I had the opportunity to attend the blogHer food conference in Chicago a few weeks ago. It was my first blogging conference and I wasn’t sure what to expect. There were about 600 people so it was easy to feel lost in the crowd. However, food bloggers are so friendly that it didn’t take long to feel like you were part of the group. Some of the sessions were a little over my head but still very helpful. My favorite part of the conference though was the small breakfasts that you could sign up for. The first morning of the conference I signed up to attend the breakfast sponsored by Stemilt, an orchard out of Washington state. Everyone knows how much I love apples, so of course I signed up! It’s a family owned orchard where they grow apples, pears and cherries. We learned how they hand pick the fruit and then store it in controlled atmospheric storage to extend the seasonability of the fruit before it is shipped all over the country. It was also interesting to hear how a large orchard like this handles the human side of the operation, providing a health care facility on site and housing for migrant workers. You could tell how passionate they are about their business.
We then got to sample a few different types and I discovered two new apples that I had never tried before, Piñata® and Sweetango®. I am a huge Fuji fan so I was surprised that I discovered two new types of apples that I actually like better. I wasn’t sure if I could find them in NC, but I found both at Whole Foods. The Piñatas® are harvested later in the year so they will still be delicious in the middle of winter.
After coming home from the conference, Stemilt contacted me and asked if they could send me some apples and pears. Of course I said yes, and I went right to work to find a recipe where I could show off their fruit. They came packaged in foam so no bruises, and they were unbelievably fresh. I decided to try the apples in a baked pancake for when the girls came home from college. I used the Piñata® apples which were so sweet that the girls kept eating the slices before I could get them in the pancake.
How do you make a baked pancake
A baked pancake or Dutch baby is really easy to make and you only need one pan. An iron skillet works great but any oven proof pan will work but you may need to increase the time for baking. First, you will melt some butter and brown sugar in your pan in the oven and then add the apples and let them carmelize in the oven for a few minuets. Second, while the apples are cooking, make the pancake batter and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then pour it over the apples in your hot skillet and put it back in the oven to bake. While it cooks, it will get puffy and gorgeous, but as soon as it starts to cool, it will deflate.
This pancake is amazing. We decided that it’s almost like a Clafoutis but not as sweet. Taylor said it reminded her of Kugel. It was so delicious that we couldn’t wait for photographs, but I still had enough apples to make it again a few nights later. Just as good the second time around and not bad for breakfast the next morning if you have any leftovers. You won’t need to add syrup or even powdered sugar to this, the apples add all the sweetness you need. We’ve now become a hugh fan of baked apple pancakes.
This is the first time a company has sent anything to me to write about, and I was honored that it was Stemilt. I was very impressed with their organization and look forward to finding their fruit on our shelves. So thanks for introducing me to Piñata® and Sweetango® apples.
Looking for more APPLE recipes
Baked Apple Pancake
- 2-3 apples About 3 cups, peeled and sliced and cut into pieces
- 4 tablespoons sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 eggs
- Heat oven to 400º.
- In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Cut butter into chunks and place in a cast iron skillet,or oven proof pan. Place in oven and let melt for 3 minutes. Remove and add brown sugar to the butter. Spread apples on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes until apples are carmelized, stirring half way through.
- While the apples are cooking, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly until there our no lumps. Beat in the vanilla and eggs with a hand mixer, beating for 2 minutes until foamy. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and pour batter over the apples. Bake for about 20 minutes until browned and the center is set. The pancake will puff up substantially and then fall once removed form the oven.