Sunday dinner. Roast beef or roast pork. Baked ham, the layer of fat scored and pricked with clove. Fried chicken some times and mashed potatoes, always. Pickles from the cellar. A vegetable or two, mostly lapping in mushroom soup and topped with cracker crumbs. In summer, sliced tomatoes and fresh lima beans or sweet corn.
Do families still gather round big tables after Sunday church, three generations at least, so many aunts and cousins that it’s nearly as certain the meal will end with birthday cake as it will start with grace?
Growing up, some weeks Mom cooked Sunday dinner. Mostly though, it’s Sunday suppers that I remember.
If it were just the four of us, or five including Gramma who lived in town, Mom would send my sister or me to the basement for the waffle iron.
In minutes, we’d sit down to plates of steaming waffles, sugar-crisp on the outside, soft in the middle and topped with fat scoops of vanilla ice cream and a few drops of precious maple syrup.
It must be our waffle suppers that make my mind associate certain foods with certain days. DUTCH APPLE PANCAKE is Sunday food, Sunday breakfast, perhaps, but definitely Sunday supper.
DUTCH APPLE PUFF
Time-to-table: 45 minutes
Serves 4 as Sunday supper, 6 as dessert
Preheat the oven to 450F. Spoon 1 tablespoon butter into a large, oven-proof skillet and let it melt in the oven.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a second large skillet. Peel, core and thinly slice 3 tart apples (about 1-1/2 pounds), adding to the skillet as they’re prepped. Once all the apples are in, cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft and syrupy. Once cooked, reduce heat to low to keep warm.
While the apples cook, mix 2 eggs, 1/2 cup whole milk (low-fat milk doesn’t work), 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt with a hand mixer or in a blender. Spread the butter around the first skillet and up the sides, then pour the batter in. Sprinkle with another 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, watching through the oven window; when it puffs up, puncture with a fork. Reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to plates. Top with warm apple mixture and serve.
Apple Recipes for Every Course
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