Outside of Christmas, Fall is my favorite time of year. After the oppressive heat of the Summer, it’s nice to have a cool crispness in the air. And the beauty of watching the leaves change colors is almost indescribable. Going on a long, directionless car ride surrounded by beautiful trees was one of my most treasured childhood memories. We’d get into the car and drive around Augusta, looking out at the trees and trying not to get on each other’s nerves (my sister wasn’t a fan of younger Shaw Girl…seriously, she tried to give me away on several occasions). But the best thing about Fall to me is the new crop of produce I get to play with…and a cooler kitchen! You try gathering up the motivation to bake or cook in 98 degree heat…
Nothing says Fall like apples and apples are everywhere at the local farmer’s markets. I got four beautiful ones in my CSA box, so I decided to do something different with them. We are all well aware of my love of pancakes, but instead of just doing an apple pancake, I decided to take it one step further and make an apple dutch boy. I have made a dutch boy before, so it was easy enough to modify the recipe and add apples. While I was at it, I decided to toss in walnuts and a sprinkling of cinammon. And since I was going all apple crazy, I simmered apples, walnuts and cinammon in syrup to create a nice topper for my puffy pancake. A perfect breakfast/brunch for a beautiful Autumn weekend!
Walnut Apple Dutch Boy (makes two large dutch boys)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinammon
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large apple (any variety), cored and diced
1 tablespoon butter
10 to 12 inch oven proof skillet
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinammon into a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk in the milk and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a larger whisk, blend the dry and wet ingredients together until smooth. Add the apples and walnuts and set the batter aside. Place the butter in an oven proof skillet (it is very important it is a 10 to 12 inch skillet) and put the skillet in the oven to melt the butter. When the butter has melted, take out the skillet, pour in half of the batter and quickly place it back in the oven. Allow the pancake to cook for 20-25 minutes or until it is puffy and golden. Slide the dutch boy out of the skillet (this is a bit tricky, so be careful not to tear the pancake) and add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Allow it to melt in the oven and follow the same procedure for the second dutch boy. Dust the pancakes with powdered sugar (if you’d like) and top with syrup.
I opted against the powdered sugar and instead topped my dutch boy with the apple walnut syrup. Not to sound cliche, but this dutch boy really tasted like Fall…minus my sister trying to offer me to strangers at Sears.