Few kitchen items are as multi-functional as a cast iron pan, and there’s no end to the incredible recipes you can make in one. But ultimately, it’s worth owning a cast iron skillet just to make Dutch babies. These puffed, egg-leavened pancakes could not be simpler to whisk together, and the pan does most of the work by helping them rise dramatically high around the edges.
A Dutch baby is similar to Yorkshire pudding, without the risk of disappointment—whisk a thin batter of eggs, flour and milk, pour it into a hot buttered pan and slide it into a hot oven or onto the grill or open fire. Close the door or cover the pan and try not to peek for 15 minutes. The chewy, airy pancake isn’t just perfect with summer fruit and syrup, it can be an edible vehicle for saucy beans or beef stew, cheesy dips, curries or the most spectacular group ice cream sundae. In fall and winter, sautéapples or bananas to spoon overtop.
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CAST IRON DUTCH BABIES
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- pinch salt
- berries or summer fruit
- icing sugar
- maple syrup
Preheat the grill to medium-high or the oven to 230°C, or get a good bed of coals in the fire.
Heat the butter in a medium cast iron skillet set on the stovetop or in the oven. While it’s heating, whisk together the eggs, flour, and milk. Don’t worry about getting all the lumps out.
Pour the batter into the hot pan and slide it into the oven, onto the grill or over the coals. If it’s on the grill, close the lid; if it’s over the fire, cover loosely with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed and golden. Fill with berries or seasonal fruit and serve warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and drizzled with maple syrup. Serves 4.
(To make a larger Dutch baby in a 10-inch pan, increase the quantities to 3 eggs, 3/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup milk.)
Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author, food columnist for Eyeopener on CBC Radio in Calgary, and a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail. She also publishes recipes on her own website, Dinner with Julie.