I remember my first Dutch baby quite vividly - it was sometime during my later elementary school years. My mom had discovered a Christmas breakfast menu complete with recipes in one of her magazines a few weeks earlier, and the main course was a "puff" pancake baked in a skillet. I remember being awed on Christmas morning as she pulled the golden-domed pancake from the oven, and then my dismay as it quickly deflated and sank back into the pan. At such a young age, I didn't understand it was supposed to do exactly that.
Drizzled with melted butter and dusted with powdered sugar, that Dutch baby had a taste and texture like nothing I'd experienced previously. Along with it, we had asparagus wrapped in ham and drizzled with hollandaise sauce, poached eggs, and cranberry juice mixed with a little champagne. At some point, my mom lost that Christmas menu and the recipes it included, but it did its job, which was to start us on a tradition of special Christmas breakfasts, one we still observe today.
But I don't reserve Dutch babies for Christmas morning alone. Saturday morning breakfasts are always somewhat special at my house, a day for something more than the usual toast or cereal. Homemade muffins, eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce made from scratch, sour cream "heavenly hots," biscuits and spicy sausage gravy, raised waffles and baked French toast are just a few of our Saturday morning favorites. Dutch baby pancakes have joined the list, too, and one pancake will feed the three of us with a serving left over for the first taker on Sunday morning (leftovers perk up nicely in the toaster oven).
If you have a hungry passel of kiddos at your table, I'd say you'll need more than one skillet and a double batch of these to go around. Add some fresh fruit and pure maple syrup, and you'll have a bunch of smiling faces - and happy tummies.
Dutch Baby Pancake
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice or sugar (any kind will do)
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350°.
While the oven is preheating, melt the butter in the skillet over medium-low heat. Use a pastry brush to coat the sides of the pan with the butter. Set aside.
In the blender or food processor, whirl the eggs, milk, vanilla, and sugar until foamy.
Add the flour and salt and whirl some more, until well-blended.
Pour the batter into the buttered skillet, and place in the oven.
Cook 10-15 minutes, watching carefully, until golden brown and puffed.
Remove from the oven and cool slightly. As the pancake cools, its puffed-up middle will collapse back into the pan.
Cut into four quarters and serve with your choice of toppings.
Serves 2-4 people, depending on how hungry they are!
Here's the printable recipe.