Food Pairings: Sage, Apple and Cheddar Cheese Pancakes

| February/March 2008

Makes 4 servings
This is a variation of a Dutch Baby, a giant popover-like pancake that often is made with apples. Sharp cheddar and fresh sage make it more savory than the traditional version, resulting in a fantastic weekend breakfast or brunch dish. Serve it as is, or with maple syrup and a side of country ham or smoky bacon. 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped sage
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped sage
  • 1¼ cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For the filling, melt butter in a heavy 12-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Stir in sage and cook for 1 minute, until butter sizzles and is fragrant with the sage. Toss in apple slices and sugar and put skillet in the oven. Bake 10 minutes, or until apples are soft.
  2. While apples cook, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl with an immersion blender or whisk. Stir in remaining sage and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
  3. When apples are done, scrape them into a bowl. Rinse and dry skillet and return to medium heat. Swirl in remaining butter. When butter sizzles, pour in batter and return skillet to oven on a center rack. Bake about 20 minutes, or until puffed, brown and crisp around the edges.
  4. Remove the pancake, spread the apples in the center, and top with the remaining cheese. Return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm the apples and melt the cheese. 

Jerry Traunfeld, author of The Herbal Kitchen (William Morrow, 2005), is the former executive chef of the Herbfarm restaurant in Woodinville, Washington. He received the James Beard Award for Best American Chef of the Northwest in 2000.

Click here for the original article, Food Pairings: Fresh Herbs and Artisanal Cheese. 

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