A Piece of Pie for Breakfast
These grain-free beauties are awesome! I know I created them so I shouldn’t say that, but they made me (and my sugar-loving husband) very happy at breakfast this morning. Shredded apple and applesauce fill them with apple flavor, cinnamon and nutmeg turn them into pie. They’re good on their own but when you pour the sauce over them, oh my.
I had the idea for several days before I had the time to try making them. Then it was love at first bite. Of course, I had to tinker with it – testing the amount of applesauce, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs – until the recipe was the best I could make it. If you love nutmeg, please add more. In fact, feel free to add whatever spices say “apple pie” to you. I wouldn’t cut the amount of cinnamon though. It needed this much.
When you choose the apple cider for the sauce, use the kind that’s unfiltered, not regular apple juice. The reduced cider intensifies a natural apple flavor but regular apple juice is so sweet to start with that I don’t think it would be tasty reduced. If you live where fresh apple cider is sold in the fall, I think that would be amazing in this sauce. The sauce is still liquidy, not syrupy. I’m ok with that and my current diet doesn’t allow starches so I can’t thicken it. Feel free to use cornstarch or arrowroot – here’s how.
Apple Pie Pancakes with Cinnamon Apple Sauce
2 cups almond flour (I used Honeyville)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 rounded teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded apple (I tried gala and braeburn)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, breaking up the lumps of the almond flour with a fork. In a large bowl (a stand mixer if you own one), mix 3 eggs until frothy, add the vanilla and applesauce and combine well. If using a stand mixer with a paddle, add the dry ingredients and the shredded apple and combine. If not, stir the dry into the wet with a spoon.
Cook pancakes on a temperature slightly less than what you would use for most flours. In a hot pan that’s well-oiled (I used grapeseed oil), drop 1/4 cup of batter. This is thick so you’ll need to spread out each pancake (I used a fork) as thin as they will go without holes. Mine were all about 4 inches in diameter. They must cook until brown on the bottom then be flipped with a spatula and cook until that side is also brown. Do not try to flip early or they will fall apart.
4 cups apple cider
1 cinnamon stick*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons butter (or margarine)
In a medium saucepan, bring the apple cider and cinnamon stick to a boil then drop it to a simmer and cook for about 20-30 or until the juice is reduced by about half. You’re looking for an amount between 1 1/2 and 2 cups. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter.
Makes 11 4-inch pancakes
* If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon also works. If you add more, the spice will give a texture to the sauce that you may not want.
Almond Flour Pancake Tips:
I’ve had good and not-so-good experiences with almond flour pancakes in the past. Sometimes they came out perfectly, sometimes they stuck or broke apart when I flipped them. As I worked with this recipe, I learned why. You must have a hot pan and oil it well. (I don’t use non-stick. If you do, you may need less oil.) By hot, I don’t mean a high temperature - they’ll burn – I mean a pan that’s been heated. When you do those two things, you should have good results every time.