For the past few weeks I’ve been making large skillet pancakes, often referred to as Dutch Babies or German pancakes. They are considered a cross between a popover, pancake, and crepe. What I like best about this type of pancake is that you pour the batter into a single ovenproof skillet or pan, put it in a hot oven, and watch as the edges climb up the sides of the pan while it cooks. Although I started by making savory fillings for this dish, I fell in love with a sweet one that is prepared with sautéed berries tossed in orange-scented sugar and topped with dollops of crème fraîche whipped cream.
The secret to turning out successful Dutch Baby pancakes lies in using a good heavy skillet such as cast iron or Le Creuset, but a pyrex pie dish will also work. Most important the pan needs to be preheated in a hot oven before the batter is added. While baking, the batter rises up around the rim of the pancake. Typically, bubbles puff up from the batter in the bottom of the pan as well. These will deflate as the cooked pancake rests or they can be pricked with a fork.
You can serve Dutch Babies with all manner of fillings. One of my friends makes a simple fresh lemon syrup and drizzles it along with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar over the warm pancake. I like a mix of berries such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries that are sautéed in butter and combined with sugar flavored with orange zest. A bowl of whipped cream blended with crème fraîche makes a tempting garnish.
Try these pancakes for a weekend breakfast or brunch, and add a plate of smoked salmon served with capers and chopped red onion or with some crispy bacon slices plus fresh, squeezed juice to round out the menu. This Dutch Baby would be perfect for Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Print This Recipe
Dutch Baby Pancake with Berries and Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and quartered (Be sure to remove all the white center from berries with a paring knife—you should get about 1 ¼ to 1 1/2 cups)
6 ounces blackberries (about 1 1/4 cups)
6 ounces blueberries (about 1 1/4 cups)
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream (Recipe follows.)
Equipment needed: A 10- inch cast iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet or dish such as Le Creuset or a 10- inch pyrex pie plate
1.Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 10- inch cast iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet or 10- inch pyrex pie plate in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
2.While the skillet is in the oven prepare the batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until frothy and blended. Gradually whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth.
3. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add remaining 2 tablespoon of melted butter, swirling to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the batter to the skillet. Bake until edges rise up and are crisp, and center is puffy but firm, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove skillet from the oven and with a fork or knife puncture any bubbles on bottom of the popover. Return pan to oven for 5 more minutes.
4.Prepare filling. Place sugar and orange zest in a medium bowl and use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, turning it a light orange hue. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium large, heavy skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add berries. Stir and coat in butter for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with the orange sugar and stir until sugar has melted and berries are glistening, only a minute or two. Remove and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
5.Remove the skillet from the oven after 5 minutes and spoon the berries into the center.
6.Serve the Dutch Baby in the skillet and carefully cut into six wedges. Garnish each serving with a dollop of Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream. Serves 6.
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream (Recipe follows.)
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon confectioner sugar
1.In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Then lower speed and beat in crème fraiche and sugar. Beat on medium high speed until just firm. Transfer to a serving bowl. (Cream can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2021