Flay's German Apple Pancakes

A piping hot stack of buttered pancakes drenched in maple syrup is an all-American image. But did you know that pancakes, in one form or another, are found in almost every culture and all nations have at least one dish that uses a pancake as container for fillings or toppings?

So The Early Show's resident chef Bobby Flay is cooking a German pancake also known as a "pfannkuchen." It is a puffy pancake with a mildly sweet lemon-flavored egg mixture sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and served with jam, wine or fruit sauce. He serves it with a Calvados Caramel Sauce. Some people describe this dish as a version of a blintz, which is a thin pancake folded around a fruit filling.

What is calvados? Calvados is a dry, apple-flavored brandy, which is named after a town in the Normandy region of France. You may use apple cider, brandy or sweet cooking wine as substitute.

The following are his recipes:

German Apple (Puffy) Pancake with Calvados Caramel Sauce
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup AP flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Granny Smith or Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Confectioners' sugar

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt until smooth. Whisk in the milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  3. Heat butter in a 9-inch nonstick pan or a cast iron pan, until melted. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until the sugar has completely melted.
  4. Add the apples and cook until slightly soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Pour the batter over the apples and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the edges are brown and puffy, about 16-18 minutes.
  5. Carefully invert the pancake onto a cutting board or serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with some of the caramel sauce.

Calvados Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons Calvados or Apple Jack Brandy

Method:

  1. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat (do not stir), swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, until amber in color, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. While the caramel is cooking, place the heavy cream and cinnamon stick in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  3. When the caramel has reached the desired color, remove the cinnamon stick from the heavy cream and slowly begin adding the warm cream to the caramel and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the Calvados.