples, remaining ground coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Cook apples, stirring frequently, until starting to soften and caramelize, 5 minutes, scraping up any caramel from bottom of pan. Off heat, stir in lemon juice.
Working quickly, blend eggs in a blender until frothy, 1 minute. Whisk blended eggs, milk, and vanilla into flour mixture until completely combined. Pour batter around and over apples in skillet, transfer skillet to oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F. Bake pancake until edges are slightly puffed and golden brown, 18–19 minutes.
Remove pancake from oven and let cool slightly. Dust pancake with powdered sugar, sprinkle with pecans, and serve with maple syrup.
Tips for success:
For the best results, be sure to grind your coconut sugar before using. Coconut sugar is very granular, and if it’s not ground it will cause the surface of the pancake to looks splotchy. Grind the coconut sugar in a spice grinder, and if you don’t have a spice grinder, do your best with a mortar and pestle. If you’d prefer to skip the grinding step, simply use brown sugar instead of the coconut sugar. Use 2 tablespoons brown sugar in the flour mixture and 3 tablespoons for sautéing with the apples.
The acidity of Granny Smith apples can cause damage to fairly new cast iron pans, so be sure to use one that is well seasoned and has been used quite a bit. If you don’t have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, an ovenproof nonstick skillet also works well.
To achieve the right texture, be sure to use large eggs. Extra large will cause the pancake to be too custardy, and medium or smaller will decrease the amount of rise you get, making it less puffy.