Saturday, November 25, 2006

Upside Down Pancake Recipe & The Three Important Things: Eating, Shopping...

And Family.

Bet you thought I was going to say shoes, didn't you? I will have you know that I did resist the shoes yesterday on Black Friday even though there was this REALLY cool pair at Kohl's that I REALLY wanted but didn't buy. Sigh. Now I wish I had. Not that I needed them in the sense that I'd go barefoot all winter without them. Not that I had some dress in need of a pair of black shoes and didn't own any black shoes.

But in the the oh-my-gosh, those are really pretty and wouldn't they look totally awesome with that black skirt I wanted and also didn't buy sense. Sigh.

I did buy myself a few things BUT I did get more for my family and the people on my list. So I was good. More or less ;-) Hey, my husband really shouldn't let me out alone with a JC Penney and Kohl's card on Black Friday. It's a pretty dangerous thing ;-)

I spent the last two days cooking, eating, and shopping. And with my family. It was great. Lots of great food, good wine and great conversation. We had fun. I stayed away from the computer, so if you e-mailed me and didn't get an's because I had pecan pie in my mouth ;-)

But to make up for it, here's my Christmas morning recipe. Well, one of two. I make either this or my friend Janet's Egg Bake, depending on my mood. Both are make ahead kind of things but I'm an early riser (I'm the one dragging the kids out of bed. Honest to Pete, I am PATHETIC on Christmas -- I can NOT WAIT for everyone to get up. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas) so I'm at the stove, singing "Rudolph" (you SO don't want to be there to hear me, especially when I hit the high notes; even the cat leaves) and cooking away.

Baked Apple Pancake

3 large apples (I am a sweets person, so I use sweet ones, but my favorites are Honey Crisp--if you haven't tried this kind, which are only available during the late fall, try 'em)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
5 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and core the apples, then slice them thin (like you're making an apple pie). In a bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla. Add the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix just until blended.

Now, there are two methods for doing this. I prefer the pie plate method. You can either cook the apples in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, then make the pancake on top. Or if you live in my house and can never find the silly skillet because someone put it away in the wrong place (even after living in said house with you for 10 years and obviously not paying attention to where the dishes go ;-), or if the skillet has gone AWOL because it is being used as a GI Joe fort or some other equally more important task, then cook the apples in the butter, sprinkled with the cinnamon and nutmeg, in a regular old non-stick pan, until they are browned and softened but still hold their shape (about five to seven minutes).

Arrange them in a circle on either the skillet (again if you don't live in my house) or if you live in a house like mine, in a pie plate, then pour the pancake batter on top. Put the pie plate/skillet in the oven and bake 13 to 15 minutes, until the batter is cooked and puffed. Loosen the edges with a knife, then flip it onto a plate (have you seen how Martha does that trick? She puts the plate on top of the pan/pie plate and then just inverts). Sprinkle with extra confectioners' sugar and syrup.

Sounds complicated, but it's actually really easy and good.

And impressive when you have friends over for brunch!


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