'Dearest Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake, I have a question to ask of you and it is simply this: where have you been all my life?!'
There are some recipes that fall into the 'love at first sight' category and blueberry Dutch baby pancake is certainly one of those as far as I am concerned. I love just about everything that's baked with blueberries and was salivating from the moment I saw Paula Montenegro's version of this breakfast/dessert on her lovely blog, Vintage Kitchen Notes. It was the first time I had ever seen or heard of a Dutch baby (I know, go figure!), and when I asked Paula if she would mind if I'd blog my take on her recipe, her sweet response was 'Of course not, go ahead.' Thank you, Paula xo.
'I love a good Dutch baby,' said my friend, Maureen Shaw, Orgasmic Chef, when I told her I'd made one of these. Sigh. It seems everybody knows about this divine little number except me. Never mind. There's an old saying that says: 'better late than never' and let me tell you, it's true. e, welcome to your new best friend. You and me are going to be BFF in the truest sense of the term.
So, what is a Dutch Baby Pancake? Research indicates that many countries make similar skillet/oven cooked pancakes and the 'Dutch' in the title may have originated from Deutsch pfannkuchen or German pan cake. The 'baby' part indicates that the pancake is sometimes cooked in a series of small pans. Having said this, I guess my Dutch baby is in reality a BIG baby. And that's just how I like it!
To my mind, the consistency of a Dutch baby pancake is not dissimilar to a sweet version of Yorkshire Pudding or Popovers, particularly given the beautiful way in which this pancake puffs up. Perfect as a breakfast treat, but equally good as a dessert, it's like a fluffed up, puffy type of clafoutis without being quite as pudding-like. It has also been appropriately described as being 'a cross between a souffle and an omelette'. And best of all, it's quick and simple to make, and completely and utterly delicious.
BLUEBERRY DUTCH BABY PANCAKE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE
3 free-range eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla infused caster sugar
1/2 cup low fat milk
2/3 cup plain (AP) or buckwheat flour*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons slivered or flaked almonds
1 level tablespoon white chocolate, grated (optional)
pure icing sugar, for dusting
1-2 level tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (fan forced) or 220 degrees C (for an older, slower oven). Whisk the eggs and sugar in a Pyrex bowl, then mix in the milk, flour and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries. Meanwhile, heat a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet and melt the butter quickly, allowing it to turn 'nut brown' (taking care not to burn it), then pour in the pancake batter. Grate the chocolate over the top and sprinkle over the almonds. Now, pop the skillet into the hot oven and bake the pancake for 15-20 minutes until the edges curl and it has puffed up and is golden brown (make sure you watch this happen, it's rather special!). Remove from the oven onto a trivet. Dust with icing sugar and serve. Note: the pancake will deflate quickly, so best to serve it immediately. However, it is also delicious when cool. This quantity will serve 4-6.
* If you use buckwheat flour, you might like to try using soured milk or buttermilk for a lighter pancake.
Buckwheat BIG 'baby'
The difference with the buckwheat version is that is doesn't puff up in the oven, even when you've added a little baking powder. Made with buckwheat, this pancake has a delicious, nutty flavour and is a little more chewy in texture than the wheat flour version.
Blueberry Dutch baby pancake with white chocolate
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Tell me dear readers, are you familiar with Dutch baby pancakes? Do you make them with blueberries, or with apple and spices? Or have I just introduced you to a delicious new keeper of a recipe?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.