My husband is a pancake connoisseur. The way he sees it, American-style pancakes are sufficient as a plate-sized vessel for maple syrup but otherwise too dense, too cakey. Their singular texture and sweetness turn monotonous after just a few bites. Halfway through the stack and your stomach starts to protest under the weight. I'm with him on this, and I'm not fond of the way it turns me into a pancake factory while everyone else enjoys breakfast, either.
Enter the Dutch Baby. Make one and it feeds 2-3 people (or just 1 person according to my husband). Active time is minimal and we all eat together. The dramatically puffed pancake is a mix of textures with crisp edges, a light and tender center, and just enough chew to remind you that it's breakfast and not dessert (though it'd make a fine dessert). A squeeze of fresh lemon and a healthy glug of maple syrup makes a sweet-tart combination that's just plain fun. Powdered sugar lends a pretty finish and no one would guess that it only took about 20 minutes to make.
This recipe was featured in “Recipe Redux; 1966: David Eyre's Pancake” and appeared in a New York Times article by Craig Claiborne.
Adapted from "David Eyre's Pancake", NY Times
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup milk
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- Fig or blackberry jam, pear butter or any kind of marmalade, for serving (optional)*
*Jam is good but there are Canadians in our house so maple syrup is a requirement.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the flour, milk and nutmeg and lightly beat until blended but still slightly lumpy.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet with a heatproof handle over medium-high heat. When very hot but not brown, pour in the batter. Bake in the oven until the pancake is billowing on the edges and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Working quickly, remove the pan from the oven and, using a fine-meshed sieve, sprinkle with the sugar. Return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with jam, pear butter or marmalade.
*Note: The pancake totally works at 425°F but I recently tried it at 450°F and the pancake puffed even higher and was less wet in the middle. Depending on your oven it may work this way for you, too. I’d recommend the higher temperature if you live in high altitude.