26 January 2008

Baked Apple Pancake Topsy Turvy

The number of droolworthy dishes coming from my kitchen this past week has been zero. I have had a cold all week, so, have not been up to creating anything interesting in the kitchen. That would explain my lack of usual enthusiasm for the blogging world. I have to catch up with all my favourite bloggers as well!! I usually manage to avoid all colds, etc. but this one latched on with a vengeance....the first one in 4 years. I haven't been doing too badly in the scheme of things I would say!

So now that I have my appetite back, what am I in the mood for? I am craving something sweet, but, healthy at the same time. It is breakfast time...the most important meal of the day...on the weekend. This apple pancake seems to go over well in my household...so one gigantic pancake it is... brimming with caramelized apples. This time I threw in some dried cranberries as well. I suppose you could use any dried fruit or combination of fresh fruits that you desired for an equally delicious start to your day!!

You can serve this pancake with a sprinkling of icing sugar, the tried-and-true maple syrup or why not try birch syrup??

Birch syrup is a rare taste treat. Living in Western Canada where maple trees are planted in the cities for aesthetics and are not indigenous to our forests they had to come up with something else for the sugar factor. In Alaska birch syrup is quite widely produced. Here in British Columbia I only just came across a company that produces it on their farm in Quesnel. You can locate them at their farm here in British Columbia.

Birch syrup ranges in color from light amber to dark reddish-brown, depending on the season of harvest. The lighter syrups are generally products of the earlier part of the season and are more subtle in flavor. Early season syrups accompany pancakes, waffles or crepes. Darker syrups, from later in the season, are more full-bodied. These syrups are used as a spice to flavor different foods, both savory and sweet. Both varieties of Birch Syrup have bold, piquant flavors similar to sorghum or horehound candy.

The birch tree yields in the range of 80-110 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. The predominant, naturally occurring sugar in birch syrup is fructose, as opposed to the maple which contains primarily sucrose. Fructose, due to its chemical structure, is more easily digested and assimilated by the human body. Fructose has the lowest glycemic index of all sugars and can therefore be the most suitable sugar for use, in small quantity, by diabetics. Birch syrup is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, manganese, thiamine, and calcium.

Birch sap is collected in the spring, generally mid to late April, about two to three weeks before the leaves appear on the trees. Tapping the trees does not injure them as it will take only 10-15% of the total sap production of the tree. It is processed in much the same way as maple syrup is, using the same equipment. The sap is cooked down (evaporated) to about 67% sugar for syrup.
So...rise and shine!!!!!!


**Baked Apple Pancake**

Pancake:

1 cup flour
3 T sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 T oil

¼ cup butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced

maple syrup
whipped cream
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In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in milk, egg and oil to combine.

In 8-inch oven-proof skillet, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and apple slices; sauté until sugar is dissolved. Pour batter over apple mixture. Cook uncovered, over medium heat until bubbles form on top of pancake.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 12 – 17 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto a serving platter. Serve with syrup and whipped cream.

Serves 1-4 depending on your appetite Best Blogger Tips

22 comments:

  1. Perfect breakfast to get back into the swing of things!I have never heard of Birch syrup until now. Will be on the lookout for it.

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  2. Sorry you've not been feeling well. I've missed your posts. I love cranberries with apples. I love puffy pancakes too. Hope you feel better and better.

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  3. Val, good to hear you're better. I know I'd feel better eating your pancakes.

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  4. Glad to read you are back in action. Very interesting story about birch syrup, something I had not heard about.

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  5. Looks great! Sorry you have been feelign blah..I have been amazingly busy and out of pocket.
    I have had birch syrup and it is really good..doubt that I could convince Marc it is better than maple, altho I think it is.

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  6. Glad you are back and feeling better Valli! I missed you! :)

    I have never had Birch Syrup before, but I would LOVE to try it. Birches are my favorite trees and so I would love to know what it tastes like - we should do a tamarind-birch trade! ;)

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  7. I'd be up for a tamarind/birch syrup trade Jenn!!!!

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  8. Glad you're back Valli!You always know your better when those taste buds come back! 4 years with out being sick? I would say thats pretty good! I too, have never heard of birch syrup, I'll have to see if its sold out here.

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  9. I wish you well. Hope you'll feel better this week. Take good care of yourself.

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  10. Cool...birch syrup. It sounds really interesting. We don't have it here, but we do have sorghum. We serve sorghum on rolls at the restaurant.
    That is a beautiful picture, and I love the name of this.

    Sorry you haven't felt well. I don't blame you for not cooking or eating. I'm due to get sick, anyday now.

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  11. Utterly delicious! Sounds amazing, I love sweet apples, even just baked as they are with a little honey. Hope the cold is better.

    Cheers
    David

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  12. I hope that you are feeling better. The birch syrup sounds interesting. I will have to look for it. That pancake looks really good!

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  13. Thanks everyone for your thoughtfulness..you are so sweet. If you can find the birch syrup give it a try!

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  14. Hope you are feeling much better by now. At the beginning when I first saw the picture I thought it was an apple pie but I din't know that you can bake pan cakes. Must try this as I love anything with apples in it.

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  15. can i please please a piece of that shipped to me... I would be a very happy woman.

    Stay better :)

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  16. Valli- rest up and get rid of that cold quickly! This pancake looks like the perfect medicine. I must try it for our family soon.

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  17. As soon as you mentioned maple syrup you had me sold. I'm an addict!

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  18. Hope you are feeling better. I have never heard of birch syrup!!!! There is so much still to discover in this world.

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  19. Hola Darling Val! Glad to see you back and with such energy!! Do I have to get a cold to be so inspired with such good looking cake? Never heard of this syrup, but maybe it's only because I never go to the Sweets-side in the market store... :D
    I need some enlightment to start in the Sweets world!

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  20. I'd never heard of Birch syrup! But I l-o-v-e baked apple pancakes, and these look phenomenal.

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  21. This looks great, Val! Another dish to taste and create from your blog :)

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  22. Val - I really love the look of this pancake! Perfect timing for pancake day next Tuesday too. And the information on birch syrup was really interesting too - I've not encountered it before. HOpe you are feeling better.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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