My feature for September’s Somerset Life magazine is about the county’s long-standing and ongoing food produce heritage. In the 1700 and 1800s the area was reknowned for having some of the best fruits, meats, dairy etc in the country. Now again, Somerset is at forefront of great British food with lots of interesting producers.
The recipe that I put together for that feature makes use of Somerset’s wonderful fruits and is just right for late summer / early autumn. I could have this as lunch, tea or supper.
Apple pancakes with honey-griddled apricots and cinnamon sugar (serves 4)
These small, slightly risen pancakes are a great way of celebrating Somerset’s apple heritage. They are served with caramelised apricots and finished with cinnamon sugar for a modern touch which evokes the spirit of those 18th century cooks who were getting to grips with the new spices being imported into Britain.
For the pancakes:
25g butter plus extra for frying the pancakes
180g plain flour
pinch of salt
25g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 good size eating apple
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the honey-griddled apricots and cinnamon sugar:
4 tbsps runny honey
200g caster sugar
1tbsp ground cinnamon
1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and then whisk in the buttermilk, egg, salt, sugar, cinnamon and thyme. Lastly add the melted butter.
2. Peel and core the apple. Chop into very small pieces and add to the batter mix. Set aside (not adding the bicarbonate of soda yet) while you prepare the apricots and cinnamon sugar.
3. Put a ridged griddle-pan on the stove to get very hot. Halve and stone the apricots. Pour the honey into a dish. Dip the cut side of each apricot half into the honey and then straight away place honeyed-side down in the pan. Continue with all the apricots.
4. Leave them for about 3 minutes and then carefully lift up the first one you placed in. Once the honey has caramelised into darkened ridge marks, remove in the order you put them into the pan.
5. Stir the ground cinnamon through the caster sugar in a dish.
6. To make the pancakes: Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the batter mix. Melt a small piece of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, spread the butter around the pan and then place in four separate spoonfuls of batter mix. Check after two minutes and once browned and bubbled underneath flip over to do the other side for a minute or so. Keep the cooked pancakes somewhere warm while you quickly wipe the base of the pan and repeat with more butter and more batter to give 16-20 pancakes.
7. Serve the pancakes with the honey-griddled apricots alongside and the cinnamon sugar sprinkled over. A little dusted icing sugar is pretty too.