big dutch baby with apples
Though beloved of diners and pancake chains everywhere, each and every big Dutch baby is always new and always interesting. It’s a kissing cousin of the delightfully named apfelpfannkuchen (which I think literally means apple pan cake, awesome) by way of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Yes, yes, okay. This Dutch baby is a big, puffed, gloriously sticky-sweet and rich thing, basically an enormous popover with its crisp edges and almost custardy center. Studded with caramel and tart apples, it’s an amazing breakfast that looks super-impressive while requiring a minimum of work. Prep the dry ingredients, the liquid ingredients, and the fruit (toss with the white sugar and spices to prevent browning) the night before, and all you need to do the next day is turn on the oven and hit a button on the blender.
Big Dutch Baby with Apples
Recipe adapted from a million places
You need about four medium apples, cored and sliced into 1/3”-1/4” slices, for one 12” cast-iron pan’s worth of Dutch Baby. Use tart-sweet varieties that cook nicely.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Melt a big knob - say 1/4 cup - of sweet butter in a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Swirl it over the bottom and sides of the pan, and then scatter 1/4 cup of brown sugar over it evenly. Spread out your apple slices on top of this proto caramel; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of white sugar and then with a healthy sprinkle of powdered ginger and a teaspoon of cinnamon. You can do this on the stovetop or in the heating oven while you prep the batter.
- 4 oz AP flour;
- 1/2 tsp salt; and
- a healthy pinch of ground nutmeg
together to combine.
In a blender or a food processor, whir
- 4 eggs;
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk; and
- a splash of vanilla
until the eggs are well and truly broken up. Add the dry ingredients and process for thirty seconds or so, until the batter is completely mixed and looking foamy. When you take the cover off to check it, air bubbles should rise from its depths every second or two.
(You can mix this by hand, too, just whisking hard for a couple solid minutes, but the machine will do the job more efficiently).
Your pan should be now be very hot and the sugar should be bubbling. Pour the batter carefully over the apples in the pan; it should sizzle at least a little as it hits.
Bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Don’t crack the oven door at all, or at least not in the first 15 minutes if you absolutely must. The cake will rise and swell mightily, straight up out of the pan. It’s done when the center is set—a little jiggle is acceptable—and the curling edges are a deep toasty brown. Call everyone to the table and make them sit down.
Pull the cake out of the oven and serve in wedges straight from the pan. It will fall as soon as you cut into it (or it cools a little, whichever comes first—see below), so work fast. Serve with powdered sugar and lemon wedges, maybe a side of bacon or sausage. Take a long walk later; come back and eat the leftovers.