This recipe comes from the March chapter of my book on
cooking with flavour i.e. smell
and Spice A year of Flavour (see Books).
Fallen apples, damp earth and the intense cidery smell of
last year’s apples stored in the dusty hay loft. Such memories are the making of recipes.
For the pancake
55g plain flour
60g buckwheat flour
pinch of salt
1 medium egg, beaten
1 tablespoon melted butter
For the apple filling
6 medium Cox’s orange pippins
1 tablespoon lemon juice
55g butter, plus extra for baking
30g caster sugar
200ml double cream
1 tablespoon sifted icing sugar
1 Sift the flours
and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix the egg into
the flour until it starts to form a smooth paste. Beat in the milk, bit by bit,
followed by 85ml water and one tablespoon melted butter until you have a smooth
batter. Strain into a jug and leave to
rest for 30 minutes.
2 Set a small
(15cm) heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat. Lightly oil and, when the pan
is very hot, pour in about 2 tablespoons of batter. Rotate the pan so that it is evenly coated in
a thin layer. Once the batter begins to
set and form small bubbles, loosen the edges with a greased palette knife and
flip over. Cook for another minute, then
slip the pancake on to a plate. Grease
the pan once more and repeat. As you cook, you will need to reduce the heat
slightly. Cover and set aside.
3 Peel, quarter,
core and thickly slice the apples into a large bowl. Toss with the lemon juice. Set a large frying pan over a medium
heat. Melt the butter and stir in the
apples and sultanas. Fry for about 3
minutes, stirring regularly, until the apples are golden and just tender, then
reduce the heat and mix in the sugar and 2 tablespoons Calvados. Continue to cook for 4 minutes or until the
apples are soft and juicy. Tip into a
4 In a large bowl
whisk together the cream and 1½
tablespoons Calvados until thecream forms soft peaks.
Cover and chill.
5 Preheat the
oven to 200°C, fan assisted 180°C, gas 5.
Liberally butter an ovenproof gratin dish. Take the first pancake and spoon some of the
cooked apple over half of the pancake.
Fold the pancake over so that the apple mixture is covered, then fold
the pancake in half again so that it forms a quarter. Place in the buttered
dish and continue with the remaining pancakes.
Once all the pancakes are filled, lightly dot with butter and cover the
dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes or
until piping hot. Transfer to serving
plates, dust with icing sugar and serve with the Calvados cream.