Apple Pancake with maple syrup

The sap is running. With the combination of cold nights and warm days, it's time to make maple syrup in New England. After the sap is collected from the trees, it is boiled down very carefully, and it takes from 30 to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.

Pancakes and fresh maple syrup are wonderful for a leisurely breakfast. This pancake, which serves 4, is baked in the oven with an apple filling. Harvest Pancake 1/4 cup butter or margarine 3 cups sliced apples 2/3 cup pure maple syrup 1/4 cup apple cider 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 4 eggs 2/3 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup milk 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 3 tablespoons melted butter 1 tablespoon salad oil

To make filing, melt butter in saucepan. Add apples, 2/3 cup maple syrup, cider, and cinamon. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until apples are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

To make pancake, beat eggs at high speed until fluffy enough to make soft mounds. At low speed, alternately beat in small amounts of flour mixed with salt and milk mixed with maple syrup. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and beat at low speed just until batter is smooth.

Combine remaining tablespoon of butter with oil in heavy 10-inch skillet. Pour pancake batter into skillet. Bake in 425 degrees F. oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon filling over pancake. Return to oven, reduce heat to 375 degrees F., and bake for 12 minutes longer.Serve hot, with additional maple syrup if desired. Makes 4 hearty servings.

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