caramelized apple dutch baby pancakes

March 7th, 2011

Ok, I just have to start by saying, whoa. Why have I not made a dutch baby pancake until this weekend?! Do you know what a dutch baby is? Sometimes they’re called German pancakes, or Bismarks, but basically they’re a giant puffy, slightly less sweet pancake that’s baked in the oven rather than fried. As it’s cooking in the oven, the edges begin to puff up a grow over the pan, with the center following. I decided to take it up a notch by adding caramelized apples to the mix. Yeah, that was a great idea… maybe the best one I had all weekend.

When I was thinking about the caramelized apples, I decided I wanted them to be thinly sliced rounds that I could line the pan with, then hopefully add more as topping. So of course I carefully sliced two apples, trying to keep the slices uniform, only semi-succeeding. Next I melted some butter in large skillet, then I added some brown sugar and let it meld with the butter. When I had a lovely brown sauce, I placed the apple slices in the sauce and let it simmer. Pretty soon the apples were releasing moisture and I stirred the apples a bit, making sure all of them got covered in the sauce and were starting to soften. About 15 minutes later, I had a pan full of beautifully golden apple slices swimming in a fragrant, sweet sauce that would be a perfect substitute for maple syrup. I folded in a little cinnamon and ground cloves, turned down the heat and started working on my dutch baby.

The dutch baby pancake is easy. Like, majorly easy. Perhaps the hardest part is remembering to heat your skillet in the oven as you mix the other ingredients together. It’s just a bunch of mixing flour together, adding milk and eggs and a little lemon zest and shazam. You’re ready. I pulled my cast iron skillet out of the oven, lined the bottom of the pan with some of my apples, poured the batter over top and popped it back in the oven.

About 20 minutes later, my dutch baby was crispy and puffed up along the edges and a little sunken in the middle. It looked good to me! I dished out the rest of my apples and poured the spiced syrup over it, working fast to get it to the table. I could hardly wait to try this puppy out, because how could it go wrong, right?

It was everything I was hoping for. It’s definitely less sweet than a traditional pancake and perhaps a bit eggier, but the apples bring the perfect amount of sweet to each bite. The apples on the bottom got even more caramelized and chewy/crispy, something I will never complain about. One of my favorite aspects of the dutch baby itself, was the variation in texture, each slice had both a light and crispy part (the edge) and a softer, eggier part that made the goodness last longer. Aaron and I both were happy as clams and immediately began thinking about what a savory one might tasty like…

caramelized apples
adapted from Chow

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 fuji apples, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Melt butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, sprinkle sugar over top and cook until bubbling and dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and apples begin to soften. Gently fold in cloves and cinnamon and set aside.


dutch baby pancake
adapted from Chow.
serves 4

Please note, I cut the ingredients (mostly) in half in order to accomodate my small cast iron skillet. If you have a large skillet, double the flour, milk, eggs and butter.1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon finely grated meyer lemon zest
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Caramelized Apples + syrup
Powdered sugar, for serving

Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a small (7-inch), seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven as it preheats, at least 5 minutes.
Combine flour, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps and incorporate; set aside.
Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, dump in the egg mixture, and mix until the batter is thoroughly moistened and slightly lumpy, about 1 minute.
Using a dry kitchen towel or an oven mitt, remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter. Once the butter melts, tilt the skillet to coat the bottom and sides.
Carefully place a layer of the caramelized apples over the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides.
Pour the batter into the skillet and bake in the oven until puffed and golden brown on the sides, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pancake from the oven and serve immediately with the apples and the leftover syrup and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Comments: 11 Total

  1. Sara

    March 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I’ve never thought about making a savory Dutch pancake, but I agree that the sweet variety are wonderful. So much easier than cooking up stacks of pancakes on a griddle, right?

  2. Megan Gordon

    March 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Loving. This. Now. There was this creepy diner back east I used to go to sometimes when I was in grad school and I’d always order the Dutch Baby. I attribute it, solely, to my freshman 15. That, and Ben and Jerry’s I guess. This looks so, so pretty, Kelly. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Christophe Widmer

    March 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    WOW! Just got to discover your Blog when I got you picked up on Twitter. What a fantastic Blog, great posts with excellent pictures. Just love it! For sure I will spend now some time on it and read of your delicious dishes and drinks!

    Best Regards from Bangkok, Thailand


  4. Erin

    March 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I love a Dutch Baby! I think a savory version would taste very much like Yorkshire Pudding, which I haven’t had in years..

  5. Anne

    March 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Have you ever tried the dutch baby at Prune? I had one with pears… divine. I am dreaming of next weekend already.

  6. Josie

    March 8, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’m having a friend over for brunch on Friday and think I will have to try out this recipe for it!

  7. Sweets By Vicky

    March 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

    These have my name written all over them! Espcially when it involves caramelised apples and no standing over a stove! :)

  8. DailyChef

    March 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Ooh, you’ve really tickled my sweet tooth. Gotta try these!

  9. Dana

    March 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Dutch babies are one of my favorite breakfasts. We had them for Christmas breakfast. Try them with icing sugar and lemon wedges to squeeze over top. So good!

  10. Fiona

    March 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    This was delicious! I took a “sick day” from work and relaxed with my husband over a leisurely breakfast. It was the perfect treat.

  11. lemon squeezer

    February 23, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I have enjoyed reading because you have wrote a good remarks in this article. Excellent job!

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