Monday, May 2, 2011

Dutch Apple Upside Down Pancake

My husband and I had this for Sunday breakfast this weekend. A Dutch pancake falls somewhere between a souffle and a giant pancake, with a flavor reminiscent of French toast. It is basically a giant, fuss-free pancake. It is made from a simple flour, milk, and egg-based batter, heavy on the egg.

It has no leavener--like a souffle, the eggs puff the pancake as it cooks like this: 

And, like a souffle, it falls after you remove it from the oven and serve, like this:

The goods:
A Dutch pancake is much easier to prep and cook than regular pancakes. Instead of having to pour and flip individual pancakes in batches on the stove, to make a Dutch pancake, you just pour all the batter into a cast iron pan and bake it for a few minutes. It is the perfect thing to feed guests, and the easiest, fanciest, and biggest pancake you might ever make.

The tweaks:

You could just make a traditional Dutch pancake with the batter from the recipe I provide below, but why not add fruit to make the ultimate one-pot breakfast? I cut apples and spread them on the bottom of the pan so they sweeten and caramelize. Then I pour the batter on top of the apples. When the pancake is done, cut slices and flip them over like an upside down cake to reveal your caramelized apples underneath. I make half of the flour in the recipe whole wheat flour to make it healthier.

Dutch Apple Upside Down Pancake

Caramelized apples:
1 T butter
2 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1 T sugar or splenda
pinch of cinnamon

Pancake batter:

4 eggs
1 1/3 cup milk of choice
1 t vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar or splenda
1 1/3 cup flour (white or half white and half whole wheat works)

Preheat oven to 425. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven to warm. Remove skillet when warmed, and melt the butter in it. Sprinkle the apples with sugar and cinnamon, and spread them in the bottom of the pan. Return to oven to cook while you prep the rest of the recipe, or for about 7 minutes.

Beat remaining ingredients together with a fork or whisk. Remove skillet from oven and pour batter over apples. Return to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. It's ready when it's puffed and golden brown. It will be impressively poufy when your first remove it from the oven, and then it will slowly fall like a souffle. Cut into slices and top with powdered sugar or syrup. Serves 4.

Alternatively, you could make a plain Dutch pancake without the apples. I like to serve this with syrup or blackberry jam.

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