We now return to your regularly scheduled program

…already in progress.
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Yes, I really have missed cooking, so I took the opportunity to fire up the oven this morning when it became clear there wouldn’t be enough milk to go around for our standard bowls of cereal. But what we did have was the basics — eggs, butter, flour, sugar, lemons, and just enough milk to make a simple but elegant breakfast of Dutch baby pancakes. These were adapted from a recipe I found a while back at Orangette; we didn’t have half-and-half on hand, so I made do with equal parts lowfat and evaporated milk, and used only half of the butter called for, just because it was already pooling in the center of the pancake when I took it from the oven.

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No? You can’t see the butter? Sorry, I focused on that gorgeous browned crust before it flew too close to the sun and fell back to earth, but trust me, the butter is there. I love these Dutch babies because the texture is somewhere between a custard and a pancake — very eggy and light, and not cakey at all.

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That light flavor and airy texture is greatly enhanced by a liberal dousing of lemon juice, which brightens everything. I mean, just look at it — this is one happy breakfast. I can imagine this would be completely delicious with orange juice instead of lemon juice, but it’ll be difficult to change a thing next time; this was a real treat and just as easy as throwing together a simple breakfast of eggs and toast.

Oh, and let’s get a close-up of the finished pancake, shall we? That little pool in the corner is butter and lemon juice, and should, if my calculations are correct, make you weep and run to the kitchen to make this yourself.

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recipe after the jump

Dutch Baby Pancakes from Orangette

For the pancakes:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup half-and-half (or 1/4 cup lowfat milk + 1/4 cup evaporated milk)

For the topping:
4 oz clarified butter (or, if you’re not into clarifying, simple melted butter will do — or do without entirely if your conscience can’t take it)
juice of 1 lemon
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over low heat.

In a blender, whir together the eggs, flour, and half-and-half.

Pour the batter into the skillets over the melted butter. Slide the skillet into the oven, and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the puffed pancakes from the oven, transfer them to a plate or shallow bowl, and pour on clarified butter (or not), sprinkle on lemon juice, and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Serves two.

13 Replies to “We now return to your regularly scheduled program”

  1. Amy:

    When I was a teen-ager I worked in a pancake house and they made something that looked quite similar but they called it a German Pancake. The batter was like crepe batter and it was started in a very hot saute pan and then finished in the oven. I think a Yorkshire Pudding is similar?

    democommie

  2. Ahhh, dutch baby. I thought I was the only one in the world who knew about this (besides whomever came up with it in the first place) I am not sure where I found it over 15 yrs ago but I pulled back on the butter after a few attempts, as well. Try it with a little lingonberry jam. yummy.

    Demo, It does seem like Yorkshire pudding but more dense. Only the edges stay puffed and after you take it out of the oven , you watch in dismay as it deflates. But when you taste it, you realise it is that dense eggy center that makes it a dish of its own, rather than an accompaniment.

    Audrey

  3. Demo, thanks for reminding me — I thought this pancake went by another name, but couldn’t for the life of me remember at the time.

    Claudia — Speaking of cornmeal, did you see Heidi’s post on breakfast polenta yesterday? It sounds right up your alley.

    Audrey — thanks for weighing in. I actually looked for lingonberry jam last night after reading your comment, but couldn’t find any at my local store. Maybe I’ll get lucky on my next trip to Ikea. 🙂 Does the center of your Dutch baby puff up, too? Mine didn’t, so I thought maybe I didn’t get the pan hot enough first.

  4. Amy,
    I was trying to resist because I am trying to diet, but your pictures were so beautiful I could almost taste it…….so I have one in the oven right now :), and yes the center is puffed up. It puffs about 3/4 as high as the sides but I recall that it (the center) goes flat as soon as it comes out.. I have mine at 425 just like your recipie says and I recall that being the same as the old one I had.

    Update. I would suggest a shorter time for the small (5-7) cast iron pan. Fortunately, I only cooked half of the batter and saved the other half for later in the week. I think I will set my timer for 15 instead of 20 and keep an eye on it. I recall 25 mins being good for the larger pan so I backed it down to 20. Trial and error is good:)

    I got my lingonberry jam at World Market. Used to be able to find it in the regular grocery but not in the last 2 yrs.

    Thanks for the inspiration! I am wallowing in an eggy lemony lingonberry haze.
    Audrey

  5. I have never heard of a dutch baby. I can’t think of what this would be in Southern cooking, but it looks so divine. Definitely cooking this one over the weekend.
    I can taste it already!

  6. I’m up in the dark, a bad cold, drinking herbal teas, If the the thought of this in my future doesn’t make me feel fetter, nothing will!!!

    Gorgeous Amy.

  7. Audrey — mmmm, that’s a great description, “eggy lemony lingonberry haze.” I may have to try it again this weekend since my husband has offered to hit Ikea this evening on his way home from work. (I suspect he’s craving meatballs, but hey, it works out for both of us.)

    Mary — you won’t be sorry! It’s so easy and so much greater than the sum of its parts.

    Deb — I hope you get some rest and feel better soon. We’re really looking forward to next weekend!

  8. Audrey:

    I suspect you’re right on the money. I’ve never made a Yorkshire Pudding.

    Speaking of lingonberries. I worked, briefly ( I was the’ money ‘parther’s friend–the chef partner did not trust me to not rat him out) in a nice restaurant. One of the desserts was deepfried Camembert. It was served with deepfried parsley and cloudberry (what the Swedes call lingonberries–in swedish, I guess) preserves. There was also an ice cream parfait made with Stoli and cloudberry preserves. Ummmmm, good.

  9. I made it this morning as my Birthday treat to the kids. So EASY and delish!! Even cold out of the pan after lunch…

    S

  10. Hi Sarah, good to know it worked so well, even cold. Aaaand now I’m craving this again! Perhaps a light dinner is in order…

  11. Agggghhhhhhh – the sound of me drooling, homer simpson style. Wow! That butter shot is a real food porn classic! I am itching to make these.

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