taste from home

Rosa’s German Apple Pancakes

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June 29, 2020

Rosa Gallagher, Museum Director, Dank Haus German American Cultural Center

Taste from Home is a collection of recipes and stories can be used as a way to connect with others and facilitate conversations about race, culture, and identity over a new recipe. Make a cultural dish and sit down with family and friends and have a discussion of the culture it represents. 

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I am the Museum Director at the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, and absolutely love German food! This recipe for apple pancakes is simple, vegetarian, and uses basic ingredients, so lots of people are sure to enjoy it. 

Who taught you this recipe/how did you learn it?

My mom and Oma (grandma) made this for me when I was growing up. I myself have never been a pancake-maker, but I had a craving for it on a cold weekend this past winter. I searched “Apfelpfannkuchen” on YouTube and watched the one that looked best and was by a German person. I didn’t have “vanilla sugar” and it took me a few minutes to convert from grams to ounces, but it turned out fine. In fact, I started making it every few weeks, with a slight adaptation or twist every time. For the first batch, I used thinly sliced apples. The next time, I grated the apples on a cheese grater and just mixed it into the batter. The two methods are equally delicious!

When do you normally eat this dish? Is it for a holiday or celebration?

You can eat Apfelpfannkuchen any time of year. Pancakes are not just a breakfast food in Germany, in fact, I remember eating them in the afternoon as a sort of sweet lunch. They are more chewy and thin than American pancakes. 

What culture/country is this recipe from?

This recipe is German, though they are similar to French crepes. In my experience, the Germans eat them flat rather than folded or rolled.

Why is it important to you?

This recipe makes me think of fun afternoons having pancakes made by my Oma, then playing board games with my siblings and grandparents. I love German desserts that use fresh delicious fruit and amplify the flavors with lots of butter! 

The recipe is in the link. A donation is not required to view the recipe. Any donations made will support the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s mission to promote, support, and connect museums and centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive and equitable Chicago. 

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