I have probably used this Dutch baby recipe every week since I first received a copy of Herbivoracious, fellow blogger Michael Natkin’s vegetarian cookbook, a few months ago. As T’s appreciation for food gradually extends beyond purees and other soft foods, I have amassed a range of breakfast recipes that appeal to both T and CH. Michael’s Dutch baby ticks a number of vital boxes for me. It’s delicious, it’s easy to prepare, it calls for simple ingredients, and it’s a great way for me to get my boys to eat some fruit. Apples, butter, sugar and cinnamon are a heavenly quartet. They are further elevated when tipped over a crisp yet tender pancake base that I can only liken to a gigantic Yorkshire pudding, and finished with a dusting of icing sugar and some freshly squeezed lemon juice (preferably from a Meyer lemon).
T gets a kick out of helping out with the whisking. And each time he sees the majestically risen sides of a Dutch baby inside our oven, his little mouth forms a wee ‘O’ as his eyes widen and he mouths a silent “wow”. It’s these moments that make the more challenging realities of parenthood worth it.
For T, I dice an additional apple (it’s just easier for him to eat) that I prepare pretty much following Michael’s recipe. I just cook it to T’s preferred doneness and try to use as little sugar as possible. Then, before we dust the assembled Dutch baby with icing sugar, I push some of the apple wedges aside, cut a slice out for T and top it with the diced apple. His portion doesn’t get finished with icing sugar and lemon juice.
Michael makes it easy to incorporate vegetarian meals into any household, even a non-vegetarian one. I like that many of his recipes are easily adapted so that I can serve one dish two ways in order to appeal to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dinner guests. And I think it’s wonderful that his book spans a range of cuisines. It makes it a handy and inspiring resource. But his breakfast chapter is my favourite. I can’t wait to try his crunchy crusted yeast-raised Belgian waffles, a variation of Marion Cunningham’s recipe save for the addition of rice flour for extra crunch.
Dutch baby with sautéed apples
Adapted from Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin. Michael recommends Cortland or Gala apples. I just use whatever I happen to have in the fridge which ranges from Gala to Rose and Fuji apples.
5 large eggs
300ml (1¼ cups) whole milk
180g (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour
115g (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
2-3 firm apples, peeled, cored and cut into 16 wedges each
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius (425° Fahrenheit) using the convection setting.
Whisk the eggs and milk into the flour and a pinch of salt, ensuring that there are no lumps. Alternatively, you can combine the eggs, milk, flour and salt in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute.
Put 85g of the butter into a well-seasoned 25-30cm (10-12inch) cast-iron skillet or other oven-safe pan. Put the skillet into the oven.
When the butter is melted, carefully pull the skillet out, swirl the butter around to ensure that the skillet is well coated. Pour in the batter and return the pan to the oven. Cook until puffed and golden brown, about 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. (I sometimes cover the pan with a lid to speed this up.) Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, and sauté until fully tender and glazed, about 2 minutes more.
When the Dutch baby is done, remove the skillet from the oven. Be careful, it will be very hot. Pat off excess butter on top with a paper towel. Top with the apples and a generous sprinkle of icing sugar.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately with sliced lemon on the side.