How to make Mountain Ridge Country Club’s signature German Apple Pancake
Courtesy of Mountain Ridge CC
Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetites.
When Marc Bolch took the reins as executive chef at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J., almost 14 years ago, the hiring came with one non-negotiable stipulation from the club’s general manager. Under no circumstances was Bolch to change or do away with the apple pancake — a signature dish that many Mountain Ridge members had religiously ordered for years, possibly even decades before that.
Bolch mostly kept his promise. The pancake remained on Mountain Ridge’s menu, but the club’s new executive chef couldn’t resist modifying the recipe of his inherited dish. “It needed to be sweeter,” Bolch recalls. “It was just a basic batter of eggs, milk, and sugar, so I added more sugar and also plain yogurt and some cinnamon to give it more pizazz.”
As Bolch acknowledges, the recipe is still pretty straightforward. “There’s no secret to making the batter,” he says. “The whole secret is in cooking it. It’s an interesting thing to make, and it takes some skill to create it the way the members expect it — the way they’ve always seen it or had it.”
Those secrets start with the right equipment. Bolch explains that home cooks will need to use a steel skillet with sloped sides; and when they pour the pancake batter into the pan, they’ll want to twirl the skillet so the batter runs up and coats the edges. That’s what allows the edges of the pancake to get crispy, and when home cooks see those edges start to brown, that’s when it’s time to pop the skillet in the oven.
Yes, this particular apple pancake is comfort food, but according to Bolch, it’s a dish that requires a bit of skill to make and likely won’t be mastered by anyone on the first go. Nevertheless, Mountain Ridge’s famous dish is an ideal breakfast treat for special occasions. In fact, it just might become your new holiday morning tradition.
Mountain Ridge Country Club’s German Apple Pancake
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup yogurt
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Granny Smith apple and 1 McIntosh apple, peeled and sliced into quarter-inch wedges
1 stick of butter (divided)
2 tbsp brown sugar
In a medium bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Add flour mixture to bowl with the milk mixture and mix well.
In an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 2 oz. of butter and then add the apples, stirring until they’re well coated. Add brown sugar and cook over medium-low heat until the apples have softened and caramelized but still have some texture to them (about 10 minutes).
In a second 8-inch skillet, melt 1 tbsp. of butter, then add 6 oz. of batter, swirling the pan so the batter coats the edges.
Once the batter around the edges begins to brown, add 3 to 4 tbsp. of cooked apples on top, then transfer the skillet to a pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. When the center is firm and the edges are crispy, the pancake is done.
Slide pancake onto a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with maple syrup.
Repeat three more times with the remaining batter. Yields 4 servings.