Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pancakes Two Ways- The Perfect Everyday Pancake and the Dutch Baby with Spiced Peaches

Things I need more of in my life...

Days at the beach...


Warm, sunny afternoons with my boys playing happily and quietly...


Over the summer and on the weekends, I have a hard time not making pancakes every morning that's how much I love them.  And my boys would happily oblige my need for fluffy, warm, buttery pancakes.  Am I drooling?

I have been using the same pancake recipe for years.  It's from a book that I bought off the clearance rack at a wine shop.  Random, right?  The first time I made them, I knew I would never make pancakes using another recipe again.  They are dead simple, perfectly fluffy, just a tiny bit sweet, and just a tiny bit buttery.  I eat them right off the griddle, no syrup, no extra butter, right out of my happy little fingers.  You must have this recipe.
Perfect Everyday Pancakes
From pancakes & waffles, by Kate Habershon

1 1/2 cups flour                                                                     
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbs sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs
4 tbs butter, melted and cooled

Mix the milk and eggs in a large bowl.  Add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and stir gently until the batter just comes together.  Stir in the melted butter.  Spoon a few tablespoons for each pancake on a buttered griddle, flipping when bubbles appear on the surface and the bottom is golden.
Sometimes, however, the occasion calls for a bit of a fancier breakfast or just something a little different.  Maybe you have guests for the weekend.  Maybe your kids will begin throwing pancakes at you if you make another one.  On occasions like this, I break out the Dutch Baby.  I even woke up early one morning at the home of a friend I was staying with and made it for my hostess and her little girls.  It was a hit with big and little alike.  More like a popover than a pancake, it's easier than making pancakes because you don't have to stand over the stove flipping forever.  You mix, bake, and enjoy.

Dutch Baby Pancake with Spiced Peaches
Adapted from One Perfect Bite

1/2 cup flour
1 tbs sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbs melted butter
3 ripe peaches
1 tbs butter
1 tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
seeds from half a vanilla bean (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up.

The Dutch Baby as it comes out of the oven.  I let mine get a little too dark- yikes!!
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.  In another bowl, beat the eggs then add the milk.  Stir in the flour mixture until just mixed, then add the melted butter.  When the skillet in hot and the oven is at 450, take the skillet from the oven carefully and swirl 1 tbs butter around in the pan.  Add the pancake batter and place the skillet back in the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Do not open the door until it is finished or it will deflate.  Part of the fun of this pancake is that it puffs up beautifully in the oven.  Mine turned out a bit dark, please forgive me.  Yours will be prettier, I'm sure.

While the pancake is in the oven, prepare the peaches.  Peel, core and slice the peaches.  Heat a medium skillet over medium and melt the remaining tbs of butter.  When the butter is melted, add in the peaches, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar.  Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until the peaches are softened and caramelized.

When the pancake comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with a bit of sugar (about 1-2 tsp) and about 1 tsp lemon zest.  Top with the peaches, cut into wedges and serve.

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