Monday, October 13, 2008

Vegan MoFo# 13: Baked German Apple Pancake

In several recent posts, I've made mention of Anna Thomas' The Vegetarian Epicure, a classic of the 1970s hippie cookbook genre. Inspired by happy memories, I was moved to drag Volumes I and II down from my kitchen shelf and revisit some old favorites, a somewhat quixotic enterprise, given the quantities of butter, milk, cheese, and eggs in so many of the recipes. Since it's October, and our fruit bowl is overflowing with apples, one of the first things that came to mind was the German Baked Apple Pancake, a family-sized affair meant to be served in slices. Back in the day I used to make this pretty often, usually for weekend breakfasts, so when I woke up hungry this Sunday morning I decided to give it a go.

Just as I remembered, the original calls for milk, three eggs, a fair amount of sugar, and nearly a stick of butter: you really have to love Anna Thomas, you know? She just didn't give a damn. Anyway, I subbed soy milk for the moo juice, 2 tbsp. canola oil for the butter, and a mere 2 tbsp. of maple syrup for the sugar; as it happened, the apples were so sweet once they cooked down that in the future I'll probably leave it out of the filling entirely, especially since I added raisins. I don't generally use egg replacer in my baking, but in this case I wasn't sure what would happen and made an exception (although I plan to try it with baking powder and see). Overall, I'd say the experiment was successful: I may substitute extra applesauce for part of the soy milk next time for a slightly moister pancake, but it definitely made for a great breakfast on a sunny autumn morning. Give it a try and let me know what you think; suggestions for future veganizations are also welcome!

German Baked Apple Pancake
(NB: Prepare your filling before starting on the pancake, so it will be ready to assemble and eat while everything is warm)

~ 4 cups thinly sliced apples
~ 2 tbsp. orange juice
~ 1 tbsp. maple syrup
~ 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
~ ½ tsp. each: cinnamon, nutmeg

~ Heat a nonstick skillet or wok over a medium flame; add all of the filling ingredients and stir to combine.
~ Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes, until the apples are soft, then add the raisins and cook about 5 minutes more.
~ Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid to keep warm.


~ 3/4 cup plain soymilk
~ 3 tbsp. egg replacer, mixed with 9 tbsp. cold water
~ 1/2 cup applesauce
~ 2 tbsp. canola oil
~ 1 tbsp. maple syrup
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ ½ tsp. each: salt, cinnamon, almond extract
~ ¼ tsp. nutmeg
~ ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour

~ Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large, greased pie plate in the oven and allow to get hot while you mix the batter.
~ In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the flour and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Add the flour, whisk again, and pour into the heated pie plate.
~ Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 and cook10 minutes longer.
~ Remove the pancake from the oven. Using oven mitts, place a large serving plate over the top of the pie plate and carefully flip it over (so the pancake is on the plate, you see).
~ Spoon the filling evenly over one half of the pancake, then fold the other half over so you have a sort of apple pancake omelet. If you’ve made too much filling, no worries--just serve it alongside.
~ Cut into slices while it’s still warm, and serve with Earth Balance and maple syrup. This would also be good with some vanilla soy yogurt on the side, or even with ice cream as a dessert.


  1. What a fun recipe! And it looks delicious. I love apples. Some recipes are too eggy to veganize, but this looks like it turned out well.

  2. It's been years since I made the original recipe, so my memory of its actual texture is foggy, but overall I'd say it came pretty close. I was okay with the amount it puffed up, but (as I said in the post) might add a bit more applesauce next time o make it moister. I'll definitely do it again, especially with all the apples around right now!

  3. YUM! I totally miss a lot of German food. I will have to gank this.

  4. I made this one during last years' Veganmofo, it's excellent. I've made a few times since.