Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dutch Babies

No, this isn't really a post on how to eat infants from the Netherlands; this isn't that kind of food blog. This is a recipe for a German Pancake, also called a Dutch Baby. I learned this recipe back in high school from a friend who used to make them for Sunday brunches. Cousin to Yorkshire pudding and popovers, they're in the class of eggy, savory pastries that puff up when you cook them (and sometimes make really entertaining egg-and-flour sculptures, depending on how you've mixed your ingredients or where the hot spots in your oven are). Traditionally served with lemon and powdered sugar, they're equally good with jam or berry syrup. This recipe is more or less as it was told to me, many moons ago, by my high school friend, with tips added from years of practice.

2 large eggs
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 F. Put a couple of tablespoons of butter into a glass pie pan and stick the pan in the oven for a few minutes so that the butter will melt in the pan. It's OK if the butter browns a little, but don't let it burn - burned butter is nasty.

While the butter is melting, whisk the eggs in a glass bowl. You can whip them up until they have some bubbles on the top and this will make your Dutch Baby fluffier, but it isn't a requirement - it'll still rise regardless. Add the milk and stir until blended. Stir in the flour until just blended, but don't worry too much if it looks lumpy, and don't overmix - it shouldn't be too thick.

Take the pie pan out of the oven and swirl the melted butter around until it coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Now comes the crucial part: pour the batter into the center of the pan. As it spreads out, the butter will come up around the edges, but DON'T mix in the butter! Somehow the magic of the melted butter around the rim is what makes it puff up the way it does.

Bake for 15 minutes. When it comes out of the oven it should look something like this:

Serve with lemon wedges and powdered sugar.

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