German Pancake with Apples

Pfannkuchen in German became pancake in English around 1430 and bred an English art of pancakery divided by Hannah Glasse into Pancakes, Fine Pancakes, A Second Sort of Fine Pancakes, A Third Sort, A Fourth Sort called A Quire of Paper, and another sort of colored pancakes made green with tansy and pink with beet-root. The German Pancake, however, of Lizzie Kander and Irma Rombauer varied recipe by recipe but was essentially a single large pancake puffed in a hot skillet in the oven. I first discoverd this pancake from a recipe Craig Claiborne named, for a friend in Hawaii, “David Eyre’s Pancake.” If Eyre is not a German name, it should be, because his pancake is the German pancake, which is sometimes sprinkled with powdered sugar and lemon, sometimes smeared with jam or honey, and sometimes layered with sugared apples fried in butter.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tart apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 425°. Make a batter of the eggs, flour, salt, nutmeg, and milk by pureeing them in a blender until smooth. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 10-inch cast-iron skillet until it is bubbly. Pour batter into the skillet and put the skillet on the top rack of the oven. Bake until edges are browned and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Meantime, quarter, core, and peel the apples and thinly slice them. Heat the remaining butter in another large skillet, add the slices, sprinkle with sugar, and sauté over high heat until apples are browned. Spread them over the pancake, make a row of lemon slices across the top, and sprinkle with the powdered sugar.