It’s Dutch, Baby!

Having the day off from work (!) and glorious blue skies (as is the case nearly every day in Tel Aviv’s endless summer), I decided to wake up early anyway to catch some rays at the beach.  I went for a morning swim in the sea, drank my iced coffee out of a jar, and left the beach just as it was becoming uncomfortably hot.  This genius start to my day is exactly the kind that I like best.  Leisurely and delightful.

Once I’ve showered and shaken the sand from my bag I am usually good and hungry, at which point it is nearly impossible to figure out what to eat. This, my friends, is always the case: the hungrier you are the harder it is to decide what to eat. FACT. Somewhere in science there is evidence for this bold statement.  They’ve probably tested a million subjects, all hungry as hell, asking them what they want to eat, finding that they are incapable of answering with any solid conviction.  So, as I peered inside the fridge like it was my favorite tv show it was no wonder why I couldn’t decide what to do with myself.  First I knew I wanted an omelette, which quickly turned into scrambled eggs, then oatmeal, followed by french toast, which morphed faster than I could recognize into – you guessed it, Dutch Pancakes!!  Sweet and airy planes of dough captured by crispy crunchy edges of goodness. Fine. Problem solved.

I was excited to get cooking!  I’ve seen these guys in countless blogs and recipe posts and I’m pretty sure I even ate a few while in Amsterdam six or seven years ago.  But never had I made one.  This inspired breakfast choice coupled  with the bounty of stone fruit waiting in my fridge meant that I was setting myself up  for a fan-freaking-tastic breakfast, albeit not the healthiest.

When I think back to my former-self (and by ‘former-self’ I guess I mean the me before I started living in Israel) I can barely remember a time where I ever even ate a breakfast, unless you consider bloody mary’s and brunch ‘breakfast’.  I was such a typical New Yorker! Too busy for morning meals, I drank strong coffee on my way out the door and usually wound up starving and brain-dead before lunch even rolled around.  Nowadays my breakfast routine is so nice, so wholesome.  Most often it’s a simple sunny side up egg, a few cut up vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, a shmear of hummus and a spoonful or two of cottage cheese.   It’s a bright easy way to start the day. If I’m feeling like a change I will add some whole grains to the mix.

These sweet and unhealthy options just don’t usually appeal to me…until today.  Today I needed the decadence, to break the routine, to celebrate the great day, to shake things up a bit.

I think the next time I make these suckers I will try to experiment more with the batter.  I whisked everything together by hand – and I think the batter could benefit greatly from a whizzing in the Cuisinart or blender.   Perhaps this added aeration is what causes the batter to puff up once in the oven. Mine puffed a little and then quickly fell.  Which has little to do with how delicious the whole mess tasted – but I think the fun of this item is its playful pillow effect.

Dutch Pancakes (or Dutch Babies as they are often referred)

3 eggs
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t vanilla
pinch of salt
2/3 cup white flour
2/3 cup milk
couple tablespoons of butter to coat the pan
lemon and icing sugar for garnish

*fruit of your choice

Preheat your oven to 170 celsius with your oven proof cast iron or whatever skillet you have.  The point is to get the pan nice and hot.

Mix your eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt in a bowl or better yet in a machine of some sort.  Add your flour, stir to combine. Drizzle in your milk slowly.

When the oven has preheated, carefully take your pan and coat it with a nice amount of butter, swirling it around the pan to coat it.  Add batter (about 3/4 cup of batter) and carefully place back in the oven. Let back for 12 -15 minutes until it looks puffy and nicely golden browned on the edges. (like how you know when a pancake is ready)

Place your fruit in the middle, squeeze with fresh lemon juice and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.  DIG IN!

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