Flaugnarde (Apple Pancake)

Happy New Year!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful evening last night and is fully recovered. ;)

With the new year upon us, I’m making it a goal of mine to post more healthy recipes on the site. I’m far from the type to set resolutions as I don’t feel you need to wait until Jan 1 to start goals, plus I think resolutions often discourage people if/when they backfire and cause unnecessary pressure on one’s self. You simply need to make the decision to change something about your life and go out and do it! With all the cookie and dessert recipes I’ve posted lately, though, I thought Jan 1 would be a good starting point to post some other healthy(er) options.

Enough with the pep talk, though. :) I thought I’d start the year off with something semi-healthy that you can enjoy for breakfast, dessert or even a mid-afternoon snack. We all know the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Therefore, I think this Flaugnarde with apples is a great way to enjoy something healthy but also cheat a little with something sweet.

I’d never heard of a flaugnarde before, but apparently it’s very similar to a clafoutis which is a custard-base baked with fruit. This recipe seems to be much more of a crepe-like batter, and it really couldn’t be easier to make.

The batter is whisked together and allowed to rest for 3 hours. This is standard with most crepe-like batters. This recipe states that the batter should be store at room temperature for the entire 3 hours, and I know some people will cringe about that due to possible bacteria formation. The batter is baked at a really high temperature and so I honestly wouldn’t worry about that. I’m still alive, too. ;) If you’re worried about it, though, I’d simply store the batter in the fridge for the 3 hours. About 15 minutes before the 3 hours has expired, put the batter on the counter to bring it up to room temperature.

The original recipe also called for Bartlett pears, but I already had a few Honeycrisp apples on hand. You could also use peaches, plums or berries. I think for next time I’m going to do a mix of apples and berries. Be sure to use a good cooking apple, too. The best are the firmer varieties, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Russet, Gala or Pink Lady. I personally prefer to use a variety of apples in things such as apple pie. To me, it creates a more complex flavor. :) Try, if at all possible, to use fresh fruit, too. Frozen will create too many juices and the fruit will simply get mushy.

Once the batter has been made and rested for 3 hours, a 9″ cake pan is buttered and the batter is poured into the pan. The apples are dumped on top and the flaugnarde is baked for 45 minutes until done. The result is a puffed, golden pancake with yummy apples. The finished product is sprinkled with a little more sugar, but I decided to sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar because I can’t eat baked apples without some cinnamon. :)

I hope y’all enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful New Year! 2014 is going to be an amazing year!

P.S. A special thanks goes to my wonderful friend, Sara, for the new bowls and plates to use for my blog! Without hesitation, I grabbed the green plate for this recipe and am quite happy with the results if I do say so myself. ;) Love you, girl!

Flaugnarde with Apples

Flaugnarde
Adapted from Food & Wine
Yield: 6-8 servings

3 large eggs
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (see note)
Pinch of salt
1 cup warm milk
1 Tablespoon dark rum (see note)
3 Tablespoons superfine sugar (see note)
2 baking apples, peeled and sliced thin
1 Tablespoon butter

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cake flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, salt and 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup of milk, rum and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Coat the bottom and sides of a deep 9-inch cake pan with half the butter.

3. Pour the batter into the buttered pan and arrange the apple slices on top. You can attempt to make it pretty, but I just dumped them on and it still looks nice. :) Dot the remaining butter on top and bake in the lower third of the oven for 15 minutes.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until the flaugnarde is puffed and a deep golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Leftovers can be chilled and reheated in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.


Cook’s Notes

1. The original recipe doesn’t call for cinnamon, but I added it because I just love apple and cinnamon.

2. The original recipe calls for rum, but I used brandy because that’s what I had on hand. If you don’t have any liquor or don’t want to use any, just omit it. You can replace it with vanilla extract if you desire.

3. The original recipe calls for superfine sugar. Superfine sugar can be purchased in some stores, but you can also make superfine sugar by pulsing granulated sugar in a food processor (not a blender!) for 30 seconds. Since this recipe called for such a small amount, I just used normal granulated sugar and had perfectly fine results. However, if a cookie or cake recipe calls for a large amount of superfine sugar, be sure to use it and don’t substitute with normal granulated sugar.

Apple Crisp Bars

I subscribe to a lot of food-related blogs, websites and various other “Recipe of the Day”-type subscriptions. The other day I received an email for these apple crisp bars and I just knew I needed to make them! First of all, they contain apples, and there’s nothing more that I want this time of year than warm apple pie. Secondly, the Raspberry Oat Bars were such a success and so I was anxious to try another similar bar recipe for comparison’s sake.

Apple Crisp Bars

These bars are a nice improvement from the raspberry bars in that they stay crisp longer. The topping does get a little soggy after one day, but the base stays nice and crispy like a Nature Valley granola bar. Even after 2 days the base was crispy and firm.

The best part about these is you can make them in one bowl. Other than removing some of the topping for the top, it’s all prepared in the pan itself. The original recipe did not say to toss the apples in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and lemon. It actually says to just sprinkle it over the apples in the pan. I wanted to ensure they were coated, though, so that’s why I recommend everything is tossed together in a bowl. If you really want to dirty up as few dishes as possible, though, just layer and sprinkle. :)

The bars are awesome warm, room temp, cold or even with a nice dollop of whipped cream or, dare I say, vanilla ice cream. :) Enjoy!

Apple Crisp Bars
Adapted from “One Bowl Baking” by Yvonne Ruperti
Yield: 12-16 bars

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (See note)
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 sticks (9 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (218 degrees C) and line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper.

2. In the baking pan, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the butter and stir until combined. Remove 2 cups of the crumbs from the pan and set aside. Firmly press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.

3. In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices with the 1 Tablespoon sugar, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread the apples on top of the crust and sprinkle the reserved oat mixture on top.

4. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes to begin softening the apples. Remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until the oat topping is golden and the apples are completely tender. Cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars.


Cook’s Notes

I did not have whole-wheat pastry flour on hand, so I just used all-purpose flour and they turned out great.