Buckwheat pancakes with caramelised apples
and salted honey butter
If you’ve never tried buckwheat pancakes, weekend brunch is the ideal time. Buckwheat flour has a nuttier, more distinctive flavour than regular wheat flour and these French-style crêpes (typical in Brittany) are perfectly complemented by golden caramelised apples and salty-sweet honey butter. This recipe is a doddle to whip up, but you’ll need to make the batter the night before to allow the buckwheat to soften and the flavours to develop. Oh, and also, there’s no sugar in this recipe as all the sweetness comes from the fruit and honey.
for the pancakes:
100g wholegrain organic buckwheat flour
¼ tsp fine sea salt
300ml whole milk
50g unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil or clarified butter, for frying
for the caramelised apples:
3 medium Bramley or Granny Smith apples (tart varieties work best)
30g unsalted butter
for the salted honey butter:
40g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature
½ tsp flaked sea salt
4 generous tbsp crème fraiche
Start by making the pancake batter. Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Add this to the flour and whisk until it’s lovely and smooth. Next, whisk in the melted butter. Transfer to a jug, cover with cling film and rest in the fridge overnight.
To make the caramelised apples, remove the cores and pips (no need to peel them) and slice each apple into 8 wedges. Heat the butter in a frying pan and when foaming, tip in the apple wedges. Cook until golden brown and caramelised, turning each wedge over once. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
Next up is the salted honey butter. Warm the honey over a low heat for 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened butter, a piece at a time, to create a glossy emulsion. Sprinkle in the salt and keep warm until ready to serve. If it cools and starts to solidify, just gently reheat until liquid again.
To cook the pancakes, heat a heavy-based frying or sauté pan over a medium heat. Add a little oil or clarified butter, tilting the pan so the base is evenly coated. Give the batter a stir if necessary and then pour in just enough to coat the base of the pan – you want the pancakes to be paper-thin. Cook for 2 minutes until golden, then flip the pancake with a spatula and cook for another 2 minutes. Slide the pancake onto a warm plate and continue with the remaining batter. You should end up with a pile of 16 pancakes.
Lastly, to serve, take each pancake and fold it in half twice to form a triangle. Serve 4 pancakes per person, overlapping them in the centre of each plate. Arrange six or so apple wedges on top, add a scoop of crème fraîche and finish with a generous drizzle of warm honey sauce. Now, all that’s left is to tuck in and enjoy your hard work.