Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday Brunch: Dutch Babies

I love Dutch babies. No, not as in children (though I'm sure they're all just lovely), but as in the large puffy, oven-baked pancakes.
Unlike regular pancakes, the batter has a much higher ratio of eggs to flour, which gives them the same sort of lift that you might find in a souffle. Unlike a souffle, you actually want these to fall when they come out of the oven - and they definiately will. Not to worry, though, because the indentation is perfect for filling with syrup or some gently cooked fruit. Though my favorite way to eat them is with a generous amount of maple syrup, I think that bananas are a good choice and I have also had good luck with both apples and berries on top of Dutch babies.
It is imperative that Dutch babies be served right out of the oven. This way, the texture will be perfect. The pancake will have a slightly crisp edge and a soft, almost custardy interior (which I attempted to capture in the photo below, when the pancake had deflated slightly) that gives them a perfect texture.
You will have to resist making another one immediately.
I made these in my 6-inch stainless steel skillet. Each one serves two people, or one very hungry person. Double the recipe and cook in a 10-inch skillet if cooking for 4-6 people.

A warning: my dutch babies are nowhere near as buttery as Molly's, but I'm not one for vast amounts of butter in the morning. If you are, try her recipe, instead.

Dutch Babies
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (nonfat, lowfat or otherwise)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place ovenproof frying pan (stainless steel or cast iron) in the oven to heat.
Whisk together eggs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and melted butter until smooth.
Remove pan from oven and spray with nonstick cooking spray (or quickly brush with some butter), then pour the batter into the hot pan and put it back in the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the Dutch baby is golden brown.
Slide from the pan onto a serving plate and serve immediately.
Serves 1-2.

Note: For a Dutch baby in a 10-inch skillet, double the recipe and cook for 20-25 minutes.