Dutch Baby Pancake
When I was a young lad I leaned how to make a Dutch baby pancake. I used to make it for my mother on the weekends. These were the earliest memories I have actually cooking with heat. It is a spectacular looking dish, resembling Crater Lake with its high ridges. Soon after it's pulled from the oven it begins to fall, but the flavor and texture are wonderful--kind of like a cross between a pancake and a crepe. Enjoy!
A German pancake puffs up in the oven and makes a lovely presentation. The pancake is also known as a “Dutch baby.” Bread flour is recommended for the pancake because it helps it rise. All-purpose flour can be substituted but the results won’t be as dramatic.
7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1 cup bread flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place a large ovenproof skillet in the oven to preheat.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon until the sugar is melted. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they are light and frothy. Add the milk, flour, vanilla extract, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Beat for more 5 minutes. The batter will be thin but very smooth and creamy.
4. Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, tilting the pan to melt the butter and coat the skillet. Pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet all at once, and immediately place the skillet in the oven.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed up and golden brown.
6. Remove the pancake from the oven, bringing it to the table in its pan or sliding it onto a serving plate. Once it is out of the oven, the pancake will begin to deflate. Dust it with confectioners’ sugar. Cut it into wedges and transfer them to individual serving plates. Top the wedges with the apple mixture and serve immediately.
Option: Substitute the apple mixture for a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar and serve with lemon wedges.