The Dutch baby pancake is one of those things that looks as though it takes ages to make, and a culinary degree to even try it. But it couldn’t be easier, as it doesn’t take any special ingredients or equipment. Now that school is back in session in many parts of the country, why not start the kids’ day off right with a puffed pancake that they call fill with the last of the summer fruit?
So what is a Dutch baby pancake, anyway? For starters, it actually hails from Germany, not the Netherlands, as it is believed that the “Dutch” refers to “Deutsch,” or “German” in well, German. The Germans created a thin, not too sweet batter to be cooked in the oven, not on a stovetop as traditional American-style pancakes are. In the oven the batter comes together and puffs up in the skillet, creating a bowl of sorts that can be filled with fruit or sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, or even lemon juice. Come fall you can add sliced apples, or just leave the custardy center plain so you can taste the gooey yumminess on its own.
This recipe from the team at FoodNetwork is easy breezy. You can have the kids help you and have them watch as the batter comes to life in the oven. Kids are too young for coffee, but I love a Dutch baby with a cup o’ joe, so make an extra one for yourself.
A pinch of salt
Confectioners sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Put the butter in a large, ovenproof, nonstick saute pan and place it in the oven.
- Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the eggs, flour, warm milk, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, and blend on medium-high speed until uniform. If you don’t have a blender and are mixing by hand, combine the eggs with the milk until the mixture is light yellow and no longer stringy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt, and whisk (vigorously!) to remove the lumps, about 30 seconds.
- Now get the pan from the oven. Careful, as it will be hot. The butter should be melted. Swirl the butter around the pan to coat completely, and then pour the remaining butter into the batter and pulse to blend. Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven. Cook until the pancake is puffed in the center and golden brown along the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Using a spatula, remove the entire Dutch baby from the pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to allow the steam to escape without condensing along the bottom and rendering the pancake soggy. (Don’t skip this step!)
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar when cooled slightly. Slice the pancake into 8 wedges on a serving platter or cutting board.
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