Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pancake or Death?

For breakfast on a lazy Thanksgiving morning, we had a Dutch Oven Pancake (also known as a Dutch Baby) with caramelized apples. I have very fond childhood memories of my mom cooking Dutch Oven Pancakes on special occasions; they were too unhealthy (all that butter! All those eggs!) to be an everyday breakfast.

Since Thanksgiving is, by definition, a holiday of excess, I decided Thanksgiving breakfast was the perfect time to indulge in a caloriffic treat.

Caramelized Apple Dutch Oven Pancake

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a 10-inch cast iron (or other oven-safe) skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples and 1/2 cup sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is evaporated and the apples caramelize--about 20 minutes. Turn the oven to 400 degrees.

While the apples are cooking, make the batter by whisking together the remaining 2 tbsp sugar, the milk, eggs, flour, and salt. Whisk until the mixture is smooth--it will be thin.

Once the apples are caramelized, add the vanilla to the apples, then pour the batter on top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until puffed and cooked in the center. If it is not cooked after 20 minutes, lower the heat to 350 and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Serves 4 normal adults or 2 piggy adults. (Ahem)

To serve, invert the pancake onto a serving platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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