A Dutch Pancake is, as the name suggests, a type of pancake, but it is unique in that it is baked. Typically, a single one will serve at least four people for brunch, and is an excellent complement to eggs and coffee.
But the other day the Food page on Huffington Post suggested a twist on the pancake that seems intriguing: individual pancakes in mini cast-iron frying pans. The illustration was interesting, and I was led to look through the Internet to find what's out there. If you want one cast-iron mini-pan you can order them starting at around five dollars each.
However, if you would like a set of four, I saw them on eBay for about thirty dollars, which certainly isn't bad. But you don't have to sit around ordering online; according to advertisements you can get them at Target--Super Target on Oracle Road in Tucson comes to mind--or at Bed, Bath & Beyond. A slightly larger pan is available at Cost Plus World Market, which has two locations in Tucson, and it will probably work best with the recipe that I am passing on.
The recipe was envisioned to make two baby Dutch Pancakes, so if you use about a six-inch mini-pan it ought to work. I say that because the recipe also mentioned individual baking ramekins, so the actual dish you use isn't crucial. But I think that the mini-pans would look really good; the nicest one that I saw is marketed by Cooks Tools through some online outlets, and its split handle and streamlined shape give it some good looks. But here is the basic idea.
The recommended topping for Baby Dutch Pancakes is a fruit compote, and coincidentally the recipe on Huffington Post called for a Rhubarb Compote, and I couldn't agree more. You just take at least 3 cups of sliced rhubarb and combine it with an equal amount of sugar, add 1/2 cup of water and bring it to a slow boil. Leave it over the heat until it is soft and some of the water has evaporated, and you are done with that.
You can also use frozen sliced strawberries or other fruit, and thicken it up on the stove with a bit of cornstarch. That will make it possible for you to use any fruit you like. So once you have the fruit topping, here is the pancake.
DUTCH BABY PANCAKES FOR TWO
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup half-and-half or soy creamer
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Divide the butter between two 6-in cast-iron frying pans or small shallow ovenproof baking dishes. Melt the butter over low heat and swirl to coat the pans. Set the frying pans on a baking sheet/tray.
Combine the eggs, half-and-half, flour, and sugar in a blender or food processor and puree until silky and smooth, about the consistency of eggnog, about 1 minute. Pour the batter directly into the pool of butter in the frying pans and transfer the baking sheet/tray to the oven.
Bake until the pancakes are puffed about 3 inches above the rims of the pans and are golden brown on top, with a little pool of butter in the center, about 20 minutes.
Spoon the fruit compote over each and lightly dust them with confectioners' sugar.
This pancake can also be baked in an ovenproof round baking dish and cut into wedges for serving more than two people. You need not think of it as the main dish for breakfast or brunch if it is accompanied by eggs and/or meat.