1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Apple Butter for serving (next page)
Maple syrup for serving (optional)
Whisk together the whole-wheat flour, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and orange zest in a large bowl.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a small bowl in the microwave at about 10-second intervals, until melted. Whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter in a medium bowl until combined.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Avoid mixing the batter too thoroughly; some lumps are okay. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill and rest for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Using the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter, heat about 1 teaspoon in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. (A nonstick pan is helpful here.)
Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan for each pancake. (Depending on the size of the pan, you will want to make about 2 at a time.) Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface of the cakes and they begin to brown ever so slightly around the edges. Flip the cakes and cook on the other sides for about 2 minutes more. Remove the pancakes immediately to a serving plate, or set them on a baking sheet to keep warm in the oven (see Note). Carefully wipe the pan with a paper towel, melt another teaspoon of butter, and continue the process with the rest of the batter.
To serve, spread the pancakes with a layer of apple butter and/ or drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.
If you want to prepare all of the pancakes before serving, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the just-cooked pancakes on the baking sheet, layering them between sheets of parchment paper, and set them in the oven to keep warm.
Makes 3 ½ cups batter or 14 four-inch pancakes.