Bins of fresh, local apples are appearing at farmers’ markets and in grocery store aisles, and orchards are in full festive swing with hay rides and pick-your-own options. We are in the heart of apple season. Sure, you can get apples year-round, shipped in from the West Coast or as far afield as New Zealand and Chile, but there’s something special when their journey to our kitchens is shorter and sweeter.
And on the practical side, this versatile fruit, which is good on its own and in dishes savory or sweet, really may help keep the doctor away. It is a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants. Research suggests antioxidants in apples and apple products play a role in reducing risks of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Apples are also linked to decreasing the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, improving gut health and alleviating symptoms of asthma.
They also have staying power: If you refrigerate apples as soon as possible when you bring them home, they will slow-ripen and maintain flavor so they can keep from four to six weeks. Then you will be sure to have them on hand for a great variety of recipes—such as this one. Step up your weekend breakfast with just a little bit more effort than opening a box of pancake mix. In this recipe, courtesy of the U.S. Apple Association, grated apples are mixed in the batter and a sweet maple sauce to top it all off.
If you would like more information on local apples, the Minnesota Apple Growers Association has harvest time estimates for some of your favorites—Honeycrisp about September 15—and a map to find a grower to pick your own or join in apple harvest festivities.
Apple Pancakes with Maple-Apple Sauce
Makes 4 servings
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup apples, grated
oil for griddle or pan, as needed
2 teaspoons butter
2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
dash of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup dark corn syrup
1. For the Pancakes: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and nutmeg.
2. In a small bowl, mix egg, butter, vanilla and milk.
3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until just blended, being careful not to overmix. Fold in grated apple.
4. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. When batter is full of holes, turn to brown on other side. Turn pancakes only once while cooking.
5. For the Maple-Apple Sauce: Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and dash of salt and sauté until just brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add maple and corn syrup to apples and stir gently. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Serve over pancakes.
Nutrition info Apple Pancakes With Sauce (per serving): CALORIES 500 (120 From Fat); FAT 14g (Sat. 8g); CHOL 85mg; SODIUM 1490mg; CARB 89g; FIBER 5g; PROTEIN 9g