Apple pancakes

Apple pancakes are a simple and extremely tasty dessert. Together with chiacchiere, they are a typical Carnival treat. The tradition of making pancakes - with different ingredients according to the different regions in Italy - is also linked to the celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, falling on March 19th. According to a popular legend, in fact, after his flight into Egypt, St. Joseph  was forced to become an itinerant fry cook, in order to make a living.

We know for certain that the Romans already knew how to make pancakes - which were then called fritulae - but the oldest apple pancake recipe that has been handed down to us dates back to the XIV century. It was written by a Venetian chef and it differed very little from the current recipe. There is good evidence that this recipe can hardly be improved!

Ingredients (serve 4 people)
200 g (7 oz) of flour
500 g ( 17.6 oz) of rennets
1 glass of milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 pinch of salt
frying oil
icing sugar
ground cinnamon
1 small glass of brandy

Peel the apples, remove the core with a corer, slice them into rounds about 1 cm (0.4 inch) thick and sprinkle them with brandy to reduce oil absorption.
Beat the eggs with the flour and the sugar in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and dilute in milk little by little, until you have obtained a smooth batter. Let it sit for half an hour, then plunge the apple rounds into the batter, one at a time, and deep fry them in boiling hot oil until they are golden brown on both sides. Arrange the pancakes on straw paper, so they can dry.
Sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar and a little cinnamon before serving, when they are still warm.