Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ranch recipes: Dutch babies!

It's time for brunch!

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How I had never heard of this wonderful, eggy deliciousness before is beyond me but luckily some of our awesome friends shared the recipe when out for a visit recently (thanks Ian and Lauren, thanks Ian and Dara). A dutch baby is an egg-based dish that is similar to Yorkshire pudding, it puffs up real big like a souffle in the oven and looks pretty darn fancy. Since then it has been determined that Dutch babies or "German style" pancakes are the perfect ranch food for several reasons:

1) It uses a scalable amount of eggs - perfect for summertime at the ranch.
2) It uses a cast iron skillet - one of my favorite cooking utensils
3) It never sticks to the pan - cast iron is wonderful
4) It cooks up quickly - just 20 minutes or so in the oven and it is table-ready
5) Since the batter contains no sugar, I've yet to burn one up
6) The presentation when it comes out of the oven, all puffy and golden, is quite the sight to behold
7) Any type of topping is delicious

On to the recipe!

Blueberry Dutch Baby

Ingredients
- 3-6 eggs (I used six to make a thicker, dense pancake, but three would make a thinner, crispier treat)
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of flour (I used AP here but will experiment with whole wheat soon)
- 2-3 T butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup blueberries (depending on how many you snack on first)

Steps
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the empty cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat (This dish can also be made in glass casseroles or even muffin tins if you don't have a skillet but perhaps don't leave these in the oven as long to preheat - just long enough to warm the dish and melt the butter).
2. Combine flour, milk and eggs. Whisk thoroughly to create a thin batter.
3. Remove skillet from oven and add butter to pan. Tilt the pan around as the butter melts to get a good coating on the sides.
4. Add batter to pan. Some of the butter will float to the top, that is fine.
5. Return pan to preheated oven for 3-5 minutes, just enough to set the edges of the Dutch baby but not enough to start to form a crust on top. Toss blueberries into batter.
6. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until pancake is golden brown and puffy around the edges (the weight of the blueberries might limit puffing in the middle part).
7. Remove from oven and "Ooh" and "Aah" about how pretty and fancy it looks. Transfer to a platter and slice into wedges.
8. Serve warm with the traditional topping of a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or top with a jam, jelly or syrup of your choice. Do note though that Dutch babies do not have as much flour in the batter as a traditional pancake to help soak up toppings, especially syrup. A little drizzle goes a long way.

Cheers!

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