food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.

Oh (Dutch) Baby!

Somewhere in the intersection of pancakes and custards resides the Dutch Baby.  With a gallon of frozen blueberries taking up space in our neighbor’s freezer (too daunting for our mini-fridge), I felt like taking on this new breakfast item.  Be forewarned: if you bite into a dutch baby pancake expecting a pancake, you’ll be grossed out by the smooth creamy inner texture; if you expect a custard, it won’t taste quite right either.  The trick is to appreciate the fusion of the two (the fact that it’s laden with blueberries and smothered in maple syrup won’t hurt either!).

Without further ado, the Dutch Baby Pancake :

BLUEBERRY DUTCH BABY PANCAKE

(recipe from Nourishing Traditions)

INGREDIENTS

1Cup whole wheat flour

1 Cup yogurt, kefir or buttermilk (for those with dairy allergies, 1 Cup of water mixed with 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar is a fine substitution)

1 Cup water

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2-4 Tbsp butter

1/2 Cup blueberries (fresh or frozen – if frozen, thaw a bit beforehand)

nutmeg, powdered sugar (optional toppings)

THE HOW TO

  1. The night before you’re planning to make the cakes, mix together the flour and yogurt/kefir/buttermilk/water+     This step will ultimately make the pancakes more digestible (and you can start it even earlier if you like), but, honestly, if you’re time-pressed or a very capable digester on all your own, feel free to skip it.
  2. The next morning….
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°
  4. Crack the eggs into a food processor and mix for several minutes.  This makes the eggs light and airy and creates that custardy yumminess.  Add the flour mixture, the additional water, salt and vanilla and process for another minute.
  5. Put 1-2 Tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet and put in the heated oven until the butter is melted and starting to sizzle.
  6. Pour half of the batter (1.5 – 2 Cups) into the hot skillet and throw in a handful (1/4 Cup or so) of blueberries.
  7. Bake in the oven, turning the heat down to 350° as you put the skillet in, until the pancake is puffed* and browned (15-20 minutes).  Dust with nutmeg and powdered sugar.  Repeat for the second pancake.
  8. Enjoy with maple syrup, honey, jam, yogurt, all the usual pancake toppings.

* Tips on getting your pancake to puff up (AKA what I wish I had known beforehand):  Try not to peek in on its progress if you can help it.  The consistent heat really helps – if 350° isn’t puffing it up enough, try 400°.   Or try a smaller skillet and make several smaller cakes.

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