Dutch Baby Pancake - 238/365
Where have I been all my life? Why did I never know about Dutch Baby Pancakes? Apparently, they were all the rage in 1977 when they hit the cover of Sunset magazine. I was a mere 10-year old girl then, whose idea of fun was to turn her pajamas into a business suit and play CEO of Big Corporation. Naturally, my big brother TravelMarx was the secretary. I sure liked being a boss. Obviously, I did not see becoming Martha Stewart's biggest fan in my future--at all. But here I am, some, 30-something years later, a full-time homemaker whose idea of fun while her husband is on a business trip, is playing Betty Crocker in my kitchen. Sure, Lyme disease had a bit to do with it, but I'm enjoying the role anyway.
I have no idea how I stumbled upon Dutch Baby Pancakes. Though I'm the main chef in our household, Mr. Wild Dingo is typically the breakfast king. Sure, over the years I learned to cook bacon and eggs in a variety of ways but he's out-paced me with Gluten Free pancakes, Mexican eggs, various forms of breakfast sandwiches, the accidental blueberry crepecake, and of course his now famous galette. That galette has been the most requested item in our house.
Still for whatever reason, I was researching various forms of crepes and galattes when I came across the Dutch Baby Pancake. It's actually not Dutch in origin but German, thought to be inspired by the German apfelpfannkuchen, or apple pancake. It's history traces to the early 1900's when Victor Manca, owner of Seattle restaurant Manca's cafe introduced the dish. Some think one of Manca's daughters could not pronounce the word "Deutsch" so the name Dutch Pancake was coined.
The Dutch Baby Pancake is like a cross between a custard and a crepe. Made with eggs, flour and milk and baked in a 9-inch oven-proof skillet, it billows when baking in the oven and falls to a crater shape once removed. Traditionally, it's topped with butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice or zest but there are a myriad of topping variations including berries, apples, honey, caramel or cream.
Manca’s Cafe closed in the 1950s, but the recipe was widely published in cookbooks and magazines like Sunset.
Dutch Baby Pancake fresh out of the oven.
There are a variety of recipes online. Some add more or fewer eggs or more or less flour or sugar. You get the idea. I tend to have a lot of faith in Marth Stewart's recipes so I followed hers. I added my own toping of fresh, in-season, California Blackberries. Since Mr. Wild Dingo is on travel, I could have easily wolfed down the entire pan. I'm pretty sure there would have been some serious Siberian retributions. So the dog's each got a healthy slice and I shared a slice with the painter who's been painting our Pergola and balusters.
Feel free to top with a variety of fruit, honey, caramel or fresh cream. It makes a lovely dessert as well.