THIS DUTCH BABY MAKES A PERFECT MEATLESS MEAL.
To open the oven door and discover the very simple batter I’d put into a cast iron skillet 20 minutes before had emerged as this beautiful pastry ‘shell’ was a moment of both pride and awe. Previous attempts hadn’t been nearly as rewarding. Finally, I’d discovered the best recipe ever for this wonderful dish. Usually served sweet with toppings of fruit, sugar and cream, this savory Dutch Baby is a great light dinner or brunch dish. And perfect for those of us who observe Lent, although it may not score high in the sacrifice department. It takes 25 minutes of prep and another 25 while the oven does its job.
WHAT IS A DUTCH BABY?
Surprisingly, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Dutch. In fact, it’s pure Americana. A Seattle restaurant called Manca’s trademarked the name in 1942. The dish was inspired by the German Pfannkuchen. Candidly, Dutch Baby has nothing to do with the pancake Germans eat. (See what they look like here: https://www.recipesfromeurope.com/pfannkuchen/)The story goes that the child of the restauranteur in Seattle mispronounced “Deutsch” turning it into Dutch. The “Baby” came from the miniature pancakes that were also on Manca’s menu. Quite honestly, not a lot of this makes sense. Unlike a pancake, Dutch Babies are a cross between a soufflé and Yorkshire Pudding.
TIPS FOR MAKING TODAY’S DUTCH BABY RECIPE
Traditionally the dish is made in a cast-iron skillet. In a pinch, you can use any skillet that’s oven safe. However, this may not give you the “lift” you are looking for. Also essential to the rise of the dish, both the eggs and the milk should be at room temperature. Making the batter in a blender is the optimal way to do so. But no worries. The one shown here was made by whisking everything together by hand. If you’d like to, you can make the batter up to three days in advance. Stored in the refrigerator, you should bring the batter to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. And you should give it a whisk before using it.
HERE IS THE RECIPE AND SOME OTHER IDEAS FOR BRUNCH DISHES.
DUTCH BABY WITH MUSHROOMS, CHEESE, AND PEAS
This savory version of a Dutch Baby is as satisfying to make as it is simple.
- 1 lemon
- ⅔ cup or 2 7/8 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons or 2 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided
- 2 ounces Swiss cheese about 1/2 cup, grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups cut of sliced mushrooms --Baby Bellas, Portobellas or Shiitakes trimmed--about 12 ounces whole mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot from 1 medium 1 1/2 ounce shallot
- 1 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
- Flaky sea salt
- Step 1 Cut lemon lengthwise into 4 wedges. Remove and discard seeds. Set aside 1 lemon wedge for serving. Reserve the remaining wedges for another use.
- Step 2 Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Do not remove the skillet while the oven preheats
- Step 3 Whisk together flour, 3/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, milk, and mustard in a medium bowl until completely combined. Gradually whisk about half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking until smooth and free of lumps. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Step 4 Carefully remove the hot skillet from preheated oven. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet, and swirl to coat. Working quickly, pour batter into the skillet. Sprinkle with cheese, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around the edges. Bake in preheated oven until puffed and brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Step 5 Meanwhile, heat oil in a 10-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, over high until the oil just begins to smoke. Add mushrooms and stir to coat in oil. Cook, undisturbed, until the bottom side, is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the mixture, and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender and browned all over in about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallot and remaining 2 tablespoons butter
- Step 6 Cook, stirring constantly until butter is melted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Let cool for 3 minutes. Stir in peas.
- Step 7 Remove the Dutch Baby from the oven. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the crater in the center. Squeeze reserved lemon wedge over mushroom mixture
- Step 8 Garnish with flaky sea salt and serve immediately.
Juniper-Cured Gravlax from Trine Hahnemann’s “Scandinavian Comfort Food”