When Adam and I first started dating, he had a couple of “signature” dishes he would make when he wanted to pull out all the stops for an at-home date night. A caprese pasta and grilled steak both factored heavily into the wooing process, as did this dutch baby pancake. Pre-Adam, I’d never heard of, much less tasted, a dutch baby, but over time it’s become one of my favorite impressive-looking yet surprisingly easy items to pull out when brunch guests are coming. A dutch baby is also called a German pancake, and think of it as a cross between a crepe and a popover. It has the light delicate batter and goes-great-with-fillings quality of a crepe, but when it hits the hot cast iron skillet and hangs out in the oven for a bit, its sides puff up in all the airy, crispy glory of a popover. We made these for breakfast over the long weekend, and served them with fresh blueberries, blackberries and the traditional accompaniment of lemon wedges which get squeezed all over the top. Optional additions include maple syrup, lemon zest, pats of butter and a dusting of confectioners sugar. And yes, you can go for all of the above, if you like. Can’t wait to try a fall version where I’m planning to stud the batter with thinly-sliced apples and spoonfulls of cinnamon and cardamom. Have you guys ever had a dutch baby? I’d love to hear what other versions are out there, and keep reading for the recipe!
Dutch Baby Pancake
*serves 2 or 3
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- optional garnishes: powdered sugar, butter, lemon wedges, fresh berries, maple syrup
- Place a 10″ cast-iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat to 450 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs together vigorously until light and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add milk, sugar, salt and vanilla, and whisk until combined. Sift in flour, and whisk just until smooth. Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, add the butter and let melt completely, swirling the pan to allow the butter to coat the entire bottom. Pour batter into hot pan, and place back in the oven, shutting door quickly so oven loses as little heat as possible.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the sides have puffed up a lot, and the entire top of the pancake is golden brown. Remove from oven and use a spatula to loosen the edges of the pancake. Transfer to a serving platter, dust with powdered sugar and cut into large wedges. Serve immediately.
*photos by Camille