A few years ago, I organized and compiled two community cookbooks, one from each of my daughters’ third grade classes. I asked each family to submit a favorite family recipe, whether it be from their culture or just a favorite recipe. True to the diversity of San Francisco, we had a lovely assortment spanning the globe. With the aid of contributions and autographs from Mark Bittman and Alice Waters, these cookbooks were a great fundraiser for my kids’ public elementary school (between the two cookbooks, more than $5000). More than that, these cookbooks are wonderful memories of those sweet elementary school years. Some of the recipes have made it into our regular rotation– as recipes from home cooks, none of them are very complicated, and as recipes chosen by kids, they are by default kid-friendly. This recipe is one of the gems that my kids clamor for: Polish Apple Pancakes (rachuchy or racuszki). Thank you to Eitan and family for sharing your grandmother’s recipe.
From a nutritional perspective, these also make a standout healthy breakfast. The apples provide a subtle sweetness as well as vitamin C, fiber, and blood sugar-regulating polyphenols; the Greek yogurt adds a pleasant tanginess and moistness as well as protein and calcium; and these have very little added sugar, which you could leave out if so inclined. The original version does not have any spices, and my kids won’t allow me to tinker with this recipe, but if I had my way, I’d sprinkle in some sweet spices– cinnamon, cardamom or nutmeg.
Polish Apple Pancakes
Eitan’s headnote (age 8): “Me and my brother love these apple pancakes. When we were in Poland our grandmother usually made them for our breakfast.”
Makes: about 24 small pancakes, serves 4-6
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I recommend Fage 2%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium apples, peeled and grated
vegetable oil for frying
optional: confectioners sugar for dusting (not optional per my kids)
- Whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, milk, yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a mixing spoon or whisk. Do not overmix. When the batter is just combined, gently fold in the grated apples.
- Lightly grease a large frying pan or griddle, and heat over medium heat. Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the pan and flatten with a spatula. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook until done, about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately (with a light dusting of confectioners sugar, if desired). Keep extras warm in a warm oven.
Thank you for coming by! What are your favorite family breakfast recipes?