Welcome to week two of our RV Culinary Improv Challenge. This week’s recipe? A Dutch Baby Pancake!
Each week I take three random ingredients readers submitted and turn them into a delicious recipe that’s small-space cooking friendly. If you have suggestions for future columns, please submit them here or in the form below.
This week’s suggestion comes from Judith P., who threw me a softball. And that’s OK. I appreciate softballs. Plus you will too, especially if you have never made a Dutch Baby Pancake before.
That is immediately what came to mind for me when Judith gave me these three random ingredients:
- Sugar (I am assuming she means granulated)
- Vanilla (I am assuming she means extract)
A Dutch Baby Pancake is one of the easiest recipes ever to make. But, everyone oohs and ahhs over their spectacular presentation coming out of the oven as if you slaved for hours or as if you were a five-star chef.
These baked pancakes are similar to popovers. IF you made your popovers as one giant one instead of lots of muffin-sized ones. Like popovers, Dutch Baby Pancakes also deflate fast, so make sure everyone gets a look at it coming out of the oven.
Inflated or deflated, Dutch Baby Pancakes are still delicious. Slice into wedges and serve. Oh, and as a side note, some people know these as “German Pancakes.”
How to cook a Dutch Baby Pancake
You will need an oven-proof skillet. Cast iron skillets, which I know from our reader survey of RV kitchen essentials most of you carry, work perfectly. You can also use a nonstick skillet IF it has a handle that is safe to put in the oven.
Dutch Baby Pancakes options and variations
A sprinkle of fresh lemon juice and a hefty dusting of powdered sugar is traditional for Dutch Baby Pancakes. For this version, use the juice of 1/2 lemon and about 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
However, I assumed when Judith gave me the ingredient of sugar, she meant granulated sugar. You could use granulated sugar with lemon juice and I am sure it would still taste great. However in the recipe below, I changed it up and used cinnamon-infused sugar instead, and it was also delicious.
Another variation is to add fruit, like blueberries or diced apples, to the batter for a fruit-filled baked pancake. About 1/3 cup of small fruit pieces will work.
Instead of putting fruit IN the batter, you can also top the baked pancake with fresh fruit, such as berries, and add a dollop of whipped cream to each portion for a quick-to-make dessert.
This versatile recipe can even be made savory by stirring in things like diced ham or bacon bits, green onions, peppers, etc.
Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe
Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Put a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an oven-safe nonstick skillet into the oven and heat for at least 10 minutes.
- If you have a blender, this batter comes together in seconds. Otherwise, a whisk will do the job in a minute or two. Blend or whisk together eggs, flour, milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt and vanilla extract until well blended.
- Open the oven door and drop the butter into the preheated skillet. Close the door and let the butter completely melt, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the hot skillet from the oven, tilt it around to spread the butter in the bottom of the pan, and pour the batter into the buttered skillet. Carefully place the skillet back into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, cut into wedges, and serve.
Please submit three random ingredients to Cheri and see what she makes with them! Use the form below. It will be fun!
Previously in Cheri’s Improv RV Recipe Challenge:
Make these Dutch Baby (puffy pancakes) often..have for years. My family likes them with apple pie filling, but dusting with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon is also very good. I was confused by the 3 ingredients title…wondered..”where’s the liquid”. I’ll be sending over some of our favorites now that I know it’s 3 plus!
Yes the 3 ingredients are what I must use. I am assuming for this column that you have a reasonably well stocked RV pantry.