At the risk of coming across as downright lazy, I find the task of flipping pancakes on a Sunday morning to be a bit arduous. Almost always hungover on a Sunday morning, I seek refuge in this Dutch Baby- a no-effort pancake that’s a simple blitz-and-bake job.
The Dutch Baby is not different from the British Yorkshire pudding and the US popover. These are rolls made from pancake batter and baked in a muffin mould that rise much like a soufflé. They are served as part of a traditional Sunday roast alongside savoury beef, gravy, vegetables and mash. A giant Yorkshire pudding/popover/German pancake made in a skillet is called a Dutch Baby.
This mega pancake’s edges puff up considerably in the oven, and it’s ready when the top is golden brown. Watching it bake is quite dramatic, and it must be served right out of the oven. It will fall considerably after it’s out, so don’t be alarmed. The velvet, custard-like valley is meant to be topped with fillings of your choice. I went with caramelised pears, but bananas and chocolate, mixed berries, cherries and apples work too. A simple snowfall of icing sugar and squeeze of lemon juice is the way I’d go if I was cooking for myself. The version below is a sweet one, because I lean more towards making it more often this way, but a savoury one would be great too with eggs, bacon, avocados, whatever you prefer. To make a savoury version, simply omit the vanilla extract and the tablespoon of sugar.
SWEET DUTCH BABY
Butter 2 tbsp, at room temperature
Eggs 3 large
Milk 3/4 cup
All-purpose flour 1/2 cup
Salt 1/4 tsp
Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
For The Caramelised Peaches
Butter 1 tbsp
Brown Sugar 2 tbsp
Cinnamon 1/4 tsp
Peaches 2, ripe and halved (you can tell that they are ripe when they yield slightly to a gentle touch and smell sweet)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and have 2 tbsp of butter ready in a cast-iron or a non-stick pan that is ovenproof.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter starts to look foamy, add in the peaches skin-side-up together with the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Let this cook for about 6-10 minutes or until the peaches are just tender. Be careful to not turn it into mush. Fish them out and keep it aside to cool down a little.
Put the cast-iron/non-stick pan on the hob and melt the butter over low heat. Watch this carefully as you don’t want it to brown (or maybe you do as this might take your dutch baby up a notch with a more interesting nutty taste).
In a blender, add the eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla and sugar and blitz till everything has incorporated well. You decide if you want your pancake savoury or sweet at this stage by omitting the vanilla and the sugar.
Add the hot pancake mixture to the hot skillet with the melted butter. You should hear a slight hiss as the batter hits the pan. Transfer this to the middle rack of the oven quickly and leave it to bake undisturbed for 15 minutes, or until nicely puffed up around the edges and golden brown on top. You must not mess with the temperature of the oven by opening the door, because this will make the pancake collapse.
Take it out of the oven and dot with some more butter if you like. Dust with icing sugar and pour over a tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the peaches to the dutch baby and serve.