I will never forget the Thanksgiving when my friend John and his beautiful wife Emily came for a surprise with their darling son Xander. I was so looking forward to having them join us because I knew that it would be just the right antidote for the holiday sadness I was beginning to feel. Those first couple of holidays after my mother passed weren't the easiest.
It was a crazy time, I was trying so hard to have everything just right, juggling my sons and father completely opposing schedules. My father was in a nursing home and by 10:00 am on Thanksgiving day I was sobbing in the middle of my kitchen floor because absolutely nothing was working out the way that I wanted it to. On top of that my cat Zoe got sick and I was leaving for Boulder the very next day.
It was the absolute perfect storm of holiday madness.
Except for Emily.
She took over and made me this pancake and everything was all right in the world again. This is one of those amazing recipes that can be a breakfast, side dish, dinner or even a dessert, especially if you serve it hot with some cinnamon, bourbon and vanilla ice cream. If you want to use it as a side dish, think pork roast or fried chicken and for breakfast, think about some sage infused chicken sausage and of course, butter and maple syrup.
I promise you that this pancake is absolutely delicious. This isn't her exact recipe , but it's close enough. I used this picture from that very Thanksgiving on the first edition of my book...one look at it and I am transported back to that moment when the world came back into color again.
All that I can really say about it is that I am sure that this pancake is magic and so is Emily. One bite and it was all better. This is the ultimate comfort food.
2 Large apples, peeled ,cored and sliced
4 organic eggs
2/3 cup of organic Half and Half
1/2 cup of unsifted white flour (do not use whole wheat)- Any gluten free girls can substitute your favorite!)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
4 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 tablespoons of melted butter
fresh lemon wedges
pumpkin pie spice
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Beat the eggs until fluffy in a bowl and add the half and half, 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and the vanilla. Add the flour and beat it for a 1/2 minute until it turns into a light batter and set it aside, covered with a towel .
Add the melted butter to a cast iron pan and then add the sugar mixture. Add the apples and coat them evenly. Cook the apples on medium heat stirring to coat them.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg batter over them, arranging the apples so that they are pretty. Sprinkle them with more of the pie spice and bake the pancake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until its fluffy, golden and perfect.
Take the pancake out of the oven, sprinkle it with the powdered sugar, spoon it out onto individual plates and serve it hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon, melted butter and warmed maple syrup or honey.
For the record, you could make this with almost ripe pears and it would be delectable.