Thursday, 18 July 2013
I've eaten a puffed pancake for breakfast every day for the last three days.
So how about apricots roasted till soft with brown sugar and a dab of vanilla alongside a spoon of crème fraîche and a dusting of icing sugar?
Or raspberries soaked in a few glugs of dark maple syrup with a spoon of crème fraîche?
Or maybe some lemon juice and caster sugar, the classic combination?
I had my first taste of a puffed pancake in San Francisco last year. They were part of the breakfasts at a B&B we stayed in - sizzling hot and brilliant.
The moment we settled down in our rented house in Berkeley, I set to work, tweaking the ratios time and time again until I hit on one that really worked.
Yet I didn't share. It's not like me to clutch a recipe to my chest, but I did. Maybe it's because I also use it to make yorkshires and toad in the hole, things I'd always loved but never perfected before.
Mum and I both make it all the time in its various guises and (I know this is tempting fate) but it's never failed, always turning out excellent results.
(As a rare savoury aside, our toad in the hole: heat the oven to 200C/390F, get a small roasting pan and add four chunky, high quality pork sausages and 2/3 of a red onion (cut into thick slices), along with a good drizzle of olive oil. Roast for ten minutes or so. Make a two person batter as below, adding plenty of salt and pepper and a small handful of chopped herbs. Quickly pour around the sausages while the pan is still in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked and the batter is puffy and bronzed all over but not totally dried out. Serve immediately with some greens.)
The only thing to watch out for is overcooking. I served a toad in the hole to Stephanie when she was visiting that I'd overcooked by mistake (and a touch of cooking-for-a-food-blogger nerves) - it's really not as good with papery sides or without a slightly squishy, almost custardy bit at the bottom.
I always make puffed pancakes in a cast iron skillet but you could use a small roasting tray or a cake tin that doesn't have a removable bottom if you don't have one.
So here go you. Something so good I nearly didn't share.
Dutch Baby a.k.a. Puffed Pancake
For one, in a 6" skillet:
35g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 large egg
a lump of unsalted butter, about 8g or 1 1/2 tsp
optional: 1/2 tsp sugar
For two, in a 10" skillet:
70g plain flour
2 pinches of salt
2 large eggs
a lump of unsalted butter, about 15g or 3 tsp
optional: 1 tsp sugar
Place your skillet in the oven, then turn the oven on to 210C/410F. Place the flour, salt and sugar (if using) into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the egg and whisk until you have a smooth, glossy paste. Add the milk in three goes, whisking until smooth in between each splash. Transfer to a jug for easy pouring (I usually weigh my milk out in the jug then re-use it).
When the oven has come up to temperature, dart in and add the butter to the skillet in the oven and close the door. Wait one or two minutes until the butter has melted and heated up, then swiftly open the door, pour the mixture into the skillet in the oven and close the door. Don't worry about scraping the jug out, it's better to be quick.
Bake for 20-23 minutes for the small skillet and 22-25 minutes for the large. Serve immediately with whatever toppings you've chosen.
(Serves one or two)
Three more breakfast recipes:
Seville Orange Marmalade
Brûléed French Toast