Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dutch Babies

Here in a Ukrainian village, living far away from the nearest real grocery store, I have learned to meal plan.  I normally take inventory of the freezer and then plan dinners for a week.  

The flaw in the plan is when I fail to take the meat out of the freezer in time.  Or when I get caught up in some ministry issue and my perfectly planned dinner just ain't gonna happen.

Most of my American friends would run to the grocery store for a frozen pizza or get Thai take out  or just take the family to Olive Garden.  I do not have any of those options.  If I have bacon, I'll usually go the pasta carbonara route.  But if I don't....  I make breakfast for dinner.  (Whoever invented breakfast for dinner -- you are a genius!).  Usually the go-to is waffles.  But sometimes I like to do something different and we have Dutch Babies.

This is also a great recipe for a fun dessert (especially when you have nothing in your pantry but the basics) or a breakfast worthy of company.

My husband asked me to explain that we do not actually consume infants from Holland for breakfast or dinner.  I am not sure why they're called Dutch babies.  Some people call them German pancakes. It's sort of a cross between an enormous pancake and a souffle.  Whatever European lineage you would like to attach to this dish, it's delicious, impressive and simple.  Did I mention 4 ingredients and on the table in under 30 minutes?  

Right, so let's do it....

The Step-by-Step

First, let's double-check if you can do this.... do you have a blender? Check.  Do you have an oven-proof frying pan (hint: will the handle melt in the oven or not?)  Check.  Ok, we are double-checked and ready to go.

So turn on your oven to a toasty 425F (220C) and put 4 tablespoons of butter in the pan.  Stick the pan in the oven.

Now get out your blender, and have the rest of the ingredients pre-measured and ready to go.

Now crack the eggs into the blender.  If your 3-year-old has a thing for cracking eggs, then take the extra 7 minutes to let him pull up the step ladder and crack the eggs.  If not, that's ok too.

Whirl the eggs for three minutes.  After 3 minutes, start adding about half of the flour, and then about half of the milk and then the rest of the flour and then the rest of the milk.  Blend a bit more until it's smooth.  

Soothe the 3-year-old who is running away with his ears covered because the blender is "too loud".

Take the pan out of the oven WITH A POTHOLDER.  (For some reason, using a stovetop frying pan in the oven makes me very likely to grab the SCREAMING HOT pan handle with just my bare skin.  Ouch.)

Pour the batter into the melted butter into the pan.  Pop that baby (Dutch or otherwise) back into the oven for about 20 minutes.

When it's done, it will be all puffy and golden like this.  Gorgeous.  Call everyone to the table.  Dutch babies are so much better straight from the oven, fluffy and hot.  

Today I had some blueberry sauce on hand, so that's how we topped our dutch babies.  But my favorite is a squeeze of lemon juice plus a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  You could also use fresh fruit, jam, honey or syrup on top.  The possibilities are many.  Whatever you like.

Cut in quarters and dish up to the waiting hungry monsters. 

The Recipe


4 Tablespoons butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
(Additional toppings as desired)

Preheat oven 425F (220C).

Put butter in an ovenproof skillet and let the pan with butter heat up in the oven.

Measure the milk and flour.  In a blender, whirl the 3 eggs for 3 minutes.  Add half of the milk, then half of the flour, then the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour.  Blend just til smooth.

Pour batter into the hot pan (careful! use potholder!).

Bake in the oven 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Top with fresh fruit, lemon juice + powdered sugar, honey, jam or syrup.