This is what I know as a pannekoeken, or a Dutch Baby.
From just pantry staples (eggs, milk, flour, salt and butter) and a couple of special techniques, it is possible to create an exciting, tasty, light-but-filling, comfort-food, meal that will appeal to even picky eaters.
Scroll down for illustrated step-by-step instructions, and printable recipe.
My most recent pannekoeken:
Last month, my son and I left Minnesota and visited my daughter and her beau in North Carolina. Though we ate out often during the vacation (so we Yankees could sample some local cuisine) my daughter asked me to make a few recipes from home. One dish she requested was pannekoeken.
As far as I can tell, this is a very Minnesotan thing to eat.
Of course, The Beau, a native North Carolinian, had never heard of it. He was game to try it though.
When the pannekoeken came out of the oven, he wasn’t sure what to think. He asked my son to snap the above photograph. Even before tasting it, he posted the pic to his Facebook, captioned with the question, “What am I eating?” His friends thought maybe it was Yorkshire Pudding or Bubble and Squeak. (Until they made these good guesses, it hadn’t occurred to me that it was similar to those recipes.)
Once The Beau figured out how* to eat it, he really liked it … according to him, it was possibly better than regular pancakes.
(*Honestly, IMHO, the best way to eat a pannekoeken is to slather it with jelly (the way my son and husband like it) or with lots of butter (the way my daughter and I like it), then pick it up, fold it over and eat it like some kind of weird Minnesota taco. The Beau seemed to enjoy it with butter and syrup, which did make it messier to eat. I guess it could be consumed with the help of a knife and fork, but it’s not as much fun.)
Is it really a pannekoeken?
As I was getting this post ready, I did my due diligence and googled the word. I have to tell you that either Wikipedia or I have it wrong. The listing at Wikipedia shows a picture of something that looks more like a pancake or crepe. It appears that one would eat several of them at a sitting, in the same way that most folks would eat a stack of flapjacks. One of these pancake-like things would be called a “pannekoek” or a “pannenkoek” with “pannekoken” reserved for the plural.
The following recipe makes something entirely different. Judging by looks alone, my version of pannekoeken is better. And I guarantee that it’s more fun.
(I’m also pretty sure that no one could eat more than one. My 18-year old, six foot, son can eat a whole one, but only barely.)
MAKING THE PANNEKOEKEN:
Here’s what you need:
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
(It’s even an easy-to-memorize recipe.)
a measuring cup
a blender (or a strong arm and a whisk)
a 12 inch cast iron pan
a Pyrex glass 2 quart (9″ X 12″) rectangular baking pan
Making a successful pannekoeken is all in the techniques you use.
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1) For each pannekoeken you want to make, measure 1 cup milk into a container and add four eggs. (As you can see, the milk and eggs together measures about two cups.) Let come to room temperature. (At least 1 hour.)
Step 2) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Depending on your oven this may take a while. The oven MUST be hot, so the batter will be shocked into trying to climb out of the pan.
You will need to preheat the cooking pan and the butter too, but you do that after the oven has reached the proper temperature. I preheat my oven for about 20 minutes then put my cast iron pan into the hot oven about 10 minutes before I want to start the baking. In the last 2-3 minutes of the preheating time, you will add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot cast iron pan so that it melts completely and starts to bubble. NOTE: If you are using the Pyrex dish, you will put the pan and butter into the oven at the same time and heat just just until the butter melts completely and starts to bubble.
Step 3) Blend the milk and eggs. Add two generous pinches of salt (1/2 teaspoon or a little more) to the whirring mixture, then introduce 1 cup flour, reasonably slowly. (Don’t fret about it, just don’t dump it in all at once.) You are looking to create a thin, bubbly batter. It only takes a minute or two, so I do this while the butter is melting. That way the batter is still airy when I pour it it into the pan.
Step 4) When the oven, pan and butter are hot, pour the batter into the pan quickly. You don’t want to let a lot of the heat escape in this process. I pull out the shelf using an oven mitt, pour the batter directly from the blender into the pan, slide the shelf back, and close the door.
Bake the pannekoeken for 18-25 minutes. Do not open the door for at least 15 minutes, and if you are checking for doneness after that, do it gently, opening the door as little as possible. After 18-20 minutes, the pannekoeken will be cooked through, puffed up, crispy on the outside and egg-y on the inside, and browning at the edges.
If you let it go a bit longer, it will brown more, and the exterior will crisp more. It’s a matter of taste which way you prefer it. (It’s unlikely you will want to cook it for more than 25 minutes.)
It will be very puffy! Likely it will have risen well above the edge of the pan.
Once it is removed from the oven, the pannekoeken will immediately start falling in the middle. There’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Step 5) Serve. When you remove the pan from the oven, and when you are taking the pannekoeken out of the pan, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you remember the cooking pan is VERY HOT. It’s best to use a thick oven mitt and a silicon or metal spatula while removing the pannekoeken from its pan.
(Why, yes, I have grabbed that smoking-hot handle bare-handed while trying to serve the pannekoeken. Once.)
If you used enough butter for your pan, it will come out easily, after you run your spatula around the edges to separate it from the pan. If it doesn’t come out cleanly, thoroughly scrape out any stuck-on bits and use a little more butter for subsequent pannekoeken.
Top your pannekoeken with whatever you like on pancakes.
- Jelly or Preserves
- Cinnamon & Sugar
- Warmed Pie Filling
I suppose one pannekoeken, prepared according to recipe, should probably serve 4. (I can do half of one, sometimes a little more.) According to an online recipe calorie calculator, a whole pannekoeken is about 1,100 calories. One fourth of one would be about 275 calories. Of course that’s before you top it with anything.
- This is one recipe in a growing collection of foods in the Body Preservation section if this blog.
- Pannekoeken is listed under the category “Food for Writers / Artists / Other Obsessives.” It could just as well have been archived as a “Getting Away With It Food.”
- For more recipes, and other paranormal lifestyle tips, please visit: