Many years ago, when my sister and I both ended up living in Northern California, our mother decided that her progeny were not properly taken care of for Thanksgiving way out there on the Left Coast. She sweet-talked her friend Nancy, who had a house in Napa Valley, to invite us up for Thanksgiving dinner. We did not need to be asked twice. The meal and scenery were incredible, but what has lasted with me all these years is Nancy’s “easy oven pancake”, which many would call a Dutch Baby. It is much easier than making individual pancakes, and is perfect comfort food in the morning, especially with some thick-cut bacon on the side!
Lately, I’ve taken to adding fresh fruit to the dish (the top picture has blueberries thrown in) and have been quite happy with the results. Warning: it takes no time to make, but it gets devoured even faster!
Nancy’s Easy Oven Pancake
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup flour
Preheat oven to 400F.
Whisk the milk, sugar, salt, flour and eggs together in a bowl.
In a round/oval baking dish or large cast iron pan, melt the butter (or pour in already melted butter), and then pour in the mixture. Note: I find a porcelain baking dish to be a bit easier to clean with this recipe, but cast iron will work perfectly well.
Bake at 400F for 30 to 40 minutes. Slice and serve with good maple syrup, or if you prefer, powdered sugar. It will puff up beautifully, but expect it to deflate as it cools (this does not affect the flavor, just looks less dramatic).
1. Scatter blueberries or other kinds of fresh fruit around just before placing in the oven.
2. I also made the above version with peeled, thinly sliced pear, and placed the fruit on top after the dish had been in the oven for about 10 minutes, which is why you see that it didn’t puff up around the pear quite as much as with the blueberry version at the top. With the pear, I do not think it needs maple syrup, although try telling that to a 4 year old!
7 thoughts on “Breakfast Comfort Food: Easy Oven Pancake, or Dutch Baby”
It sounds so cruel to be eating dutch babies but they’re so tender and good! I think the world should know that a quarter of that pear pancake ended up in my tummy. And it made my tummy really happy. Thanks Giff. It was the perfect week-end with the perfect food!
I have recently become a huge fan of the Dutch Baby, and even made a savory version a while back. I was just thinking the other day about a Pear Dutch Baby – glad to see it works so well, and that you’ve had successs with various types of fruit. I am going to give the pear version a try.
I’ve been in a very “breakfasty” sort of mood lately so these look particularly appealing to me right now. I will definitely have to try this in place of our usual pancakes.
I like making these with whatever fruit is in season. I’ve put the fruit in at the bottom in the melted butter, but have begun doing as you also suggest, adding it on top. It was always sticking to my cast iron pan.
I used to make dutch babies all the time as a teen. My recipe was just called Big Pancake. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the term dutch baby. I’m very fond of them because they’re so much less fuss than regular pancakes.
Nutmeg is awesome in these. Seriously. You have to try it with nutmeg.
I will definitely try it with nutmeg, thanks Rachel 🙂
This is a favorite light dinner at our house. They are also great with a little sour cream and warm fruit compote.
Someone mentioned a savory version. Mmm! Maybe a little chopped ham or bacon and a sprinkle of cheese and sauteed onion?
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