Dutch Baby Oven Pancake

Ever since my fluffy pancake fail and my crepe-cake success, I've returned to my beloved Dutch Baby recipe when those pancake cravings hit. 

I love this breakfast/brunch dish (and works great for guests!). Like most of my recipes, this is fast and easy. Best of all, it allows you to multitask other parts of breakfast while it is cooking since you won't spend your time hovering over a griddle. The thing I really love about this particular recipe is that I've customized it to make the base more "egg-y" and custard-like. The dense base holds up well to various toppings, savory and sweet. My husband and I love this texture, but if you find it too dense, remove an egg from the recipe. This will change the ingredient ratio, leaving you with a fluffier "cake." Both FineCooking and Lifehacker have information on the importance of ratios when baking. You may notice I broke these rules...

I'll give you three suggestions for toppings below, but really, the world is your oyster! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs (3 eggs if you want a fluffier base)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons of pure cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Lightly butter/grease a large skillet and place in the oven so it preheats as well. I prefer a skillet with a round bottom and tall, straight sides for this recipe. You can also use a cast iron skillet, but I have found the rise and finish of the pancake to be different. The base will be more dense and the sides will not fluff up as much. The tall sides on a non-cast iron skillet help the pancake fluff-over, creating that beautiful, almost pie-like shape. 

While the skillet is pre-heating, mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well incorporated. No order necessary, just make sure everything is blended.The batter should be smooth and liquid in consistency.

Once preheated, pour the batter into the skillet. Return to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy on the sides.

Remove the pancake from the oven. Dust powdered sugar on top and serve with butter and syrup as you would any other pancake (although depending on your version, you may not need syrup!) Careful when serving, the handle of the skillet may still be hot. I recommend putting an oven mitt over the handle to remind yourself!

Version 1: Apple (shown)
Baking apples generally hold up to high heat and keep their shape better, but because this is a short baking time and I do not cook the apples down prior to throwing baking, I do not feel you need to have a baking apple for this recipe. I used a Fuji apple which admittedly does hold its shape well, but is less tart than a Granny smith. I sliced it very thin and mixed with about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of pure cane sugar. I gently spooned the apples atop the batter before baking. *Extra: if you're wanting a savory twist, consider adding cooked bacon bits and cheddar to the apples. Cheddar is perfect match for the sweet apples and the bacon adds a touch of saltiness to up the ante.

Version 2: Lemon
Add the zest of one lemon and the juice from half a lemon (you may need to add a tablespoon of flour so the batter isn't so thin and your flour to liquid ratio doesn't get too far off) to the batter mix. Bake as above. For a lemon glaze, whisk about 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, juice from half a lemon, and about a teaspoon of lemon zest. If you need to thicken your glaze, add powdered sugar. Be patient if chunks form and keep whisking. If the glaze is too thick, whisk in a little more milk, about a teaspoon at a time (it's easy to overdo). Additionally, if your glaze is too sweet, add more lemon juice. If it's too acidic, add a little more sugar. Drizzle over the pancake.

Version 3: Berry compote
Bring 1/8 cup of water and 1/4 cup pure cane sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Cook until sugar dissolved. Add 3 cups of fresh berries and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bring back to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl until the butter melts and sauce is cooked down. Spoon over the pancake.

Enjoy! 

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Ashley McCormickComment