The name “dutch baby pancake” is quite deceptive. Like nearly anything termed “dutch” in Pennsylvania, “dutch” here was bastardized from “deutsch” or German and thus why you might find recipes referring to this as a German pancake. Yet, to my shock I did a little digging and the dutch baby pancake was actually invented in Seattle in the early 1900s! And here I always thought it was some traditional German dish! I guess it was a take on pfannkuchen, which is the German version of a crêpe (which actually originates from Slavic culture and entered Western Europe by way of the Austro-Hungarian empire. YOU’RE WELCOME.) Anyway, when you feel like mixing it up a bit like I do, its a wonderful alternative to palačinke for a Saturday breakfast/brunch. It’s usually baked in a cast-iron frying pan, but since I don’t own one, a baking dish works just as well.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of light cream
- 1/2 cup of milk (i use at least half-fat, never skim)
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract (always use a quality one such as Nielsen-Massey)
- 20 g of butter, melted
- 6 damson plums, cut in half and de-pitted
- 1 lemon
- fresh or frozen fruit of your choice (berries work well)
Preheat your oven to 200ºC.
Place the plums in a baking dish, squeeze over the lemon, and sprinkle over the sugar. (Don’t worry if you put too little, you can always taste it towards the end and add sugar as needed.) Add the dish to the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Next mix the eggs, light cream, milk, flour, sugar, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter to the baking dish, tilting it to spread the butter out a bit, and add the batter. You’ll have the butter marbled in the batter a bit, but no need to mix it. Add to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top bounces back when touched and is a bit browned.
If making another fruit topping then the plums, add about 2 tablespoons of butter (you can add more if necessary) to melt in a small saucepan. Add the fruit and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. Start out with very little, as the sweetness of the fruit may not require much–or any–at all. Cook it on medium-low until the fruit has broken down a bit and then set aside.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately topped with the plums (or whatever other topping you are using) and powdered sugar.