Sunday Brunch: German Pancake

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What’s better than a nice puffy pancake on a cold Sunday morning?

Nothing. That’s what.

I don’t remember exactly how the dutch pancake was introduced to our family, but I remember that I was young, and it involved a lot of melted butter, powdered sugar, and a 9×13 cake pan full of delicious.The huge, browned air bubbles were the best part.  The family would grab at it from around the table and despite the huge breakfast dish served before us (did I mention mom made it in a 9-BY-13 pan!?), there was never once a single bit left over.

Not even a bite.

Back then mom called it a “German” pancake, but since then I’ve also heard it called a “dutch baby” or “dutch pancake” as well.  I’m not sure which is correct.  I suppose you can call it whatever you like, after all, “A rose by any other name…” right?

Something like that.

I’ve made mine a bit fancier than mom’s by cooking and serving it in a pretty skillet and sprinkling it with fresh berries.  I’d love to say that it’s my favorite skillet because it cooks the best, or has some sort of magical powers of deliciousness, but really it’s just because it’s purple (what more reason do I need?)

Oh, and I give it a nice, healthy drizzle of my favorite top-secret 2-minute-berry-syrup… which will no longer be a secret by the end of this post (Lucky you).

I usually give it a dusting of powdered sugar too, but I had already made enough of a mess that morning and I didn’t want to tempt fate by carting out the powdered sugar.

sugar

Yes, that is my entire container of sugar that exploded onto the floor, in hopes of attracting every bug within a 10-mile radius.  Yes, I was annoyed.  Usually this would be the part where I would decide it “wasn’t meant to be” and call it a day.

But I didn’t.  I trudged on.

Only to be defeated yet again when I put the pancake in the oven and thought, “Hm, that’s not really poofing much…”

And then I realized I forgot the milk, which is basically half of the batter.  HALF OF THE BATTER!  The batter that is basically only 3 ingredients, and I forgot one.

Clearly, I was having one of “those” days.  How do I mess up the easiest recipe known to man?  Who knows, but after I cleaned up my sugary mess, threw my disgrace of a “pancake” into the disposal, and debated giving up on life a second time… I went full speed ahead for round two… and succeeded.

The “pancake” itself is rather neutral in flavor, I sweetened it just a bit with a dash of vanilla and a bit of sugar, but you can add whatever you like.  Though I serve mine with berries, mom always served it with  a stick-or-two “drizzle” of melted butter and powdered sugar.

No judgment.

This is the perfect recipe for your next breakfast or brunch, or a day when you have the house all to yourself and want to make something fast, then eat it just as quickly and pretend it never existed, leaving only a blog post as evidence.

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Did I mention I made this on a day when the only person in the house to eat it was me, myself, and I?

Oops…

To be fair, I think I earned it after all that work.

German Pancake

[ Printable Recipe ]

For the Pancake:

  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cups flour
  • ⅔ cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

2-minute Berry Syrup:

  • 1 cup berries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • splash of lemon juice

For the pancake:

1. Put two tablespoons of butter in an oven-proof skillet and put it in the oven while it preheats to 400 degrees F

2. Put eggs in a blender and process on low until pale yellow in color. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.

3. Carefully pour the batter into the hot pan and return to the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking another 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.

For the “syrup”

1. Measure one cup of berries into a two-cup measuring cup or a bowl and toss with the powdered sugar.  If using fresh berries add about a tablespoon of water.

2. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes until the berries are popped and the liquid has leaked out.  (Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t bubble over the container).  Stir and allow to cool slightly before using.

* To make in a 9-x-13 pan, double the recipe

pesto pasta

pesto pasta
I never realized how often I make pasta until I saw the number of pasta recipes in queue for this site. I don’t feel like we eat pasta that much, I don’t even particularly like pasta. It must just be that it’s so easy to just boil some water and throw a sauce together after 8 hours of work, 2 hours of commuting, and an hour of gym time. When all I want to do is just go home and crash, apparently pasta is my go-to dish.

One type of pasta that I started making often just involves sauteing some fresh veggies, adding a bit of butter, a splash of cream, and a bit of garlic then tossing it with the pasta. On the off-chance that I have a bit of pesto lying around – even better. Add a tablespoon or two of pesto and voila – delicious creamy pesto pasta.

This dish has all the nutrition of fresh veggies mixed with the bright flavor of basil pesto, all rounded out with a dash of cream. Just a dash – not so much to make you feel guilty but just enough to turn it saucy. Of course, if you’ve been good all week – add as much cream as you like :) If you’re the type who feels guilty (like yours truly), just a splash of cream and a bit of starchy pasta water will do.

Creamy Pesto Pasta

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • Pasta (enough for 2 -3 people)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons pesto (fresh is better, but store-bought will do)
  • Splash of heavy cream
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter

1. Cook & drain pasta, set aside in a bowl. Reserve a bit of the cooking water.

2. Saute onions in a drizzle of olive oil until translucent, add chicken and heat through. Add tomatoes and garlic, stirring constantly until heated through. (Make sure not to burn your garlic) Transfer to bowl with cooked pasta.

3. Melt butter in pan, stir in pesto, chicken stock, and a splash of heavy cream. Let simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened (a few minutes). Add pasta, chicken (if using), and veggies and toss to coat. If you need more sauce, add some reserved pasta water or cream and continue to toss until sauce completely covers the pasta. Taste and adjust seasoning (lots of cream means you will probably need to add more salt).