29 September 2010

Today is my husband's birthday. Since I like to cook, I enjoy making him special meals on his birthday. This is the second year in a row that we have had things going on in the evening on his birthday (last year it was an elder's meeting; tonight he has a Divine Service and I am going to a cooking class), so it has become a new tradition for me to make him a special birthday breakfast. Last year I made a Rachael Ray recipe, Apple Maple Chicken Sausage Patties (which I never got around to blogging about). I wasn't sure what I was going to make this year, until I saw this recipe in my blog reader. I knew as soon as I saw the title of the recipe that this was the one! I made very slight adjustments; here is my version.

Apple Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup

1 cup apple cider
5 tbsp light brown sugar, divided
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup pastry flour
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
½ cup buttermilk
1 medium apple, peeled and grated, about 1 cup
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon canola oil, divided

Combine cider, 4 tbsp brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

Whisk pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 tbsp brown sugar in a small bowl. Whisk egg, egg white, and buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients, apples, and bacon until just combined. (The batter will be thick.)

Brush a large nonstick skillet with ½ tsp oil and place over medium heat until hot. Cooking 4 at a time, use about ¼ cup batter for each pancake and gently spread it to make them about 3” in diameter. Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Reheat the cider syrup, if desired, and serve with the pancakes.

Makes 4 servings, 2 pancakes each.

This is the perfect breakfast for a crisp fall morning. You don't really taste the apple so much as it just lends a slight sweetness to the pancake. And the bacon makes it savory and smoky. The perfect complement to the sweet cider syrup.

I only made a few changes. The original recipe called for lemon juice in the syrup, no salt in the pancakes, and for the apples to be diced instead of grated. But a reviewer said that she halved the lemon juice, and I tried it that way, but I decided to just cut the lemon juice all together. It was quite tart and I think the cider alone will make it tart enough. She also suggested adding salt. And she said that even with dicing the apple very finely, they didn't cook through in the time it took to cook the pancake, so grating is the way to go. The only other thing I changed was that I doubled the syrup recipe. It just didn't seem like very much and if I know my husband, I know he likes syrup! I'm glad I did because it was just the right amount.

I've never been very good at making pancakes, but these turned out pretty well. A few of them got a little bit darker than they needed to be, but they were far from burned. If you double this recipe to cook for a crowd, put the oven on low and transfer the finished pancakes there to keep them warm while the rest cook.

I'm really glad Jim was born in the fall, because there seems to be no shortage of interesting fall breakfast recipes.

Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

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