Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Apple Cider Pancakes with Caramel Syrup

So, last week I stumbled upon this recipe for making pumpkin fritters. I only made about 4 fritter balls because I used most of the batter to coat round rings of apple slices. They were like my own apple-pumpkin fritters! So delicious. 

This weekend I read here about how to reduce apple cider and make it into a syrup on one of my all time favourite blogs, Reading My Tea Leaves. 
Yesterday I found a recipe here for making apple cider pancakes with reduced apple cider. I still had leftovers of the caramel sauce from my apple-pumpkin fritters and thought it would pair extremely nicely with the pancakes. So, here is my version of two recipes, plus one technique guide, put together to bring you:
Apple Cider Pancakes with Caramel Syrup
Pancake Batter
1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 TBS white sugar
2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup reduced apple cider (start with 4 cups of apple cider)

1/2 cup applesauce (cinnamon, or unsweetened, or sweetened)**
3 TBS sugar

1 ½  TBS ground cinnamon

extra reduced apple cider to serve with the pancakes
Note*: I didn't have buttermilk on hand, so I poured 1-2 TBS of white vinegar in a measuring cup, then added milk until it was at the 1 cup mark. The original recipe called for ½ buttermilk and ½ cup milk, but I did 1 full cup of my homemade buttermilk and it was perfectly fine.
Note**: The original recipe called for 4 TBS butter, melted. If you like you can use melted butter instead of applesauce if you don't have any applesauce on hand.
Caramel Syrup
3/4 cup sugar

1 cup cream
 (I used half and half)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 TBS butter
1/4 cup water
4 TBS brown sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/4 cup reduced apple cider
Do the night before: reduce the apple cider. I followed Erin Boyle’s method, and left it simmering for several hours.

“1. Pour 1 1/2 gallon apple cider into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring the cider to boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 2-3 hours or until it has reduced to about 1 cup. Don't fear: it will take a long time for the cider to turn syrupy. I was convinced mine would just disappear rather than thicken, until finally, thicken it did. Persevere!

3. Once cider has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, pour through a sieve to strain any solid bits. (The original recipe didn't mention this step, but I had lots of little floating bits in mine and wanted them out)! Transfer syrup to a sterilized jar. Syrup is ready to use right away and will store indefinitely if refrigerated.”
If you are pressed for time, here’s another method fromhttp://userealbutter.com/2013/10/01/apple-cider-pancakes-recipe/
Place the apple cider (spiced or not spiced, but cider is better than apple juice) in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and let it boil until reduced to a quarter of the original volume. This will take at least 15 minutes or more depending on your stove and other factors affecting evaporative processes in your kitchen. Remove from heat and let cool. Measure out 2/3 cup of reduced cider for the batter. Reserve the rest for serving.”
Make the pancakes:
         Using a KitchenAid (or other electric mixer) with whisk attachment, whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk, by hand, the eggs to break them up. To the eggs, add the buttermilk. Pour the wet egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the cooled reduced apple cider to the batter and stir it in taking care not to overmix (overmixing makes the batter flat, dense, and tough). I used my KitchenAid and just gave it a few stirs with the whisk attachment. Stir in the applesauce.
Heat a cast iron pan, or skillet, over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray (Pam, etc.) and wait until it is good and hot. While waiting, mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. When the pan is hot, pour the batter on the pan. While waiting for bubbles to appear on the surface of the pancake (~ 2 minutes), make caramel syrup (simply add all ingredients to a saucepan and boil gently for 10 minutes). Sprinkle pancakes with cinnamon-sugar mixture before flipping over. Cook until golden (an additional 30-60 seconds). Remove from heat, sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar, and repeat until all of your pancakes are done.
Serve the pancakes:
Add a pat of butter if desired. Serve with caramel syrup, or, if that’s too sweet for you, serve with reduced apple cider. I also sliced up some apples to serve with my pancakes, along side a glass of cold milk. Makes approximately 13 pancakes.

Happy breakfasting! 

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