When you think of a feast to feed a crowd pancakes may or may not be the first thing you think of. They’re easy to make and will happily fill up the tummies of all the members of your house plus guests. But when you take pancakes and stack them on top of each other with caramel sauce and cooked apple in between you take the humble pancake to the next level and end up with something special that won’t easily be forgotten.
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 6 extra large eggs
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cream
- 200g salted butter
- 4 apples (we used a mixture of red and granny smith)
- 40g salted butter
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- First make the crepe batter. Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl add the milk, water, vanilla essence, canola oil, eggs, and sugar and whisk till well combined. Then add the liquid to the flour in two batches whisking well till smooth. Pass the batter through a sieve to get rid of any lumps and to make sure the batter is perfectly smooth and silky. Let rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. In a small pot or sauce pan add the sugar with about 1 tbsp water and still till well combined. Pour the cream in a mug and heat in the microwave till hot. Be careful not to let it boil. Set aside. Place the pot of sugar water on a medium high heat and cook till the sugar begins to melt and turn an amber caramel colour about 5 minutes. Do not touch stir or move the sugar as it caramelizes to prevent the formation of sugar crystals.
- Once the sugar is caramelized pour in the hot cream and whisk vigorously until well incorporated and smooth. The mixture will bubble up furiously but don’t worry, it will calm down just continue whisking. Once smooth remove from the heat, add the butter, and continue to stir until melted and smooth. Pour the caramel sauce into a glass jar and let cool at room temperature.
- To make the cooked apples. Spiralize all the apples according to your spiralizer instructions using the ribbon side. If you don’t own a spiralizer you can use a mandolin to create thin slices of use a knife just slice the apples as thinly as possible. In a large pan melt the butter over a medium high heat then add the sliced apple but save a few for garnish (optional). Then add the ground cinnamon and cook stirring frequently until the apples are soft and cooked. Remove from the heat and add two tablespoons of the caramel sauce and mix well.
- To make baked apple slices for garnish, which is optional. Take the sliced apple that you saved and brush with melted butter. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven set at 160°C for about 15 minutes or until browned. Check frequently as they can burn very easily. Once browned remove and place on a cooling rack to crisp up.
- When ready to make the crepes, heat a nonstick pan to medium high heat and brush lightly with melted butter. When hot, spoon about a ladle full of batter, depending on the size of your pan, and swivel and turn the pan to spread the batter evenly. Let cook until the edges crisp up slightly and the whole surface of the pancake is dry and opaque. Flip with a spatula or your hands and continue to cook for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a heatproof plate and keep warm in the oven set to 70°C. Continue making pancakes until the batter is finished.
- To assemble, place a pancake on a serving plate and place a pancake on top. Spread about 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce onto the pancake and carefully place cooked apple evenly. Place another pancake on top and repeat until all the pancakes are done. Pour remaining caramel sauce over the cake and garnish with the crisp apple chips and fresh mint.
- This recipe makes about 30 pancakes. You can half the recipe to make a smaller cake.
- Make all components of the cake including the crepe batter the day before you want to serve it and then on the day you can just make the pancakes and assemble.
- This recipe is also perfect for a simple Saturday brunch of pancakes with caramel apples and does not have to be a showstopping cake centerpiece.
- Caramel sauce keeps in the fridge for 1 week and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Cooked pancakes can be frozen for up to 6 months.