Welcome to the dark months. We switched to winter time on Sunday, so it’s now officially dark out at around 5 in the afternoon. I didn’t even notice the time change until late in the afternoon when I saw that my phone and Rok’s watch were showing different times.
I love going back to winter time because for a few days it always feels like we can sleep for an extra hour. But, sadly, we got up really early on Sunday so an hour made no difference.
Why did we wake so early? Well, I had to go to St. Veit in Austria, which is a good hour drive away, where I took part in a defensive / advanced driving course.
I got my driver’s license almost two years ago, but in order to get it renewed and changed from being a “new” driver to a regular one, I had to take that course. Rok and I decided to turn the day into a family event, so he went with me, which really helped me as well as I was less nervous with him by my side.
But as scary as all the fake snow simulations and road obstacles look, they’re really not that difficult to handle and I actually had a great time.
Having a normal license that lasts till I’m 70 feels pretty darn good. As far as winter time goes, I am still adjusting to the fact that it gets dark so early now, at least in terms of blogging.
My schedule is completely different than it was a few months ago. During the summer, doing anything in the kitchen before 5-6 in the afternoon is completely pointless, but now I have to be done by then (if I want to get a decent picture). But apart from that, no complaints so far, haha.
Not as long as I have my torn pancakes.
The torn pancake is called “kaischerschmarrn” in German and “schmorn” in Slovene. We also know it under the name Emperor’s mess and it’s my childhood favorite.
It’s basically a thick fluffy pancake torn into pieces, best served with apple sauce or just sprinkled with sugar. This is something I make when we crave pancakes but want a little extra “oomph” on the plate and I especially love it during the colder months paired with apple sauce.
It’s the ultimate comfort food – soft fluffy pancake pillows, caramelized in sugar, with a side of warm apple sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Amazing is all I can say.
And yes, I add ice-cream. I don’t make this everyday, so when I do, I go all out because I don’t see why I shouldn’t. This is usually an evening treat in our home, and evenings like this are the purpose of fall and winter if you ask me.
However, this torn pancake makes a great late Sunday breakfast too.
Torn pancake with homemade apple sauce and vanilla ice cream
Pancakes with a twist!
Recipe makes 2 liters (8 1/2 cups) apple sauce and enough pancakes for 2-4 servings.
- 2.2 kg (4.8 pounds) apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
- 40g (3 tablespoons) brown (demerara) sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 960 ml (4 cups) water
- 2–3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, divided to whites and yolks
- 1 1/4 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 165g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 270ml (1 cup 2 TBSPs) milk
- vanilla seeds from 1 pod
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1–2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- For serving: Vanilla ice-cream
- In a large stockpot, mix apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil, cover pot with lid and lower the heat to medium. Maintain a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes until the apples are cooked through and soft.
- Remove the pot from heat. Use a hand blender to puree the apples (you can control the texture this way) or a food processor for a smoother apple sauce (puree apples in batches).
- Once pureed taste the apple sauce and add sugar. You may want more than I used. If it’s too sweet add more lemon juice.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to a year.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the egg whites and sugar, on medium speed, until thick and white, silky peaks form.
- In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks with salt. Starting with the flour, alternately add flour and milk and mix well between each addition. Doing this slowly will prevent any lumps of flour and you’ll get a nice, smooth batter. Scrape in the vanilla seeds, mix until incorporated.
- Add the egg whites in two additions. Fold them in gently (so you don’t kill their fluffiness).
- In a skillet or pan, melt the butter over high heat. Once the skillet is really hot, pour in the batter.
- Lower the heat to medium and let the pancake cook. Once the edge is cooked through and the bottom of the pancake is golden brown, cut it into four pieces and flip them over with a spatula.
- Cook for a few minutes. Cut pancake into small pieces. Cook until all pieces are cooked through and golden brown. (You can flip them individually as they cook, so they brown on all sides.)
- Turn heat to high, sprinkle powdered sugar over pancakes and stir until all are coated with sugar. Keep cooking for a few minutes until the sugar caramelizes and creates a crust.
- Serve immediately, with a side of apple sauce (preferably warm) and ice-cream.
If you like raisins and want a more adult version of this dish, add rum soaked raisins to the batter.
When in a hurry, you can use whole eggs and skip beating the egg whites separately. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to the mix.
You can make the batter a day ahead. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.