Introduction: Upside-down Baked Apple Pancake
Finalist in the
Le Creuset Brunch Challenge
Every brunch needs a fantastic centerpiece - something that will result in a chorus of "oohs" and "aahs" from your dining companions - and I have just the thing. A gorgeous pancake, big enough so everyone can share, topped with caramelized baked apples. It's golden brown, and absolutely delicious when drizzled with maple syrup - but then again, what isn't? Cook up some salty bacon and toss a light fruit salad for the perfect accompaniments to this upside-down baked apple pancake.
This dish can made, from start to finish, in under 40 minutes, and serves up to 8 people, though you might find it hard to share...
Step 1: What You'll Need
For the pancake batter:
- 2 c. Bisquick mix
- 1 c. milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
For the apple topping:
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 firm but sweet apples (I prefer Gala or MacIntosh)
Important cooking tool:
12-inch cast iron pan or oven-proof frying pan (This is important because the pancake is too thick and has to finish cooking in the oven. If your frying pan has a plastic or wooden handle going into the oven, it won't have much of a handle left coming out of the oven!)
Note: if you don't have access to Bisquick mix, don't fret! It's basically a biscuit mix, which can easily be replicated. Mix together in a food processor, or using your fingers, 5 cups flour, 1/4 cup baking powder, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt and 1 cup butter. The mixture should be crumbly. Measure out 2 cups of the mixture to use in the recipe, and keep the rest in an air-tight container for next time!
Step 2: Preparing the Pancake Parts
In a medium bowl, mix together the Bisquick mix and cinnamon.
In a second bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and mashed banana.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Don't over mix the dough or the pancake with be tough! Set the batter aside for now.
Wash and core the apples, then cut them into slices and set aside.
Now is the time for pancake-making.
Step 3: Cooking the Pancake - Part One
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the cast iron pan over medium heat, and melt the butter in the pan. Make sure to swirl it around to properly coat the entire pan.
Carefully lay the apple slices in the bottom of the pan in a circle - this is important because you want the top of the pancake to look good when flipped over later.
Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes, just enough to brown the bottom. You'll hear the apples sizzling.
Gently pour the prepared pancake batter over the apples, allowing it to spread to the edges of the pan. Let the pancake cook on the stove top for a few more minutes, until the brown sugar bubbles up through the batter, and little vents begin spewing steam. The pancake is now ready to go into the oven.
Step 4: Cooking the Pancake - Part Two
Transfer the pancake to the preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes.
Use the wait time to clean up those dirty dishes, no? Otherwise, you'll just be staring in the oven at the gorgeous pancake baking.
Step 5: Unmolding the Masterpiece
Once the bell rings, take the gorgeous, golden brown pancake out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Make sure to keep your oven mitts on for this part! It's very easy to forget that the pan just came out of the oven and grab it with your bare hands. Carefully place your serving platter upside down on top of the cast iron pan. Grab both together, and flip the cast iron pan over on top of the platter.
Shake the pan a little, then slowly remove it. If you spread the melted butter around enough, the pancake should fall right out and onto the plate.
So what does it look like once you remove the pan? Well, let see here...
Step 6: The Masterpiece
Tah dah! One gorgeous, delicious, golden brown upside-down baked apple pancake to take its place as the centerpiece of your brunch. Yum. Serve up the warm slices drizzled with maple syrup, and topped with vanilla yogurt. You could also top the pancake with whipped cream as a dessert, if you like. Enjoy!
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