Dutch, Dutch Baby

I have a confession: I can't make pancakes. I've tried, I've failed, and I've given up. I can make French toast like a champ, though. I just don't do it often.

But I wanted to make something special for Father's Day this year and somewhere I saw a picture of a giant pancake. A skillet pancake. I couldn't remember where, though when time came to start planning, so I asked Twitter for some help. My friend, Tim recommended the Dutch Baby recipe from America's Test Kitchen. He'd tried it and attested to its goodness. I'm not much of a baker, so I was cautiously optimistic.

dutch_baby

But I followed the recipe (almost) exactly and it was fantastic! A Dutch Baby is like a cross between a pancake, a popover, and a custard. Three things I like very, very much. And, fortunately, I had everything on hand to make it (including an oven-proof, 12-inch skillet; but you can also use baking dishes or even a pie plate). It took about an hour of preparation (zesting the lemon and getting all the lumps out of my batter were time consumers), but it was well worth it. This is the most delicious breakfast I've ever made.

dutch_baby
Right out of the oven, it is puffy and tall like a popover.
dutch_baby
It quickly deflates. Also, mine is lopsided because my house and oven are lopsided. Baked goods tell no lies and do not forgive.

I topped my Dutch Baby with some homemade blueberry sauce, but fresh fruit and cream or whatever you'd want in a crepe would work perfectly as well.

dutch_baby
You can skip some of the citrus, but it really worked well with the blueberry sauce. Yum.

Dutch Baby
adapted from America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted (lumps removed)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk*
1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar (optional for garnish)

*The recipe recommends skim milk for a crispier edge. I used whole milk and it was still fabulous.

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush the surface and edges of a large oven-proof skillet with the oil. Place the skillet on the oven rack and heat until the oil is shimmering, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in another bowl until frothy and light, about 1 minute. Whisk the milk, butter, and vanilla into the eggs until incorporated. Whisk one-third of the milk mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps remain, then slowly whisk in remaining milk mixture until smooth.

Carefully pour the batter into the heated skillet and bake until edges of the Dutch Baby are deep golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and sprinkle the Dutch Baby with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges and serve.

Blueberry Sauce
adapted from My Baking Addiction

serves 4-6

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved into 2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, sugar and fruit juice. Stir frequently, and bring to a low boil.

Slowly and gently stir the corn starch mixture into the blueberries. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla and lemon zest.

Notes: This took me a while to make because I'm really bad at following recipes, so I read, read, and read again. It makes things go very slowly. Also, zesting and juicing can take a while. I'm not sure that either are necessary to make this, but I'm hesitant to try. You could probably leave out the zest easily and use bottled juice and still have a great pancake (-y thing).

Also, do NOT skip the part about sifting your cornstarch or whisking just 1/3 of the liquid into the mix because if you don't get all those cornstarch lumps out at the beginning, you will be sorry. I was.

7 thoughts on “Dutch, Dutch Baby

  1. two recipe sources i feel i can trust without fail are Mark Bittman and America's Test Kitchen. i, too, have a hard time following recipes, but i try not to stray from theirs.

    i've never had a Dutch Baby. is it crepe-like? i love that eggy, chewy texture. yours looks beautiful!

    oh, and i'm good with pancakes but absolutely cannot make French toast.

    1. Post author

      Agreed on both those sources. Love them both.

      The edge is popover-like, but the bottom is chewy. Perfect combo!

  2. Mr Eats

    She's not kidding. That was the best breakfast she has ever made for me. Definitely a high point of my father's day!

  3. i've seen these dutch babies on many a blog, but have yet to make one myself. yours looks just wonderful! and i love the combination of lemony zest + blueberry sauce - citrus + berries = happiness in my book.

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