I asked D if he thought it was weird to put sage in pancakes. It was kind of a rhetorical question because the boy will eat sage in just about anything. All I wanted was a yes vote. You know, so I could include both of us in the blame should the product turn out inedible.
Luckily, it didn't. These might be my new favorites. The pancakes were hearty from the mix of flours, but the apples added a hint of sweetness and the sage and cardamom kept it interesting. I tried them with apricot jam and with maple syrup, but I liked them best with just a bit of butter. It was a very fall-ish breakfast.
The cardamom got added on a whim. It's a spice that can go sweet or savory, so it seemed fitting. I only have whole green cardamom, but I split the pods open and then chopped the tiny seeds over and over again until it was almost a fine powder. If you are one of those people who has a dedicated spice grinder in your kitchen, you could use it here.
You could add these apples to any pancake mix, although I think they played particularly well with the rye and whole wheat flour in my usual recipe. My pancakes were just barely sweet, which is how I prefer them. If you are looking for real sweetness, I would dial up the brown sugar by a couple tablespoons and maybe add a bit of extra sugar to the batter itself.
Apple-sage-cardamom pancakes (makes 4 - 6 servings)
2 or 3 tart apples, cored and chopped (we used pippins, unpeeled)
1 - 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup milk
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the brown sugar, sage and cardamom and stir for a minute or so, until it smells amazing. Add the chopped apples and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until they reach your desired tenderness, stirring every few minutes (I think we cooked ours for 5 - 10 minutes, until soft but not mushy). Take them off the heat and allow to cool while you get the batter ready.
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Whisk eggs and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Stir in the apple mixture. Cook on a large griddle at medium temperature for a couple minutes on each side, until golden brown. I always use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop to dollop out my batter - it makes the perfect sized pancakes.