I’ve never considered myself much of a baker, and it’s likely for all the reasons everyone else who has made that statement has offered: It’s too precise, there’s no rooms for error, et cetera, et cetera. I do however have an addendum to this statement in the form of muffins and Dutch babies. Both fall into the “quick and hot” category, meaning they come together quickly, bake just as fast, and you can eat them hot out of the oven. If I’m baking, this is what I want.
Dutch babies, the German-style baked puffed pancakes, walk the line between pancake and popover, which means they are light and airy and the perfect vehicle for toppings like lemon juice and powdered sugar or stewed fruit. But the absolute best thing about Dutch babies is the batter—you whip it up in the blender and pour it into buttered ramekins.
Blend and pour is the sophisticated answer to dump and stir.
Pull these Dutch babies out of the oven and head straight to the table so the drama of their puffed-up height has a moment or two to show off.
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 tsp. melted butter, divided
- lemon juice
- powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Divide the melted butter among four 4-ounce ramekins set on a baking sheet, or melt 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch oven-going skillet. Spread the melted butter around the inside of the ramekins or skillet to coat.
In a blender container add flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt, and blend until combined, scraping down sides to ensure all the flour is incorporated. The batter will be loose.
Divide batter among ramekins or pour into skillet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until nicely puffed and browned.
Remove from the oven. Drizzle a little fresh lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar. If made in a skillet, cut into for wedges, transfer to plates, garnish as desired and serve immediately.