My Dad loved going out to eat, and one of his favorite places specialized in pancakes. It was a plain Jane joint with a page after page menu of pancakes, waffles and toppings sweet and savory to boot. You could order a short stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes with the classic blob of whipped butter and the teeny tiny pitcher of syrup that always meant asking for more, or go with something more exotic like banana pancakes swimming in pineapple sauce.
Mostly Dad would order the classic short stack, but when he wanted to go for the gusto, it would be a Dutch Baby pancake.
The first few times he’d wait, rather impatiently, the requisite 30 minutes, but later discovered that he could call ahead of time so his puffed-up pancake would be ready soon after his arrival. Brilliant, right?
In case – hard to fathom – you’re not familiar with a Dutch Baby it is an alarmingly easy, but quite inspiring eggy pancake reminiscent of a thick crepe. It bakes in the oven, so whoever doesn’t have to stand over a griddle flipping flapjacks while others eat to their maple-syrup delight.
Traditionally, Dutch Babies, aka German Pancakes, are sprinkled with powdered sugar and lemon juice; simple, yes, and delicious. Doing a search, you’ll stumble across recipes that embellish the pancakes with blueberries, fruit jam or decadent raspberry coulis. Quite frankly, any of these would be fab, but now that its fall, I have apples and maple syrup on my mind.
Saturday rolled around, that day when there’s time to fix something that takes time and so, Dutch Babies it was, piled with caramelized thinly sliced apples.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter to coat the pan
- Place a 10” cast iron or heavy stainless steel skillet in oven and preheat oven to 425° F. Note: heat skillet in oven.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender, except for the 2 tablespoons butter for the pan and mix well.
- When oven is hot, remove skillet and quickly swirl bottom and sides of pan with melted butter.
- Pour batter in to the hot skillet.
- Place in oven; bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffy and golden. Remove skillet from oven. Dutch baby will quickly collapse. Cool slightly and top with whatever; let your palate imagination run wild.
For the apples, I thinly sliced two Jonathon apples and sautéed them in a small amount of olive oil and butter. When they were starting to brown and become soft, I drizzled on a couple tablespoons of pure maple syrup to caramelize the apples.
Thanks, Dad for introducing these to me on our breakfast dates.
ps: I saw a sweet idea for baking these puffy pancakes in muffin tins – splendid for kiddos or as a brunch option!