Culinary School was an incredible experience for me, as it was something I only did after I turned 30, which meant I had years and years of food questions I wanted answers to. I would absorb everything my lecturer told, taught and showed us. I was blown away every time we created something, and the novelty that I was working towards living my dream never wore off for me. I had an excellent lecturer, Chef Romeo, who would follow the syllabus, but also add just the right amount of spontaneity to our lessons by seasoning and altering the recipes with reckless abandon. I AB-SO-LUTE-LY loved it!
A similar creation to this one was born one lesson where we used what we had in the school’s pantry that day, and needless to say – I never forgot it. (Neither did my husband who had a FABULOUS time when I was in Culinary School, because I always came home with a huge grin, sore feet, usually a bandaged finger – but always a Tupperware full of our day’s creations.) I have nipped and tucked this recipe in all the right places to suit a healthy lifestyle and I added my ‘Monnie-touches’. I also wanted to experiment with a new product I purchased at the recent Good Food & Wine Show in Cape Town – a sweetener that has no aspartame and no after-taste. This is a sugar-free dessert! …. And it’s delish.
Pink Apple Pancakes – serves 4
1 tsp Huletts SUGA-LITE
250ml Fat-free / Skim milk
Small amount of oil to wipe the pan
Pink Apple Filling
4 Granny Smith Apples
250ml Dry Rose Wine (I used a Blanc de Noir I found in my fridge)
¼ tsp Crushed Cloves
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 TB Huletts SUGA-LITE
Big Handful Walnuts
350g Fat-free Plain Yogurt (2 small tubs)
½ tsp Vanilla Essence
Additional cinnamon and Huletts SUGA-LITE to sprinkle
Mint to garnish (… if that’s how you roll)
Start with making the batter. Simply sift 100g flour, pinch of salt and the Huletts SUGA-LITE ‘sugar’ into a bowl. In the centre, crack open an egg – and add the 250ml milk. Mix well, but you are better off switching your wooden spoon for a whisk now. Whisk well to form a smooth batter. Set aside.
NOTE: I strain the batter to eliminate the possibility of any clumps. It’s the right thing to do.
Core and peel 4 large apples.
Cut into small cubes and add to a deep pot – on low heat.
Gradually increase the heat of the pot as you stir the apples. You want the natural juices to release so that the apples can cook in these juices.
NOTE: By heating the apples gradually, and releasing the juices – you eliminate the necessity to cook the apples in butter or oil, which is what one would normally do.
Once the apples are cooking, add the rose wine and 2 TB Huletts SUGA-LITE.
Continue stirring – adding the cloves and cinnamon and keep on a heat that you are comfortable with. You want the apples softened, but not cooked to a mash.
Meanwhile, take a handful of walnuts and roughly chop them. Add them to a medium heat non-stick pan and toast them until fragrant.
Use more nuts than you see here. I added more after I took this pic.
NOTE: Watch them like a hawk, nuts tend to burn the moment we turn our backs to sip our wine.
Add the toasted walnuts to the pink apple mix – and stir to combine.
Very NB: Now DRAIN the pink apple mix (as a lot of liquid accumulates) and keep on a very low heat to stay warm.
Before making the pancakes (which we are serving warm) – let’s quickly get our vanilla ‘cream’ on the go.
Empty the contents 2 small containers of fat-free plain yogurt into a small jug. (These containers usually measure 175g each) Add the Vanilla Essence and stir to mix well. Set aside.
Now, to make the pancakes, dab a bit of oil onto a paper towel and wipe the bottom of a non-stick pan. Heat on a moderate to high heat, and giving one last whisk to the batter, pour in just enough to lightly coat the base of the pan.
The pancake is ready to be turned once you see lots of little bubbles forming and you are happy with the colouring on the underside.
The thicker your pancake the longer it needs to be on the heat.
If you notice they are browning way too quickly or burning, just play around with the heat or lift the pan from the stove-top. This comes with time, but you will soon get the hang of it and get just the right temperature. Continue until you have completed all 4, wiping the pan with a sweep of oil between each pancake. Keep them warm as you work on the next one.
NOTE: You only have enough batter for 4-5 pancakes. That’s 4 to serve and only one to mess up by playing the hero. So rather turn them carefully with your fingers and a spatula – and save the tricks for later.
Once your pancakes are done, spoon the pink apple mix along the pancake, followed by the vanilla ‘cream’. Roll the pancake up, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and Huletts SUGA-LITE.
It’s the prettiest little dessert – and will definitely satisfy a sweet tooth!
NOTE: The only ‘fat’ in this dessert is found in the egg yolk, the trace amounts found in fat-free milk and the fat-free yogurt – and the small amount of oil we wipe the pan with each time. The nuts offer essential oils and the pancake only breaks down to 25g of flour to each person! The only sugars in this dessert are the natural sugars in the apples and the wine.
Not bad, eh?