Apples to Peaches to Everything in Between

Hello hello! I’m back from a lovely and quite short 3 month vacation. While I vowed that I would blog during my time off from school, other priorities came in the way.  It’s not that I don’t love blogging and baking, I took some time away to rest and breathe.

For one, my family and I were dealing with the loss of my grandmother at the beginning of the summer.  We all needed a break from everything: our feelings, ourselves, work.

I, myself, was caught up on AP summer assignments and the dreaded SAT test prep. Although I don’t believe in SAT summer classes, I took the time to dedicate myself to an SAT study guide that I bought.

Alas, though, I’m back with a new recipe!

This one isn’t a baking recipe.

Wait, not a baking recipe?

Yes, not a baking recipe.

Besides baking, I’m quite versatile in the kitchen, if I daresay so myself. Before baking, I fell in love with cooking.  This summer, I had the chance to cook more than every before.

DSCN9876 (2) DSCN9924 (4)

Heck, I cooked more than I baked.

Oh, and I got a new camera! Be on the look out for some DSLR quality pictures.

Today’s recipe is  Peach Pancakes with a Caramelized Apple Topping.

IMG_3624 1

With fall just around the corner, I couldn’t help but stock up on bags and bags of peaches and apples.

And, since school is starting up again, I figured, what signifies school more than the timeless apple?

Apples are perhaps the symbol of school. In the olden days, students would bring apples for their teacher on the first day.  Why? Well in the 16th and 17th centuries, families would pay their teachers with food.  Common foods back then were potatoes and apples. This supplemented teachers’ falling wages.

This Peach pancake is bursting with sweet peachy flavor. The texture of the peaches contrasts the soft and fluffy texture of a made-from-scratch pancake. Be careful not to overcook the peaches though. Although the peaches need to be soft, overcooking them yields mushy peaches that just fall apart.

The kicker to this recipe, though, are the apples. My favorite type of apples are bright green, Granny Smith apples. For cooking, I love using these apples the most because they don’t overcook so easily, and they retain the most apple flavor. I caramelized apples in brown sugar to add a nutty and sour contrast to the sweet pancakes.

 

Can I say yum?

Peach Pancakes with Caramelized Apple Topping

Serves 4-5 People, or 9 Large Pancakes

Peach Pancakes:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 cups of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 Peaches, Sliced Thinly

Caramelized Apple Topping:

  • 1 Ripe Granny Smith Apple, sliced to thin slices
  • 3 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

To garnish:

  • Freshly whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce

Directions

For the apples

  1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat.  Add the butter and swirl in the pan until fully melted.
  2. Add the apples and cook on medium until they soften, but still keep their crisp texture.
  3. While the apples are cooking, toss in the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolve. The apples will begin to release their juices and mix with the caramelized sauce.
  4. Pour the caramelized apples and the sauce that was created into a separate bowl.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe down completely before starting on pancakes.

For the Pancakes

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl.
  2. Add almond milk and apple cider vinegar into a small cup and leave for 5 minutes to ‘sour.’
  3. Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl.
  4. Crack an egg and whisk into the milk and vinegar mixture. Mix in vanilla as well.
  5. Create a small well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir with a whisk until no lumps remain.
  6. Using non-stick cooking spray, coat the hot skillet to prevent the pancakes from sticking.
  7. When the pan is hot, add in 3 peach slices to the pan. Cook the peaches for about a minute to soften.
  8. Ladle in 1 scoop of pancake batter on top of the peaches. Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat, or until bubbles begin to surface the top of the pancake.
  9. DSCN3828 Flip the pancake, and cook on the other side for an additional 1 1/2 minute. Repeat steps 7-9 for the remaining pancakes.DSCN3823

These are old pictures, but they serve the same concept!

To serve, stack 2 pancakes on a plate. Then, drizzle on some Canadian maple syrup.  Place apple slices to the side of the pancake.  Using the sauce, drizzle on top of the pancakes and apples. I added some extra caramel sauce.  Add a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top of the pancakes.

These pancakes are perfect for that Sunday morning brunch in the fall! They are rich, and super filling. Not to mention, the flavor complements the fall season!

Speaking of fall, like I mentioned before, school is starting.

And yes, because school is starting, I’m going to be writing regularly on this blog again!

I’m so fortunate to have Mr. Ziebarth as a teacher this year.  Mr. Ziebarth is Mr. Theriault’s crazy & loud counterpart. (Crazy and loud in a great way, of course) I’m going to be starting an innovation project again, and I’m going to be writing on here too!

On the first day of class, Mr. Ziebarth prompted us to write an essay in response to “Changing Education Paradigms,” by Sir Ken Robinson.  The essay shines a light on the decreasing value of education and the bland school system.

In the words of my sister, I love education, but I hate school.

I love learning. I’ve always been an overly-curious person and learning new things excites me.

But the thought of having to wake up on the ass-crack of dawn to attend a periodic day that repeats itself every hour for 6 hours disgusts me.

I’m blessed to have some teachers that like to change up the curricula a bit.  But, still.  I don’t like school.  The fact that everything is the same, from the classrooms, seating arrangements, the notes, the PowerPoints,  to the periods just ruins all the potential that school could have.

Back then, people valued education. Going to school was a blessing. Now? Going to school is a burden.

In school, all we are taught to is to work and work.  In the end we’ll be rewarded with a grade based on how hard we work. Values, such as creativity, don’t matter.  Teachers don’t want you to think abstractly. They want you to sit, be quiet, and take good notes.

And what good does that have on our society? Aren’t we supposed to be thinking outside the box?

As I quote James Baldwin, “The whole process of education occurs within a social framework and is designed to perpetuate the aims of society,” it begins to dawn on me that this statement has stayed timeless all throughout history.

In the 17th and 18th century, the only schooling that was able was for the increasing number of episcopal figures. Later, schooling was available to feed the scientific revolution. Now, schooling is promoted for medical, business, and law-related jobs.

I mean, is there ever a time when an adult commends a student for pursuing a career in fashion, or maybe music? What about a professional chef or baker. Heck, I get called out for wanting to open my own bakery because ‘it’s hard work and it doesn’t make a lot of money.’

Since freshman year until now, my science teachers have promoted S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degrees.

But degrees for English, Humanities, History, Music… Those were thrown out the window.

And the question is, are those doctors, lawyers, and engineers even educated?

Baldwin stated that a truly educated person must change society.

I agree with him.

Now, doctors obviously save lives and such. But parts of society, such as racism, sexism, and violence. Those are areas that the United States as a nation needs educated people to change.

The education system does not serve what true education needs to be.  A truly educated person must be well rounded in all areas. Not just schooling, but in art, speaking, in life!

We live in an age where technology is moving up, and education is falling back.  And I hope that will change.

Happy baking!

-Kristie, xx

This blog post is dedicated to my grandmother, Thuoc My Truong, 1932-2014. Grandma, you were so proud of me in everything that I did. You said I was so bright and talented. I wish I could show you everything that I’ve done last year and this year. While you were away I couldn’t, but hopefully Dad told you. But now, I’m confident that you’re watching down on me and seeing everything that I’ve done to make you proud. 

Kristie 6 - hoang.kristie@gmail

 

 

 

 

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