Photos by Zachary Cross
Perhaps because of examples in literature I always think of apples as a fall crop. Of course they are available in supermarkets year-round, whether from the U.S., South America, or as far away as New Zealand. Our local apple season, however, started at least two weeks ago. I have been buying apples from Wheeler's Orchard and they are fantastic. We have been enjoying them fresh but I decided to make an easy dessert for a change. Maybe you are familiar with oven pancakes, but when I first tried this recipe it was a new thing for me. I had always made pancakes on a griddle. This is a lot easier, faster, and it is versatile. You can use it for most fruits or you can alter to make a vegetable pancake for a main or side dish.
This recipe comes from the cookbook Simply in Season. If you are familiar with the More-With-Less Cookbook, this newer collection of recipes bills itself as "Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less." It is organized by seasons and the foods that are fresh in that season (though it's a little oriented towards a more northern seasonal pattern than we have in Chattanooga).
Fruit Oven Pancake
Adapted from Simply in Season
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 400F. While oven heats, place butter in 9-inch pie pan and place in oven to melt. Swirl pan to grease bottom and sides.
Peel and thinly slice 1 large apple or pear and place on top of melted butter in pie pan.
Return to oven and bake until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple syrup.
Mix in blender:
3/4 cup of milk
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pour over soft fruit and bake until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and a dash of cinnamon and serve immediately.