A little more than two years ago I spent two amazing month on a farm for rescued animals in beautiful Masuria in Poland. The work was plenty and hard, with days often starting at 7 in the morning and not ending before 11 at night. It was rewarding, though, and brought me more pleasure than any other work I ever did before.
The Masurian Lake District is a wild and remote place, where the forests are deep and dark, blueberry and chanterelle laden at times, and full of wild life. Have you ever waded through an ocean of blueberries? Or heard the elks calling during rutting season from the comfort of your bed at night? Did you swim through crystal clear lakes to pluck gorgeous yellow water lilies? That was basically my life over there. Or how I remember it. I deeply romanticise my time in Poland, but I don’t mind. I still dream of the farm sometimes, about the places I’ve seen, the friends I’ve made and the experiences we shared.
One thing’s for sure: Polish cuisine is far from vegan friendly. People constantly kept telling me that I would probably get very sick from lack of nutrients. Obviously things are different in the big cities, but Masuria is one of the most rural places you can go to in Poland. Nevertheless many of their extremely delicious dishes can be easily veganized. For example Pierogi, filled with potatoes or blueberries, or the beetroot soup. Or Placki z Jabłkami, basically apple pancakes.
Vegan MoFo asks us for today to share a comfort food and this is what immediately came to my mind. I remember rainy days, horses breaking out of the pastures and us struggling to first find and then catch them all, completely soaked through and tired. Once done we would all assemble in our small kitchen, heat up a pan, whip up the batter and cut up a freshly plucked apple. The apple pancakes were the best thing I ever ate if you’d asked me back then. They were also what a very special friend made for me on the day I had to leave. Only rarely in my life have I been as sad as back then.
By the way Poland and especially that farm is a dream land for me. I can’t go back there, because I can’t handle leaving. I’ll always have those Placki z Jabłkami, though.
200 gram spelt flour
2 tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon flax seed meal
1 pinch of sea salt, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon
240 milliliter plant-based milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon icing sugar
1. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, flax seed meal and spices. Add the milk and whisk into a smooth batter.
2. Cut your apple into small chunks and gently fold in your batter.
3. In a non-stick pan melt your coconut oil and add it to the pancake batter and gently fold it in. Heat the pan up to medium heat and bake your pancakes. I use two tablespoon of batter for each pancake, about two minutes each side, until they are firm and well risen.
4. Transfer to a plate and sift the icing sugar on top or serve with other toppings of your choice.