This recipe for Polish Apple Platski goes out to my Polish friend Irena, who cooked these for me for morning tea, the day before my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Irena doesn't cook much at all and is the first to admit it, although she does buy recipe books just to read, and to drool over the pictures. She's not alone there! However, these Polish Apple Platzkis are her signature dish, and her connection with her Polish heritage and her dear Mother. If her Mum knew visitors were coming, Apple Platzki was always what Irena and her Mum would cook to feed their guests in traditional Polish fashion. Platzki means pancake, and according to The Pierogie Mama, when she was growing up these were simply called "placki", but says the real name is placki z jablkami, or (apple pancakes, platzki z yab-calm-y). Platzki will do for now.
When I arrived at Irena's lovely home she had already started cooking these from the recipe embedded in her memory, however the first batch wasn't going too well, as is often the case with pancakes or pikelets or platzki, until the right pan heat is achieved and the pan is well greased. She was laughing about it and saying her Polish Mum would be just shaking her head in disbelief, as Mums do. However, the second batch in the pan came together beautifully and so she kept cooking them, batch after batch. I was then given the huge responsibility of grinding the sugar and the cinnamon and the mixed spice to a fine dust to be sprinkled over the Platzki before serving. This is traditional and very serious, so I took it on board and started grinding them up in the small Mortar and Pestle she gave me. I probably would have done that step differently, but I am all for Polish tradition when necessary.
|Irena cooking Platzki in her kitchen|
I asked her for her Platzki recipe, as I plan that we will make some at my house in the future, although she wants to try the traditional potato version next time. Well the recipe arrived on my phone as a message, in a somewhat garbled format, however I think I have it right given all the little tips I was given along the way as she was making them.
This is a much lighter version of the normal apple pancake recipes commonly used, and the "batter" really just holds the apple slices together in a crisp and very delicious Polish pancake, which is almost like a crepe.
Let's cook Apple Platzki
1 cup SR flour or 1 cup plain flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. mixed spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 cup water (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water)
1 beaten egg
1 dessertspoon butter
2 Granny Smith Apples and 1 red apple
1 tbsp. vegetable oil and 1 tbsp. butter
1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice ground together to a fine powder
Sift the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, and salt together into a bowl.
Make a little indent in the sifted flour and spices, and add the beaten egg.
Add some water and gradually mix and add more water until mixture is smooth.
Add 1 dessertspoon of melted butter to the batter after it is nice and smooth.
Let the mixture stand.
Peel the apples, Granny Smith are tart and less mushy so a combination of Granny Smith and red eating apples works well, however just Granny Smith will be fine. Slice very thinly and add to the batter.
Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and the equivalent of butter over a moderate heat. Add spoonfuls of the mixture to the pan and fry on one side until small bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture.
Flip the platzki over and fry the other side until golden on both sides and the apple is just right for eating.
Grind 1 tablespoon caster sugar, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice in a pestle and mortar until very fine.
To serve, sprinkle the Platzki with the fine sugar and spices, and serve with ice cream, whipped cream or fresh yoghurt, however this isn't essential.
placki z jablkami (apple pancakes - platz-ki z yab-calm-y)
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