30 October 2014

David Eyre's Dutch Baby Pancake

House guests visiting New York rarely want to stay at home to eat. This is a truth universally known: hosting in a city rich with every sort of food option you could ever and never ever thought you would think of, precludes eating at home. It is my one disappointment as a hostess. But then, I figure I shouldn't complain as there isn't much in way of expectation for me to actually prepare anything, which, on the few occasions when I do get a chance to cook for visiting family and friends, provides a welcome sense of lowered expectation that weighs in my favor.

Visitors aside, I do my best to use the occasional Sunday morning as a chance to pretend I have guests willing to be fed by me. Generally this amounts to Andy and me lazing around in a battle of wills about whose turn it is to go to the bagel shop. The bagel shop is 3 blocks away, or less than a 5 minute walk. Yes, we too like to take advantage of our city options.

If it's a bagel free morning, I'll cook something. When such blissful, conflict-free domesticity occurs, I'll frequently prepare David Eyre's Dutch Pancake. This, a pot of coffee, a side of bacon, perusing the New York Times Metropolitan section Sunday Routine column -- describing how "typical" New Yorkers spend their Sunday's -- while Andy watches the Premiere League provides the start to my own typical Sunday.

The pancake is just perfect in that it gives you that satisfaction that only pancakes can depart, with very little of the guilt or carbs. Maybe this is why the Dutch are so good looking and fit? Their pancake is thin, crispy, light and slightly eggy tasting at the same time. I also think of it as a relation of the Yorkshire pudding, or in the popover family. 
David Eyre's Dutch Baby Pancake
Adapted minimally from The New York Times
Serves 2

2 eggs
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Juice of half a lemon
handful of blueberries or blackberries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the flour, milk and nutmeg and lightly beat until blended. There may be slight lumps within the batter, don't worry.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet with a heatproof handle over medium-high heat or in the heated oven for 2-3 minutes. When very hot but not brown, pour in the batter. If using berries, sprinkle them over the batter at this stage and then return to oven. Bake until the pancake is puffy and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the sugar using a fine-meshed sieve. Squeeze with a wedge of lemon and serve with jam or maple syrup.

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