Recipe: Green and Red Apple Pancake by Hillary Davis

French Desserts photo
Photo: Steven Rothfeld/Courtesy Gibbs Smith

Sagaponack cookbook author Hillary Davis shares this recipe for an autumnal treat. These hearty homemade snacks appear in Davis’s just released French Desserts.

Photograph by Steven Rothfeld from French Desserts by Hillary Davis, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

Matefaim aux Pommes Vertes et Rouges
Quick | Serves 4

Matefaims, or matafans, from the Franche-Comté region in eastern France that borders Switzerland, means “calming or taming hunger.”

Most often they are thick, savory pancakes made with mashed potato. I was hiking with friends there and they packed potato matefaims made into sandwiches with ham and cheese for our portable lunch.

They told me they also like to make them when they come back from a day of skiing or in a sweet version with apples for an afternoon snack. My recipe has apples, both red and green, and I often add a dash of cognac to the batter.

Special Equipment: 1 large nonstick frying pan

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 red apple
3 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Confectioner’s sugar
Grated chocolate, optional

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to combine.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and all lumps disappear, then gradually whisk in the milk.

Let the mixture rest while you prepare the apples.

Slice 1 red and 2 green apples into 4 sections each. Peel, core, and slice each section very thinly. Slice these pieces in half. Melt butter in the pan with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Add the apples and cook them on medium heat until tender, about 4 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining sugar and cook until the apples are caramelized and browned, 2–3 minutes.

Add the apples to the pancake batter and stir to combine. Scoop all of the batter into the pan and cook over medium-low heat without moving for about 15–20 minutes. Place a plate over the top, invert, and slide the pancake back into the pan to cook for another 4 minutes.

Garnish with the remaining apples that you have sliced into slivers, leaving the skin on for color, then sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. Garnish with the chocolate, if you wish.

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