5:18 pm EST, Tuesday, September 22, 2009. A minute that will live in infamy. A minute above all others. A minute worth writing home about.
Also known as the first minute of fall.
You might say that fall is my favorite season. Those who know me better might say that I have an unhealthy obsession with all things autumnal. It’s okay, I’ll own up to it. I sometimes feel as though the fall was specifically designed with my likes and preferences in mind. Someone took a good look at what I most like to eat, wear, think about, participate in, discuss, and enjoy, and bundled it all up into one stunningly perfect three-month period. Let’s just say, the fall fits me like a freshly-knitted glove.
To celebrate the new season, my boy took me to Heinz Orchard yesterday for a quality apple picking date. Swooon. This has become somewhat of a tradition. It usually begins with me stockpiling apple-based recipes for weeks in anticipation, and then usually ends with me cooking apple-based treats for weeks afterwards, until the boy begs for just one apple-free meal.
This year’s trip has proved to be no different. And after lugging two pecks of apples (roughly 70) back to my small Chicago apartment, I immediately set to work turning them into my favorite things to eat. So far, I’ve made apple butter, butternut squash and apple soup with bacon, and the tastiest pancakes I’ve had in a good long while. So tasty, in fact, that I’m going to share the recipe with you. But before I do, please send me your favorite apple recipes! I have a lot of apples to go through, and I need all the inspiration I can get. So, without further ado…
Dutch gouda and raisin whole-wheat pancakes with apple-cinnamon compote
Makes enough for two
1 tablespoon butter
3 small apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup raisins
½ cup Dutch gouda or other cheese, shredded finely
butter, for greasing skillet
Step one: make apple compote. Heat butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Add apple slices, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and stir until evenly coated. Cook apples, stirring occasionally until very soft, about 20 min. If the mixture becomes too dry before apples are done, add ¼ cup water.
Step two: Pour ¼ cup boiling water over raisins and set aside. Water will absorb into the raisins to make them soft.
Step three: Mix together flour, baking power, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat egg and milk until well mixed. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir just to incorporate. Add softened raisins and shredded cheese and mix to incorporate.
Step four: heat buttered non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour ¼ cup of batter into skillet and cook pancakes until golden brown on both sides.
Step five: Sprinkle pancakes with powdered sugar and top with apple compote. Drizzle pure maple syrup on top for additional sweetness if desired.