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Bob's Dutch Baby

If you have ever had a great big puffy skillet full of apple oven pancake, this is similar. Since the apples are not baked into it, the whole thing comes out crisper. For the fruit, you can change with the seasons: Use strawberries (green leaves removed) in early spring, blackberries and raspberries in early summer, peaches and nectarines (peeled and pitted) in mid-summer, and apples and pears (peeled and cored) in fall and winter. (Citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit are really too juicy to use.) For an over-the-top experience, dollop some lightly sweetened whipped cream (or not-so-over-the-top yogurt) on the fruit before sprinkling with sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups fruit (see note above)
  • A little powdered sugar
  • Syrup (such as maple or blueberry, but any syrup will do)

Directions:

Do this first
Oven: Adjust the rack to the upper third of the oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F.

Fruit: Cut the fruit (except small berries) into small pieces about 1/2 inch.

Syrup: Warm the syrup over low heat or in a microwave at 50% power for 1 minute just before serving.

Melt the butter
Put the butter in a very large (12-inch) skillet with an ovenproof handle. Set in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the butter completely (okay if it begins to brown).

Make the batter
While the butter melts, measure the flour into a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk and salt. Beat until smooth, using a whisk, large spoon or handheld electric mixer.

Bake and serve
Pour the batter into the hot pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sides are puffed up and dark golden brown. Remove from the oven. Loosen the Dutch baby from the sides and bottom of the skillet, then slide it onto a serving plate. Pile the fruit in the center and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges. Pass the warm syrup to pour on top. Serves 4 to 5.

Adapted from Rick & Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures, by Rick Bayless & Lanie Bayless, with Deann Groen Bayless (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2004).