Expert Recipe: Breakfast Skillet

Published on 09/27/2023 · 6 min readMove over, bacon and eggs – we are making a breakfast worth waking up for. Follow Kitchen Expert Kate Wilson's simple instructions below for a restaurant-style apple “Dutch Baby”' pancake that will have everyone rushing to the table!
Kate Wilson, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Kate Wilson

Breakfast is served! Photo by Kate Wilson

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The weekends are for treating yourself, and what better way to kick them off than with a fluffy, fruit-filled pancake? This decadent breakfast skillet ticks all the boxes for an over-the-top brunch treat and just so happens to include some healthy ingredients, too.

Spending summers with my German grandparents meant I could expect a hearty meal three times a day. Some of my favorite memories are coming in after a long day on the farm and finding fruit-filled crepes on the table – for dinner! Fast forward several years, and my home is surrounded by trees overflowing with apples and walnuts and has a bustling kitchen trying to use them all up. I've found the best way to honor my past is to recreate the memories that meant so much to me, and this is how the Apple Puff Pancake Breakfast Skillet was born!

What You’ll Need

Fresh off the apple and walnut trees! Photo by Kate Wilson

  • Cast iron skillet: A traditional or enameled cast iron is ideal for this recipe because of its exceptional ability to retain and distribute heat evenly. Preheating the pan will ensure that this intense heat will start the baking and rising process immediately after the batter is added. It’s also guaranteed to be oven safe, which is necessary since this is where the pancake is cooked!
  • Blender: All ingredients in the pancake batter need to be combined well, and blending is a great way to accomplish this. You're looking for a very smooth, runny consistency.
  • Pastry brush: Use this to brush melted butter onto the sides of the pan before pouring the batter in to reduce sticking.
  • Mixing bowl: We'll need a mixing bowl since we’re going to pop the apples in a mixture of lemon juice and water as we slice them. The acidity from the lemon will keep the apples from browning.
  • Mandolin: Slicing the traditional way will do, but I prefer the mandolin for consistent slices that are exceptionally pretty!
  • Sifter: Finish off your dish with melted butter, lemon, syrup, and a sprinkle of sifted powdered sugar.

Ingredients

Photo by Kate Wilson

  • 2-3 small apples
  • 1 lemon (divided)
  • 6c water
  • 3tbsp butter
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp grated ginger
  • 2tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1tbsp honey

Batter ingredients:

  • 1/2c flour
  • 1c whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla

Finishing ingredients:

  • 1/4c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c melted butter
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Maple syrup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1: Prepare lemon water and slice apples

Keep apples fresh in lemon juice and water mixture. Photo by Kate Wilson

Combine 6c of water with the juice of 1 lemon in a medium mixing bowl.

Set your mandolin to the 1/14” (1.5mm) setting and slice each apple. Remove any seeds and toss slices in the lemon water after each apple is cut. Once all apples have been soaking for a few minutes, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

Keep apples fresh in a lemon juice and water mixture. Photo by Kate Wilson

Step 2: Melt butter and add apple slices to pan

Get that butter sizzling for the next step - batter! Photo by Kate Wilson

Melt 3tbsp of butter in your cast iron skillet on medium heat, then add 2 layers of apples to the pan, making sure not to stack them directly on top of each other. If you have extra apples, it's okay to add a few more to the top. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1tbsp ginger, a small pinch of salt, and 2tbsp chopped walnuts onto the apples. Drizzle 1tbsp honey across the top, adjust the temperature to medium-high heat, and cook for two minutes.

Step 3: Blend batter ingredients

Pour 1c milk, 1/2c flour, 1tsp vanilla, and 2 eggs into the blender. Mix well on a medium setting for 20 seconds. Make sure the batter is smooth and runny in consistency. If needed, scrape the sides of your blender and mix for another 10 seconds.

Step 4: Pour batter over apple mixture and bake

Almost there...pouring the batter. Photo by Kate Wilson

Pour batter evenly over the apples. No need to stir, but if you swirl the mixture in a figure-8 motion once or twice, it will help build the peaks of the pancake. Immediately place the skillet in the center of the oven, set a timer for 18 minutes, and turn the oven light on. After about 10 minutes, you will start to see the pancake rising and then turning a golden brown color as it continues to cook. Do not open the oven door to check on it! This type of pancake relies on the steam from the eggs to rise, and opening the door will release that important element. Only open the door when you're taking it out after 18 minutes have passed.

Step 5: Add toppings and serve!

Apple Puff Pancake Breakfast Skillet. Photo by Kate Wilson

I like to melt some butter while the pancake is baking so it's ready to pour over the pancake straight out of the oven, and then finish with a touch of lemon juice and powdered sugar. The pancake will lose its volume after just a few short minutes, but don't worry – the flavor remains! Serve with your choice of protein, like bacon or sausage, scramble up some eggs with veggies, and add a side of hash browns for a meal your family won't soon forget.

Tips & Substitutions

  • Have all ingredients ready before you start so you can quickly blend the batter ingredients while your apples are on medium-high for two minutes.
  • Fresh ginger can be replaced with 1/4 tsp powdered ginger.
  • A large nonstick skillet can be substituted as long as it's oven-proof.
  • Looking for a gluten-free version? Substitute regular flour with 3/4c gluten-free flour, and add 4 more eggs.
  • Try my grandma's favorite German pancake accompaniment: eliminate the tablespoon of honey in the apple mixture and instead combine it with 1/4c sour cream for a unique side dip.

Final Thoughts on This Apple Puff Pancake Breakfast Skillet Recipe

It's not always easy coming up with simple breakfast recipes, especially after a long week caring for children and/or commuting to work. I love this breakfast because it’s simple to make, the ingredients are likely already on hand, and the apples, ginger, and walnuts offer a bit of nutrition – crisp, fresh apples are packed with fiber and vitamin C, ginger is full of antioxidants, and walnuts are rich in vitamins B6 and E. Even more reason for this to become your favorite breakfast skillet recipe!

If you need any of the tools to make this recipe or maybe something for one of your own recipes, reach out to any of the Kitchen Experts here on Curated. We will make sure you have everything you need to create some magic in your kitchen, too!

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