Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lazy Sunday - Sour Cream Pancakes with Caramelized Apples

Working in Napa definitely has its perks, fall is in swing and the vines are turning beautiful shades of red. All the late season summer fruits and veggies are still hanging on. And while it may be the end of summer in Napa, it is definitely Fall in San Francisco (yes I know there are the naysayers who say we don't have seasons, some days I am among them, but you can feel the shift).  

The air is crisp and all of a sudden I am in the mood for cozy food, not to mention the fact that working away on Saturdays makes me very very happy for lazy Sundays. So, this last Sunday, lazing around in my pjs, I set to work making sour cream pancakes with caramelized apples.

To make: Combine 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients - 1/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup low fat milk (I know doesn't make sense but it was the combo that I had and it worked beautifully), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 egg and a splash of vanilla extract. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry.

In the meantime (or before), cube two apples - I like granny smiths, but used fuji this particular morning.  Heat a generous pat of butter in the pan, toss the apples in, and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of granulated sugar. While the apples are sautéing, sprinkle them with some cinnamon. Don't move the apples too much, that way they get nice and caramelize-y.

Cook the pancakes with a good amount of butter on a hot griddle. 
As my mom taught me, the last one you make will inevitably be the best.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Butter - A Love Story Continued

While living in France for six months, I took a trip to the beautiful northern town of St. Malo. While there, I observed my normal traveler's habits of eating my way through a town/region - thus, I had the express pleasure of sampling the regional delicacy known as the Kouign Amann. The Kouign Amann is a buttery, caramelized, crisp-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside, treat - it was love at first bite. I found David Lebovitz's recipe and off I went. For his full, buttery, well-tested recipe, click here.
My hand model pouring the yeast for the bread dough.
Poured the yeast, let it bubble and fizz, added flour, made dough, let it rise. I love the smell of yeast.
Added the butter and the first round of sugar
Endless fields of butter.
Fold the buttered and sugared dough into a neat little package. After letting it sit, roll it out once more, add a second round of sugar and fold back up.
 After chilling, roll the dough again, sprinkle with a final helping of sugar - et voila! you have a beautiful dessert. I could have maybe taken my kouign amann out a few minutes early but it was delicious nonetheless and I had no problem choking it down - neither did those around me.

For more Kouign Amann tales from Lebovitz read on here.