Just the name of this Dutch Baby takes me on a journey . . . it takes me back to the little house on Ankeny Street . . . and for some reason memories of my Grandma and Grandpa on my dad’s side come flooding back. Grandpa used to sing to me when I was a child. . . we would sit in his big, off-white leather recliner and he would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to me . . . he had a familiar smirk like that of my father . . . and he smoked a pipe with cherry tobacco . . . to this day, my nose gets a whiff of cherry tobacco and I am instantly transported back to Walla Walla, my grandparents’ home and that big leather chair . . .
Grandpa had other songs he’d sing as well . . . pretty sure those were made up because there was one song he’d start to sing about a horse . . . he’d always get to a certain spot when suddenly . . . Grandma would say, ‘GRANDPA!!’ . . . he’d get that twinkle in his eye and say, ‘What? . . .’ and would move on to another song. I didn’t learn until years later that Grandpa was actually singing songs that contained the word ‘fart’ or they might have been about some ‘lady of the evening’ . . . Grandma felt they were inappropriate for us kids to hear . . . kids are like parrots, yes?
‘Oh My Darling Clementine’ was another song from my childhood that takes me back to the little house on Ankeny Street and Saturday morning cartoons . . . Back in the day, Quick Draw McGraw and Huckleberry Hound were rarely missed on Saturday mornings; I think these were two of my favorites because they both had Southern accents which, for some reason, intrigued me or it could have been because both were animals, one a horse, the other a hound dog. One of Huck’s trademarks was his off-key singing of ‘Oh My Darlin’ Clementine’ . . . off-key because, according to Wikipedia, he was tone deaf . . . I can still hear him . . .
Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine
In doing a little research it’s unclear as to whether the song is about a bereaved lover singing about his darling, the daughter of a miner lost in a drowning accident during the 1849 California Gold rush; he consoles himself towards the end of the song with Clementine’s “little sister”. The verse about the little sister was usually left out of books intended for children, presumably because it seemed a bit scandalous . . . other theories say the song was written from the view of Clementine’s father, and not a lover . . .
I’m kinda partial to the scandalous version myself . . .
Regardless of which version of the story you care to believe, I encourage you to give this Dutch Baby a try; citrus is in season at the moment, making this a perfect recipe to try on a gray and gloomy winter day. I’ve started with this recipe, added an oh-so-decadent sauce based on this recipe but have upped the ante with the addition of orange bitters giving the clementine flavor a little ‘sumpthin’-sumpthin’ . . . perfect for a leisurely weekend breakfast or brunch, the dish comes together in less that 30 minutes from start to finish . . . I think it makes terrific dessert as well . . .
And you really must sing the song while eating . . . at the very least, hum . . . it adds to the experience . . .
OH MY DARLIN’ CLEMENTINE DUTCH BABY
FOR THE DUTCH BABY:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated Clementine zest
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Angostura Orange Bitters (Grand Marnier or Cointreau work well too)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup AP flour (to make this gluten-free, simply use your favorite GF flour mix – everything else is the same)
- 1/2 cup milk
FOR THE SAUCE:
Ever so slightly adapted from Melissa Clark for Gilt Taste
- 3/4 cup Clementine juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon finely grated Clementine zest
- 1 teaspoon Angostura Orange Bitters
- 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, rub zest and sugar together with your fingertips, releasing the citrus oils into the sugar (great tip from Dorie Greenspan!)
- Add eggs and orange bitters and whisk until combined
- Add the flour and milk and whisk until smooth (a few small lumps is fine)
- Bake 20-25 minutes until puffed and the edges are crisp
TO MAKE THE SAUCE: (NOTE: if you make the sauce while the Dutch Baby is cooking, everything will be ready at the same time)
- Add zest and orange bitters to cream and set aside
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the Clementine juice and sugar
- Bring to a simmer; cook until reduced by half (approximately 5-7 minutes)
- Whisk in the heavy cream; cook until slightly thickened (approximately 2-3 minutes)
- Spoon warm sauce over slices of Dutch Baby and serve immediately