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Dutch Baby Pancakes: Not Just for Dutch Babies Anymore!

dutch baby pancakeYou might think that Dutch baby pancakes would be popular in Holland, especially with the babies. But in fact, the Dutch baby pancake is not Dutch, but an American dish based on a German one. It’s also not really a pancake. It’s more like a pudding in the British sense of the word.

Whatever it is and where ever it’s from, it’s really good. It’s sweet and soft and custardy and delicious. It’s definitely a rustic dish, but there’s something that seems very refined about it, too. It’s a lot different from other baked breakfast goods and it makes a fantastic way to mix things up if you;re tired of the breakfast standards (and you are tired of the breakfast standards).  There are a lot of variations and you can experiment with ingredients, but this one with apples, ginger, and cardamom is a great place to start. The flavors blend together well and because the pancake itself is not too sweet, the sweetness of the other ingredients isn’t overwhelming.

Apple Ginger Dutch Baby Pancake (adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 tablespoons butter
1 macintosh apple, cored and sliced 1/2″ thick
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground cardamom
1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a roughly 10″ oven-proof skillet,* over medium-high heat. Melt the butter, and then saute the apples. Cook the apples for about 4 minutes, until they have softened and absorbed the butter. Add the honey, ginger, cardamom, and zest. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the batter.

In a medium bowl combine the eggs, milk, flour, and salt. Whisk the batter briefly until it is smooth. Pour the batter over the apples.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Carefully remove the pancake (if you dare) to a platter. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, slice, and serve.

*I don’t have an oven-proof skillet (crazy right?) so I did the apples on a skillet, and then cooked the apples and pancake in a buttered spring form cake pan.

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