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Dutch Baby Pancakes

By Marion Tucker-Honeycutt | Nov 01, 2017

So OK. This is the time of year I concede that winter is coming, ready or not, and the only way around it is straight through it.

So I mentally list all the benefits of a Maine winter and try to concentrate on those. Starting with the friendliest of heat, the wood stove, through snowshoeing in the white, hushed new world of the forest after a snowstorm to Dutch Baby pancakes.

When the weather gets serious about winter, I start with Dutch Baby pancakes. (I have a theory where the Dutch got the idea for these. I'll tell you later on down.)

To make this scrumptious breakfast, the first and most essential "ingredient" you'll need is cast iron pans. They hold the heat during the whole process, which is crucial. (I have a nest of cast iron skillets of different sizes. I remember Grammie Tucker's hanging on the "cook room" wall above the "side board." I use them for just about all my cooking. Some things can’t be improved on.)

By using them, you also get your needed iron. I especially love them for making Dutch Baby pancakes but I use my very old Yorkshire Pudding batter, which is very similar. First off, set oven to 425 for second part of making. In cast iron skillet, I saute thin slices of apple until just a bit soft, and lots of half coconut oil with half organic ghee or butter (at least 3 Tbs. of each).

Then turn up heat to get the oil "spitting hot." Pour in batter and transfer to oven for about 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 to see if it's puffed way up and golden brown. Tip: Make batter ahead (recipe below), with room-temp eggs and whole milk or light cream and let it set for an hour to do its thing. (I got my Yorkshire Pudding recipe from a late friend, born in 1896 in England. It was her grandmother's, so goes back to at least the mid 1800s.) You can use any fruit, or none.

Serve drizzled with choices of melted butter, lemon juice, hot maple syrup (I always heat my maple syrup so's it doesn't take the heat out of the pancake) or what ever floats your boat. For example, I like Maine wild blueberries on top with either maple syrup or whipped cream.

For the original use of Yorkshire Pudding, you use it with roast beef. Another "secret." Roast your beef in a cast iron pan, if possible. After taking roast out, turn up oven to get fat "spitting" then pour in batter and bake. I use cast iron muffin pans in which I put some of the roast drippings and add a bit of butter or coconut oil to each muffin "cup" — put in oven to get spitting hot, then add batter and pop in oven for 15-18 minutes. This makes for even individual servings.

My suspicion of where the Dutch got the idea for these "pancakes." When the English group, who would later become the Mayflower Pilgrims, fled to Holland for freedom in 1608, they took with them their traditional recipes. I'm thinking Yorkshire Pudding was one. They lived in Holland for 12 years, during which they absorbed and shared traditions. Then down through the centuries, in Europe, the Holland (Dutch/German) Yorkshire Pudding became known as "Dutch Baby" or "German Pancakes."

Yorkshire Pudding Batter

1 cup milk (I use whole organic with a dash of cream and I double the recipe)

1 cup flour

3 good size eggs

Remember: Room temperature. That's a 'secret' for all baking.

Then there's another of my favorite "winter things": the New England Boiled Dinner. Or stewed chicken 'n dumplings.

Bring it on, winter.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.

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