Known in French as buckwheat “galettes”, these Brittany-style buckwheat pancakes are a variation on the utterly classic Buckwheat crêpes (a recipe that I shared here). They differ from the latter as they are thicker and smaller, but are made with the same ingredients and have the same delectable nutty, earthy flavors and fluffy texture dotted with little holes.
They are a little less commonly found in restaurants in France: in fact, many crêpe restaurants (aka. “crêperies”) will label their crêpes as “galettes” when they are in fact the classic thin crêpes. So if you are in France, and looking for these thicker “galettes”, make sure you ask the crêpe maker which style they make.
Just like a pancake, and not a crêpe, these are not meant to be folded or rolled up, but simply topped with the ingredients of your choosing. They are traditionally thought of as savory, but in this recipe, they are deliciously sweet, topped with my favorite homemade apple compote recipe.
So what makes it my favorite apple compote recipe?
- I use a variety of apples. Just like with most of my apple baking projects, I like to use a mix of different apple varieties to bring interesting flavors and textures. A Granny Smith will bring tartness and acidity, while a Pink Lady will bring more sweetness, and so on.
- It includes vanilla. Most apple desserts in North America call for cinnamon and nutmeg, but it is more common in France to use vanilla. In this compote, the vanilla brings a perfect smoothness and elevates the natural sweetness of the apples (so you don’t need to use a lot of sugar with it).
- It’s chunky! Not over-mixing the compote and leaving hunks of apple still visible will create a chunky compote with a more satisfying texture.
Serve the compote warm, or cooled on top of a warm buckwheat pancake with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts and a extra drizzle of honey! A great breakfast, brunch, dessert or humble treat, at any time of the day.
For the buckwheat pancakes:
1 cup buckwheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup 2% milk
1 ¼ cup water
1 tbsp butter
For the Apple compote:
3 pounds of apples of mixed varieties (Granny Smith, Gala, Pink Lady, etc.), peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ scraped vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
For serving: chopped walnuts and extra honey
Make the Compote. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over low heat. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the apples are tender (but chunks are still visible).
Let cool for at least 3 hours before serving (or before placing it into the fridge).
Make the Buckwheat Galettes. In a large bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, baking soda and salt. Combine together the milk and water, and slowly pour them into the dry ingredients, whisking continuously as you go, until you have a smooth batter. Melt a knob of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup of batter and tip the pan to spread it around. Once bubbles form on the surface and create tiny holes, loosen the edges with a spatula and gently flip it over. Cook for another minute and transfer to a plate. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth while you make the others.
For serving, top each warm galette with a generous amount of apple compote, a few chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey.
If you try this Buckwheat pancakes and apple compote recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram.
And if you enjoy this recipe, you can try this buckwheat pancakes recipe from Auvergne – another delicious regional recipe!