Great British Bake Off finalist Holly Bell has produced a wonderfully originally alternative for Pancake Day in the form of a Bramley Apple and Cinnamon Crepe Cake. Check out Holly's website and Bramley Apple for more delicious recipes.
For the cinnamon Bramley apple sauce:
8 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 1.6kg prepared weight)
400g dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the pancakes:
200g plain flour
4 large eggs
400mls whole or semi skimmed milk
160mls cold water
30g melted butter
Rapeseed or other vegetable oil (but not olive oil)
For the cream cheese filling:
230g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
450mls double cream
80g icing sugar
For the topping:
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
Step 1: Prepare the Sauce
Preheat the oven to 120C/1/2 gas mark. Combine the apples, cider, brown
sugar and salt in a large hob and oven proof casserole dish or saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes until the apples are soft.
Step 2: Blend the Sauce
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla.
Use a stick blender to puree the apple sauce then oven bake without a lid for 2.5 hours, stirring every half hour. The apple sauce is ready when it’s as thick as tomato ketchup. Leave to cool then transfer into a lidded container and store in the fridge. (The sauce keeps for 4 days so you can make it ahead).
Step 3: Make the Pancake Batter
Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well and add about a quarter of the milk. Whisk well with a handheld whisk until the batter is smooth and thick. Add the rest of the milk in thirds, whisking well after each addition. Add the water and melted butter, whisk well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (This stage is important as it makes the pancakes tenderer).
Step 4: Cook the Pancakes
Heat ½ tsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan (approx. 28cm wide) on a very high heat. Don’t be tempted to add more oil as it deep fries the edges making them thicker and rubbery. Hold the hot frying pan away from the heat then take a ladle (or use a jug) to pour just enough pancake batter into the frying pan to thinly cover the base. Tilt the pan to help the batter run over the base of the frying pan. The first one will always be a bit thicker than the rest – it’s a learning process to see just how much batter you need to spoon in.
Place the frying pan back on the heat and wait until the edges start to curl and the centre shows large bubbles – this takes about 40 – 60 seconds. Then shake the pan a little to see if the pancake comes loose. If it doesn’t use a slice or palate knife to loosen the edges, then flip the pancake over using a slice. (Or you can try tossing them!) Fry the other side of the pancake back on the high heat for about 30 seconds, then slip the pancake onto a plate to cool.
Add another ½ tsp of oil to the pan and repeat until all the pancake batter is used up. Add a layer of non-stick baking parchment between each pancake as you stack them – the mixture should make about 14. Leave to cool completely before assembling the cake.
Step 5: Make the Filling
To make the filling beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until smooth. Separately whisk the double cream and icing sugar to soft peaks. Stir 1 tbsp of whipped cream through the cream cheese to loosen it, then fold the rest of the whipped cream into the cream cheese with a metal spoon, using a slicing action.
Step 6: Make the Topping
Make the topping by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and
gently warming on the hob until the apples are just soft. Remove from the heat and drain away any excess liquid. Leave to cool.
Step 7: Assemble
Assemble by placing a pancake on your cake stand or serving plate, carefully spread a thin layer of the cream mixture over the pancake, about 1cm from the edges all round, them spoon over 2 tbsp of the apple sauce as evenly as possible. Stack a pancake on top and repeat until all 14 pancakes are stacked being careful not to press down on the ‘cake’ as you go. Finish the last pancake off with the cream and apple sauce then spoon over the cubed Bramley apple topping just before serving. Cut into wedges, just as you would a cake, to serve.
Step 8: Serve and Enjoy
Serve immediately and keep any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.