What is a Dutch Baby?
A Dutch baby, also called a German pancake, is a baked breakfast dish that’s like a cross between a popover and a pancake. It’s traditionally baked in the oven in a cast iron skillet and puffs up very high as it cooks. It has a delightfully light, tender and eggy interior, similar to a popover, with crispy edges.
It’s perfect for Sunday brunch as it’s all made in one pan and can be served straight from the skillet.
The batter is extremely easy to make- simply throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend away. You can make many different types of Dutch babies, using various fruits and other ingredients. My Apple Dutch Baby features lovely fall apples that are baked into the batter for an extra boost of flavor and nutrients. I also make a delicious Pumpkin Spice Dutch Baby and a Blueberry Lemon Dutch Baby.
What Makes a Dutch Baby Rise?
The answer is- heat! There are no chemical leavening agents (like baking powder) in a Dutch baby. Rather, the batter rises from the blast of heat it gets in the oven. The gluten in the flour and protein in the eggs create a structure that traps steam in the Dutch baby, making it rise.
Heat is key here so it’s really important to make sure that your ingredients are room temperature or warmer. Leave your eggs out so that they can come to room temperature (or you can place them in a bowl of warm water to speed things up). And heat the milk slightly so that it is warm. If you use cold eggs and milk, your Dutch baby won’t get as much height.
Also, your skillet should be hot. In this Apple Dutch Baby, I cook the apples in a skillet on the stove first so that heats it up enough. If you’re making a different flavor Dutch baby that doesn’t involve sautéing fruit first, then you should heat the skillet in the oven for a bit before pouring the batter in.
How To serve this apple dutch baby
Apple Dutch Baby
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large apple, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup reduced-fat milk, warm
- 3/4 cup flour (I use a mixture of all purpose and white whole wheat flour)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar (optional)
- Maple syrup for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet (preferably cast-iron). When it is melted, add the apples, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Cook until apples start to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- While the apples cook, melt the remaining tablespoon butter in the microwave. Pour it into a blender along with the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Blend until smooth. Alternatively you can whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl until blended and light yellow. Then whisk in the flour, vanilla, salt, and sugar until smooth.
- Pour the batter over the apples in the skillet and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup, if desired. Serve immediately, as it will start to fall within minutes of being taken out of the oven.
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