Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dutch Baby (Puffed Pancake)

A light, puffed pancake using the simplest of ingredients... and it's pretty easy to make, too! A great recipe to involve kids!

I'm always amazed when I make this recipe: amazed at the simple, inexpensive ingredients; amazed at how it puffs up like a space galaxy or emerging nebula; amazed at how "French" and professional it looks when done; and then amazed at how good it actually tastes.

Just be sure to have eggs and milk at room temperature. You can nuke the milk just a bit to get it there and put the whole eggs in their shells in some warm water for 5-10 minutes.

I prefer the classic lemon-and-powdered sugar garnish--lots of powdered sugar. But I've also had it with stewed apples (and powdered sugar). It's also great with fresh berries served in the center and drizzled with honey or maple syrup.

This makes for a great Sunday breakfast or a light, evening meal. And, like I said, involve children. They will be thrilled to watch it puff like magic.

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Juice of fresh lemon
  • Cast Iron Skillet, 10 or 12 inch

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. And the flour, milk, nutmeg, vanilla and lightly beat until blended but still slightly lumpy. I use an old-fashioned egg beater. A whisk works well, too.

An enamel-lined cast-iron skillet like this works well.
Place butter in skillet and put in oven. When butter is melted, pour in the batter and return to oven. Bake until pancake is billowing on the edges and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Note the raised, brown edges. No two pancakes will ever look the same!

Remove from pan and plate. The pancake will fall, so don't be alarmed. Squeeze on lemon juice and dust with powdered sugar. I say "dust" to be polite. Pile it on in drifts like a Midwestern blizzard!

Notes: If you don't have an iron skillet, you may sub a cake pan or pie dish, just alter the batter according to size. If you use a regular skillet, make sure the handle is heat-proof. If you don't have nutmeg, omit--or add a sprinkle of cinnamon. I've also used apple pie spice.