These pancakes are extraordinarily moist. Topped with apples poached in maple syrup and Calvados they're pure indulgence. - Viviane Bauquet Farre —Viviane Bauquet Farre
Test Kitchen Notes
These pancakes are lifted by ricotta and smell deliciously of lemon and vanilla. They're not especially sweet on their own -- for that you have maple syrup enhanced with apples, walnuts and Calvados (a great idea if there ever was one). Notes: If you want some bite left in your apples, don't simmer them too feverishly or do so for less than 15 minutes. And the syrup recipe could be halved and you'd still have plenty, but any extra is can be spooned over yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream -- or more pancakes! —Kristen Miglore
8 medium pancakes
For the syrup
1 1/2 cups
grade A or B maple syrup
1 1/2 pounds
Braeburn, Fuji or other firm-flesh apples (about 3 large) – peeled, cored and cut in 1/2" slices
Calvados (Applejack or brandy are good substitute)
walnuts – toasted and broken in small pieces
Heat the maple syrup, water and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the apple slices, reduce heat to medium-high and fast simmer for 15 minutes until apples are tender and liquid has reduced by a third. Add the Calvados and continue to fast simmer for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and add the walnut pieces. Mix well and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the milk, ricotta, vanilla, lemon zest and melted butter and whisk until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and whisk until just incorporated. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
Heat a 7" non-stick frying pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Brush pan with a little melted butter and lower to medium to medium-high heat. Using about 1/2 cup of the batter for each pancake, pour the batter into the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tops of pancake have a few bubbles, edges look dry and bottom is golden. Flip the pancake and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until bottom is golden and pancake is cooked through. As the pan gets hotter, you may have to reduce the heat further so the pancakes cook evenly without burning. Brush the pan with a little more butter before cooking the next pancake.
Place 2 pancakes in the center of each plate. Top with a few apple slices and drizzle with the syrup. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.
Cook’s note: To toast the nuts: preheat oven to 350° F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 7 minutes until golden. Cool to room temperature before using in the recipe.