A week ago I ate with a few friends at Uncle Bill's Pancake House down the shore. One of my friends ordered pancakes with an apple cinnamon topping. I tried some and found it to be largely unimpressive. The apple topping was clearly from a can, and it was really quite gloppy, gloopy, and gross. I promised him that I would make him the same thing at home, and that it would be 5 times better.
To do so, I peeled an apple and cut it into small chunks like I do to make a pie. I don't do the typical large slices because I find that I enjoy is more when the apples are cooked through and give little resistance when pierced. I find that this way they are more uniform with the syrupy juices surrounding them and the whole mixture is pretty consistent and smooth. I tossed them with some sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, lemon juice and a little apple butter, and let them sit for a few minutes to extract some juices, before cooking them down with a little butter in a saucepan. I cooked down the syrup so that it glazed the apples, and it was delicious, but next time I won't reduce it as much and I'll leave the glaze less viscous to that it's more like syrup.
Meanwhile, I made the pancakes using Ruhlman's 2 part liquid, 2 part flour, 1 part egg and 1/2 part fat ratio. I didn't have any buttermilk, so I instead used a mixture of half and half and vanilla yogurt. The yogurt added some vanilla flavor and slight tang. I used a tsp of baking powder for every 5 oz of flour and melted butter for my fat. I combined the dry and wet ingredients separately then combined them, mixing as little as possible to minimize gluten formation.
Luckily (else I would've gotten really red in the face and ran out of my house) my friend liked them better than Uncle Bills! Now if I could only rent a house down the shore, spruce up the dining room, and hire some waitresses...