April 11, 2013

the perfect dutch baby pancake

When I was a kid my parents sent me up to Washington to see my relatives every summer.
I stayed with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins. My girl cousin, Joscelyn, is just a few years younger than me (I?). We would run around outside on imaginary horses, play with our American Girl dolls, and eat "powdered sugar breakfast" for breakfast.

It was not until high school that I learned the true name of this dessert item that you can eat for breakfast (the best kind) is actually a dutch baby pancake.

I was feeling a little nostalgic about this treat a few weeks ago and tried a few recipes. They all fell flat, literally. They would not puff up like they are supposed to. Suddenly a ingenious idea came to me: call my mom and ask her for Aunt Terre's recipe. It never disappoints.

The original recipe called just for "vanilla and sugar" so I came up with the amounts, which can be adjusted of course. Aunt Terre's recipe also called for 1/3 cup of butter, but I reduced it by half to 3 tbsp. (Sorry, Aunt Terre, but I didn't inherit the super-thin gene that everyone else on my Mom's side of the family has, apparently. Blast.)

The Perfect Dutch Baby Pancake
3 tbsp butter
1 c flour
1 c milk
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp sugar
powdered sugar (for topping)- not optional, this is a must
berries (for topping)- optional, but highly recommended

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put butter in a ten inch (or the closest you have to it) oven-proof skillet and place it in the oven to melt the butter.
Combine the next five ingredients (flour through sugar) in the blender and blend until light colored and frothy (a couple minutes).
Remove your pan from the oven and swirl the butter around to coat the bottom and sides. Pour egg mixture in.
Return pan to oven and bake 15 minutes. Slice like a pizza, add toppings. Enjoy.

*a note on 4/15 (can you tell I've been into these lately?) I substituted 1/4 of the flour for whole wheat and it still puffed and tasted great. I would probably do up to half whole wheat. Also, amount of butter can be reduced or it can be substituted for coconut oil. Really, the adaptations are endless. I would love to hear what you think in the comments! Thanks!
*yet another note (this one on 10/16)... I have been making them with coconut oil and half whole wheat, and they are still amazingly delicious. Also, when made this way, I feel slightly better that a toddler, baby, and I can polish off the whole pan in one sitting.

This time, a year ago: Wooooo hooooo!

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