On a cold and rainy morning, when staying in bed sounds better than facing the day, the thought– and smell– of these apple ring pancakes is powerful enough to get you up and going. Like the love child of fluffy pancakes and baked apples, they are comforting and delicious. You won’t believe how light and pillowy they are! We like to make them kind of giant, like one or two is enough food to fuel you for hours, but they are easily made into silver dollar-sized pancakes if that’s your preference. A good, crisp apple is key so the ring holds its shape and provides a nice textural contrast to your pillowy pancake; our varieties of choice are Honeycrisp and Jonagold. Peel or don’t, it’s up to you. Sour cream makes the most delicate texture, but 2% plain Greek yogurt works just as well if you’re looking for a lighter option, and a combination of the two seems to be the best of both worlds. The recipe as written will make enough for 3-4 people, and is easily doubled, or halved. Start your day with a smile, and a plate of warm and soft apple ring pancakes.
Apple Ring Pancakes (serves 3-4)
- 2 c. flour
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1 c. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (or a combination of both)
- 2 T. melted unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1 large apple, cut crosswise into rings, core removed
- Maine maple syrup, to serve
Sift together the dry ingredients and put them in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs in a small mixing bowl until lightly beaten; add the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt, and melted butter. Make a well in your dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until combined. A few lumps are okay. Set the pancake batter to the side while you start cooking the apples.
Heat a large griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat. When the pan is good and hot, add a pat of butter and move the pan around until coated. Lay your apple rings in a single layer on the hot pan, spaced out, and cook for 3 mins., then flip and cook the other side for 2 mins. If you have a smaller pan, plan to work in two batches, so cook half the apple rings this way and save the rest for the next batch.
Ladle pancake batter over each ring, about 1/2 c. per apple ring, more or less to preference. Cook undisturbed until the edges look cooked and you see bubbles all over the top of each pancake. Flip carefully and cook through. Serve immediately with extra butter, if desired, or drizzled with good syrup.