by Debra on July 22, 2010

Musical pairing – Easy by Commodores

Twitter is full of comments about life being crazy busy right now and I must confess, I find myself in the same boat.  Where are the lazy days of summer that songwriters wax poetic about ‘cuz they sure ain’t hangin’ around here – we are running from one forest fire to the next!  Who has time to make a proper breakfast?

We do and so do you – and I’m not talking about a bowl of cold cereal or peanut butter toast, although those are just fine.  But sometimes I want to treat myself and The Professor to something a bit more special and turns out this Dutch Baby is perfect – whisk a few ingredients together, pour into a hot pie plate and 20 minutes later and you have one big glorious pancake!

Did you know that I’ve read about Dutch Babies for years but until a couple of months ago, had never made one?  And did you know that the Dutch Baby originated in Seattle (where I was born!) And did you know that one restaurant held the patent on the name, ‘Dutch Baby’ until the mid-1950s when the restaurant closed?  Manca’s Cafe was open from the early 1900s to the mid-1950s where the Dutch baby was served for .90 cents – add a side of bacon for a total of $1.00.

Dutch Babies find their way onto the breakfast table at least once a week here at Smith Bites, as is evident by the pictures in this post (blueberry one week, mixed berries another).  But please don’t wait as long as I did to make a Dutch Baby or you will miss out on one of breakfast’s treasures; no requirement to watch a griddle or flip little cakes – the oven does all the work while you get all the breakfast glory!  And if you’re looking for a special Sunday morning or brunch recipe – this one’s pretty easy – grab a cup of coffee, the crossword and enjoy!

Slightly Adapted from Food & Wine.com

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2-3 Tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of fruit
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of nutmeg OR cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups fresh berries (I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)**
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 425° and melt butter in a 10-inch glass pie plate or cast-iron skillet in the oven. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the finely grated lemon zest, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg OR cinnamon and salt until combined. Add the flour and milk and whisk until smooth. Fold in berries and pour into hot dish (or skillet if using) and bake 20-25 minutes until puffed and the edges are crisp.

2. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges and serve immediately – the Dutch Baby will fall immediately out of the oven so don’t be alarmed!

**SMITH BITES NOTE: Feel free to use any mix of fresh berries in season; or in the Fall, chunks of caramelized apples or pears also work well – and in the dead of winter when I need a little ‘happy,’ I’ll be using frozen blueberries!

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