Dutch babies are not only one of my favorite types of pancakes, but one of the most fun. The oven-baked pancakes are puffy and plate-sized, with a texture somewhere between a regular pancake and a popover. They are baked in heatproof skillets, rather than being cooked on a griddle, and are subject to myriad variations. Apple is one of the most popular additions to this type of pancake, but I decided to go a different way and make mine with pumpkin.
All I did was add in some cooked, mashed pumpkin (canned works well) to the regular dutch baby batter. As you might expect, it made the normally light pancake a bit heavier, but the change managed to work really well in this case because the custardy interior seemed rather like pumpkin pie. Unlike pumpkin pie, the dutch baby is not very sweet due to the lack of sugar in the recipe. This is intentional, as you’re supposed to top the pancake off with something sugary and sweet to finish it off and round out the flavor. I recommend either sweetened whipped cream or a generous amount of maple syrup. Or both, to take it really over the top.
The dutch baby is at its best when it’s hot and fresh from the oven. This way, the edges will still be slightly crisp and the center will be pefectly moist and tender. It’s a great way to start a cool, autumn morning.
Pumpkin Dutch Baby
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (nonfat, lowfat or otherwise)
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place ovenproof 6 or 8-inch frying pan (stainless steel or cast iron) in the oven to heat for about 5 minutes.
Whisk together eggs, flour, milk, sugar, salt, melted butter, pumpkin puree, spices and vanilla until smooth.
Remove pan from oven and spray with nonstick cooking spray (or quickly brush with some butter), then pour the batter into the hot pan and put it back in the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the Dutch baby is golden brown.
Slide from the pan onto a large plate and serve immediately with lots of maple syrup.
Notes: For a Dutch baby in a 10-inch skillet, double the recipe and cook for 20-25 minutes. Feel free to substitute pumpkin pie spice for the spice combination called for above.