Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Step aside Iron Man; Cast Iron Woman is here

My darling companion is known for many attributes--some more outstanding than others--but he is famous for his sweet tooth. He surprised his sister-outlaw, doodles with his keen detection of a full candy dish.

There's a whole long list of reasons why I want him to stay healthy and happy so I've been tinkering with a baked apple dessert. What I came up with wasn't even a dessert, it was breakfast but I'd serve this anytime; an apple pancake.

First of all you'll need an iron skillet or a pan you can use on the top of the stove and in the oven. It calls for bread flour but you can use all purpose. The high protein bread flour helps the pancake to rise.

Baked Apple Pancake

2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
eggs, beaten and room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bread flour

1/2 cup milk, room temperature ( I used non-fat)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425° F. Place oven rack on the middle rack of your oven.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, salt, flour, milk, and vanilla extract; beat until batter is smooth (the batter will be thin, but very smooth and creamy); set aside.

In a large heavy oven-proof frying pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter, tilting pan to cover sides. Add apples and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Stir and let cook for 5 to 7 minutes to slightly cook the apple slices; remove from heat.

Pour prepared batter over apples into pan. Place pan in preheated oven and bake approximately 20 minutes or until puffed above sides of the pan and lightly browned (it may puff irregularly in the center); remove from oven.

Remove pancake from the baking pan by flipping upside down onto a serving platter (apples and cinnamon will be on top). Once out of the oven, the pancake will begin to deflate. To serve, cut into serving-size wedges and transfer to individual serving plates. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

If you use egg-beaters and non-fat milk this is getting in the range of a healthy breakfast treat. It's the caramelized apples that make this so tasty.

Another healthy aspect of cast iron cookware is it leaches small amounts of iron into the food. There's a lot of discussion to whether anemics can benefit from this but a little boost of iron couldn't hurt most of us. Those with excess iron issues (for example, people with hemochromatosis) may suffer negative effects.

Here's a breakdown of the calories/fat. I got three servings out of this recipe but the count even less if you'd cut in into four servings. We were sort of pigs that morning.
  • With non-fat milk, egg beaters and butter= 396 calories/19.6 fat grams per serving.
  • With non-fat milk, regular eggs and butter= 440 calories/24.5 fat grams per serving.
The butter is what adds the heavy fat grams and though you could cook the apples in something other than real butter I wouldn't even try. Sometimes ya gotta just go with it.


wheresmymind said...

No doubt...that is my favorite blog post title to date!

Alison said...

Wow, that looks delicious!

Mary Ruth said...

OH MY I am getting hungry just reading the recipes and seeing those wonderful pictures!