Breakfast. Sigh. My favorite meal. Too often it consists of a bowl of healthy cereal, orange juice and my fistfull of vitamins and supplements. Once in awhile when I have a child or two at home I’ll make these very easy, extremely impressive and delicious pancakes. One pancake per person. Just with some egg, milk and flour in a buttered dish you make this glorious puffed pancake that is a delight to eat. I copied this recipe from my mother’s recipe files back in 1977, my second year of high school. Where she copied it from I don’t know, but I do know that puffed pancakes have been a restaurant sensation on and off for decades. They can also be made plain for dessert and served with fresh fruit or even ice cream and chocolate sauce. Instead of apples make them savory with the addition of mild vegetarian sausage (you don’t want strong flavors to overbalance the delicate pancake) or cooked mushrooms.
You can dress them up with powdered sugar at the last moment, or serve with syrup. It is important that you serve them right out of the oven so that your guests see them in all their risen glory, because the pancakes will deflate to some extent but still be gorgeous. If you pour a little syrup between the pancake and the hot dish it will sizzle and bubble very dramatically. Because the pancakes are served so hot, they take a little while to eat, which makes breakfast more of the leisurely time of enjoyment it should be. Make certain your guests know how hot the dishes are, and protect the place settings with potholders.
- 1-2 apples, peeled and diced (or 1 vegetarian sausage link per person such as Morningstar Farms, cooked and chopped)
- Use the following chart (going across) to measure ingredients:
- Pan Size Butter Eggs Milk Flour
- 2-3 quarts ¼ cup 3 ¾ cup ¾ cup
- 3-4 quarts ⅓ cup 4 1 cup 1 cup
- 4-4½ quarts ½ cup 5 1¼ cup 1¼ cup
- 4½ - 5 quarts ½ cup 6 1½ cup 1½ cup
- Choose oven-proof bowls, preferably clear glass (for effect). I use one quart Pyrex bowls.
- Divide butter between bowls and set bowls in cold oven.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, cook apples in a little butter or juice in a frying pan for a few minutes to soften.
- In a blender or with a hand mixer, whirl eggs at high speed for one minute. Gradually pour in milk, then slowly add flour. Whirl for 30 seconds. You don't want to overmix because you don't want air in the batter.
- With oven mits, remove hot dishes from oven; butter should be melted.
- Pour batter carefully into melted butter in dishes, dividing the batter equally.
- Divide apples (or veg sausage) evenly between bowls, if using. Dust with cinnamon, if desired.
- Return to oven and bake until puffy and browned, 20-25 minutes.
- Pancakes will be like a firm bread pudding at the bottom.
- Serve immediately. (Pour syrup around the inside edge and listen to it sizzle! It impresses children and easily impressed minds like mine!) Nom!