Dutch Babies come from the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, meaning, they're German in origin, and were originally served in muffin tins, much like popovers. But when a small diner owner in Seattle served them individually in a large cast iron pan instead, people reached for the syrup and haven't looked back. This is a recipe I adapted from Helen Brown's West Coast Cookbook
, published in 1952. What struck me was the tiny amounts of everything: 1/2 a tablespoon of randomness and a bunch of eggs. The result is a barely sweet, not quite savory puffy crepe. For a larger, fluffier Dutch Baby, double the recipe, but I like how golden brown and crispy the single serving makes. Cover the whole thing in powdered sugar and drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice. Top with gobs of butter and eat instantly. The fluffiness is a fleeting and momentous occasion, so have your forks ready!
||A cast iron skillet is a kitchen must! They're inexpensive, naturally non stick (once you season them), and conduct fantastic heat. For a dish like Dutch Baby Pancakes you need high heat to get them puffing fast, and simple cast iron skillet is the way to go. Lodge Round Fry Pan, from $18, Williams-Sonoma.
|1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, for greasing the skillet
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tablespoon rum (or sherry or port)
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
||Toppings (all optional):
1 lemon, halved
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter
(makes one 9" pancake
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together all pancake ingredients for a minute, until completely smooth.
3. Heat up a greased cast iron pan over medium high heat, and pour in the batter, cooking until set, about 1 minute.
4. Move the cast iron skillet into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until puffed up and golden brown on top.
5. Serve immediately with toppings of choice: butter, sugar, and lemon juice.
To see more recipe inspiration, head to The Kitchy Kitchen
Photographs: Claire Thomas