My mom has been making these for years. Growing up, these were a special weekend treat every fall. They take a little longer to prepare than your more typical pancake batter because there are few extra steps such as steeping the oats, and beating the egg whites, but are certainly worth the extra effort.
The apples are really delicious with the oatcakes, but you could enjoy them other times of the year with different fruit as well. Blueberries, peaches or pears would all be great too, even fresh sliced strawberries would work.
Adapted from Taste of Home, August/September 1994
Oatcakes: 1-1/2 cups milk 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 tablespoons molasses 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 egg whites Warm Apple Topping: 2 tablespoons butter 5 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional) 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg Maple Syrup, if desired
In a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, heat milk 2-4 minutes until the milk is hot and steaming, but not boiling; alternately you can heat in a small saucepan. Add oats, oil and molasses to hot milk; let oats soak for 5 minutes to soften. Combine remaining dry ingredients in a medium to large bowl while the oats are steeping. After the oats have soaked 5 minutes stir in the egg into the oats, lightly beating to break up yolk. Pour oat mixture into flour and stir just to moisten. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold gently into batter. Set aside.
For the apples, heat butter in a skillet until foamy. Add the apples, lemon juice and peel (if using). If you aren’t a huge lemon fan, I would recommend leaving out the zest, and just adding the juice; the lemon flavor will be more subtle. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, stirring gently and occasionally so apples soften, but stay somewhat intact. Add sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg and cook 2 minutes longer to thicken; switch to low heat until ready to serve, adding a little water if apples get too thick.
To cook oatcakes, pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a heated and greased griddle or non-stick skilled. Cook until bubbles form; turn and cook until browned on other side. I cooked mine on medium heat, because they were browning too quickly on higher heat, but you will need to adjust for the pan you are cooking on. These are best served directly from pan to plate, topped with the warm apples. If you prefer to cook all the oatcakes and serve them at the same time, I like to keep the oven on warm, and place the cooked oatcakes on top of a baking pan topped with cookie rack, so they don’t get soggy.