July 4 Cookbook, Sen. Mel Martinez's Apple Pancake Recipe

​It's July 4 and you're already feeling especially patriotic. As you don your favorite Uncle Sam hat and straighten up your star-spangled apron, perhaps you're wondering, "Hmm... What recipe I can make to show my friends and family just how much I love my country?" Ah! Fret no more. Linda Bauer, a former Capitol Hill intern and wife of a former army colonel, compiled a great selection of 320 recipes from the White House, Congress, and all of the past Presidents in her latest hardcover, Capitol Hill Cooks ($26.95, Taylor Trade Publishing). 

In it, you'll find recipes for President Ulysses S. Grant's lemon pie to the Obama family's linguini, but we thought we should share something with apples in it to honor our first prez and something that specifically says "Florida," so here's former Senator Mel Martinez's Saturday Morning Apple Pancake recipe. (Don't forget to whistle "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" while you're flipping the flapjacks--it's just adds one extra touch of allegiance.) Oh, and maybe make an extra set of pancakes for your favorite soldier or his or a family waiting for their beloved's return from combat: it's the American way.

Senator Mel Martinez's Saturday Morning Apple Pancakes

Makes 15 pancakes

1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbs butter (for sautéing apples)
½ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 tsp lemon juice in milk)
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Sauté the apple in butter, season with cinnamon. Set aside. Preheat a griddle over medium heat. 

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn mixer off and add the buttermilk, melted butter, cinnamon, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat just until the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in the apple mixture. 

Lightly grease the griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Make 3-inch to 4-inch pancakes. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked. 

Serve with warm maple syrup.

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Riki Altman