Tomorrow, March 11th, is National Johnny Appleseed Day. Although John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) was born on September 26, 1774, his “day” is celebrated in March due to the planting season. Some people think that Johnny Appleseed was just another folk legend like Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill but Johnny was an actual person. He is most known for planting apple orchards from New York as far west as Iowa and as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin. He traveled by foot (often shoeless), crisscrossing this part of our nation for almost fifty years, planting his trees and then tending the orchards, as well as planting herbs, supplying herbal remedies, and sharing the Lord’s word. Throughout the Midwest there are landmarks in his memory, from the site of his first nursery in Warren County, PA to his gravesite in Fort Wayne, IN. Sadly, they say none of the trees he planted are still living but I like to think that their offspring are with us to this day. Why not celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day tomorrow with, what else, a giant Apple Pancake.
1 Granny Smith apple (or other tart apple), peeled, cored, and sliced
½ cup unsalted butter, divided
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon juice
¾ cup milk
¾ cup flour
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
Maple or other pancake syrup, warmed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sauté apples in 2 tbsp. butter in a 10” ovenproof skillet over medium heat until golden and almost tender, 8-10 minutes.
Add cinnamon, lemon juice, and cook 1 minute more.
Melt remaining butter in microwave. Beat eggs then add milk, flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter, stir until smooth.
Pour batter over apples in hot pan and spread to cover (do not stir).
Place skillet in oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, 18-20 minutes.
Slice, dust with powdered sugar, and serve immediately with warm syrup.
Yes, there will be pancakes!