This Mabon-inspired recipe for gingerbread pancakes captures the essence of autumn in every scrumptious, edible bite.
Hot fried apples, spicy ginger and rich maple syrup make this decadent dish a perfect choice for a cozy fall brunch.
When I think of the sacred Autumn Equinox, I think of cuddly boots, knit blankets and the smell of apples. So, I wanted to create a recipe for you that connects people to that warm, snuggled feeling of the fall season.
Add a hearth fire and an autumn whiskey cocktail and you can even make an evening meal out of it.
A Mabon Meal with Meaning
As with all my kitchen witch recipes, I try to select high quality, seasonal ingredients with special significance to the Sabbats they celebrate.
If one food symbolizes Mabon to me more than any other, it’s the apple.
The month of September kicks off apple season in most regions where they grow.
And the apple itself often appears on seasonal altars at this time of year and has many uses in the art of witchcraft.
Eggs usually feature prominently in Ostara (Spring Equinox) recipes because of their common use as a fertility symbol. But in the case of the Fall Equinox, they represent the natural dormancy of the cooler fall and winter months.
Tips for Gingerbread Pancakes with Fried Apples
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When I whip up a batch of anything, I take careful note of my mistakes so you need not make them.
Avoid the hassle with these tips.
Chop your apples up and mix the batter first.
Don’t try to save time by putting the gingerbread pancakes on the stove while you chop the apples. If you’re like me and you have the attention span of a drunk lab rat, you’ll almost certainly burn them.
Use high quality ginger and high quality cinnamon powder.
If you put your money in anything when cooking, put it in the spices. Poor quality spices equal poor flavor. Plus, ginger and cinnamon are so common, you’re sure to use the rest of the bottle on something else.
Use real maple syrup.
Not “maple flavored,” which is basically just high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring in a bottle.
Try to keep your Sabbat meals all natural. This is, after all, a nature-based spirituality.
Also, believe it or not, Grade B maple syrup is a higher quality rating than Grade A. I know. It’s totally counter-intuitive, but it’s totally true.
Use cast iron to cook the apples.
While you certainly don’t have to use a cast iron pan for the apples, they definitely cook better and more evenly in cast iron than in other frying pans. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.
Adjust ginger and cinnamon to taste.
I listed the minimum amount of spice, but I truly enjoy my pancakes very spicy. So if you like spicy food, definitely add more. Also know that you need to use more of lower quality spices than higher quality spices to get a powerful flavor.
Don’t try to use sweet apples.
Sweet or soft apples are not ideal for this recipe. Go with a hard, tart baking apple, like Granny Smith.
As stated above, I try to stick with natural, whole, minimally processed ingredients, and advise you to do the same for best results. Go for quality!
For the Gingerbread Pancake Batter
-1/2 to 1 full tablespoon of ground ginger
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-3 teaspoons baking powder
-1.5 teaspoons salt
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 and 1/4 cup milk
-3.5 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for frying
For the Cinnamon Fried Apples
-5-8 medium-to-large tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
-1 cup butter
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup white sugar
-2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon (or more if you like them spicy)
In a medium mixing bowl, add ginger, all-purpose flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt together. Mix all the dry ingredients with a fork until well blended.
Add in milk.
Then stir in the melted butter and the egg.
Set gingerbread pancake batter aside.
Peel, core and chop apples into medium-thick slices. Make sure to remove all the little bits of apple skin.
To cook the apples, put a cast iron skillet on the stove, and slowly melt butter over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and white sugar. When the butter is warm and bubbling, stir in the apples.
Keep an eye on them as you get ready to make the gingerbread pancakes.
In a non-stick frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. When it comes to a light sizzle, plop on a scoop of pancake batter. Fry until bubbles begin to form on the top side, then flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.
Remove pancake, and continue to repeat the process until all the batter is gone.
Meanwhile, stir apples occasionally so that they fry evenly.
Cook them until they are soft, but not mushy.
Top gingerbread pancakes with fried cinnamon apples and real maple syrup.
For an optional touch of charm, consider garnishing with whole cinnamon sticks.
Serve immediately and enjoy!