Now that it is September, apple season is upon us. Last month, I was lucky enough to receive these beautiful Pink Pearl apples from a friend who shared her harvest from her tree. Pink Pearl’s are such a unique apple. They taste sweet and tart with a delicate floral hint. They are grown on the west coast, harvest season is short- only about three weeks starting in mid-August. They are a bit tricky to find unless you see them at a farmer’s market or local orchard. As I write this, they may have already come and gone. But their color is to pretty not to share.
This is our favorite pancake batter . It is easy to make, delicious, besides being nutritious. The pancakes are thin, almost like a crepe. Since this is a dairy free version, apple cider vinegar is used to help the batter rise a bit. A little almond flour is added in with whole wheat flour which may not make these pancakes rise as much as traditional cakes but they will leave you feeling better.
If you cannot eat almond flour, simply use all whole wheat. You can increase the liquid to 2 cups plus 2 tbl liquid or to desired consistency. I start to thin out with additional liquid one tablespoon at a time. The recipe is pretty adaptable. I also used to make this recipe using buttermilk and only whole wheat flour. Simply substitute 2 cups buttermilk plus up to 1/4 cup extra water to thin out. Swap out almond flour with whole wheat and omit the apple cider vinegar.
In addition, no sugar is added. The only sugar comes from the maple syrup we pour on top and any other extras such as fruit, yogurt or jam you would like to serve. Usually we cut up whatever seasonal fruit is available. However, for a special occasion, it is nice to serve with a warm fruit compote or lightly sautéed apples. The color and flavor from the Pink Pearl’s become even more vibrant when cooked. If you do not have access to Pink Pearl’s, you can use any variety of apples. Luckily for us, fall is on its way, bringing with it some of the nicest assortment of apples to choose from.
The best part about these cakes is that you can make the batter the night before, refrigerate and cover it so that in the morning all you have to do is let it come to room temperature. No more buying boxed mixes! This tastes better and for the time it will take to get to the store and back home, it is way faster.
I also love the fact that you can use the same batter to make waffles. If you don’t have a waffle maker, I highly suggest getting one right now! It is one of our most used appliances. I make a batch of this batter on the weekend and freeze the extra waffles/pancakes in a freezer safe container or bag. During the week, I reheat them in our toaster. They freeze and reheat perfect. This is the biggest timesaver during the week and eliminates the blank stare you give your kids after they ask “what’s for breakfast mom”? Kids and adults alike love waffles so it’s an easy win-win for everyone.
Whole Grain-Almond Flour Pancakes with Sautéed Apples
Vegetarian, Sesame-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free
This serving feeds about 8 hungry mouths. Even with the 4 of us, I make a double batch. The batter will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. You can use the batter for waffles also. Make the full serving and freeze extra pancakes or waffles. Defrost and reheat on a busy weekday morning. To feed 4, simply reduce recipe by half.
- 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour or spelt flour
- 1/2 c almond flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten one at a time
- 2 c non-dairy milk + 1 tbl water. See note below*. I use the So Delicious coconut milk brand.
- 1 tbl apple cider vinegar. I use Bragg’s brand.
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbl olive oil or avocado oil + additional for pan
Mix flours, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
Lightly whisk eggs, in a separate medium size bowl. Add milk, water, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and oil.
Add wet mixture into dry ingredients. Whisk together until batter is smooth and there are no more clumps. * Note- this is a crepe style pancake so batter should be thin.
Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a hot 10 inch cast iron pan or skillet. ( Not too hot or your pancakes will burn). Keep heat on medium while making pancakes, adjusting to medium low heat if pan gets too hot. Getting your pan warmed to the right temperature is the key to making a good pancake.
Make sure you have enough oil in your pan. If your pan gets dry in between making cakes, simply add more oil. Using a small ladle, pour batter, flatten out a bit and cook until bubbles form and edges of pancakes pull away. Flip over and cook for a few more minutes until lightly browned and crisp on sides.
Serve with sautéed apples, a drizzle of creme fraiche or yogurt, maple syrup and sliced almonds.
If you can still get Pink Pearl apples, they are even more fragrant and colorful when cooked or baked. However, any variety of apples are lovely. Slice 1-2 apples. Add to a warm pan with a little butter or olive oil. Make sure pan is not overcrowded otherwise they will steam and become soggy. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, a squeeze of lemon juice. Saute on med heat until soft but not mushy. Remove from heat and serve warm with pancakes.