Saturday, May 31, 2008

Strawberry Lemon German Pancake

One of my favorite childhood memories is the day my Father tried to make breakfast for the family. We had a very traditional household; Mom ruled the kitchen and Dad usually only entered to help clean dishes. I'm not even sure if he could tell you the difference between a spatula and a whisk. If you can only imagine, the outcome was a disaster. One pancake batch was burnt, the other underdone. My brother and I had many a laugh watching our Dad bumble around and delivering the flattest, ugliest pancakes you've ever seen to the breakfast table.

Though I'd consider myself fairly skilled in the kitchen, I've never been able to master fluffy perfectly uniform pancakes like these beauties from Recipe Girl. The talent has somehow eluded me, though perhaps it could be genetic? I've been tempted on more than one occasion and infomercial to buy the Perfect Pancake Maker, though my kitchen really can't handle one more kitchen gadget .

This morning, I had an "a-ha" moment and decided to make a German Pancake, a one "pot" wonder, that's sometimes also referred to as a Dutch Baby Pancake. No guesswork or constant pancake flipping needed here! The texture is a little different than a 'normal' pancake, as the German guy is a little more part crepe, part pancake. Having had these decadent babies in pancake houses, I was surprised at the ingredient list and the simplicity of the recipe. I found some tips on the Seattle News Food & Wine website and from there combined several recipes to create this delicious breakfast.

After the batter is combined in a blender, its placed in a hot cast iron skillet coated with melted butter.

The pancake is immediately placed back into the oven and allowed to baked until golden and puffs up quite beautifully:

After its pulled out of the oven, the pancake deflates a little and is ready for the topping of your choice. Since strawberries are in season here, I sprinkled ours with strawberries and some extra blackberries we had in the house. Feel free to substitute sauteed cinnamon apples, chocolate chips or raspberries. The pancake is slightly sweet and spiced with cinnamon and cardamom. Depending on how sweet you like yours, warm maple syrup drizzled atop the slices is absolutely divine.

Strawberry Lemon German Pancake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour recipes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
2 large eggs
juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) confectioners’ sugar
maple syrup, optional

Quart of strawberries
1 teaspoon of sugar
spritz of lemon juice
Makes 4 servings for 4 normal people or 2 servings for ravenous couples (us)

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Melt the butter in an 11-12" cast iron skillet. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, substitute an oven proof skillet. Place a pat of butter onto the skillet and place into the preheated oven.
In a blender, quickly combine the eggs until golden and frothy. Remove the blender cap and stream in milk, followed by the flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest until mixture is smooth.
Once butter is sizzling,remove from oven and with a potholder, swirl the butter around the pan to make sure its coated. Pour the batter into the pan and return to oven immediately. Bake the pancake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until it’s very puffy and golden.

While the pancake is baking, hull and slice strawberries into a bowl. Sprinkle strawberries with lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar. Toss to combine.

Remove it from the oven, and sprinkle with the lemon juice, then the powdered sugar. Cut in squares, and serve immediately, garnished with the strawberries, or the topping of your choice. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Check out Nutriferia for a Berrylicious roundup.

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LizNoVeggieGirl said...

What a cute story from your childhood :0) I'm too intimidated right now to make pancakes, for fear that they won't turn out perfectly round, haha; but yours look FABULOUS!! YUM!!

Linda said...

I laughed so hard while reading the story about your dad :-). Would've gladly trade my breakfast for this gorgeous pancake this morning. Thanks for such a great recipe (will make this soon) and for participating! See you at the roundup.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful! I love the puffiness!

grace said...

pancakes are my specialty, but i've never made one quite like this! since i'm in love with my cast iron skillet and i'll take any excuse to use it, this recipe is a must-try. and hey--kudos to your dad for trying! :)

Lore said...

Oh Sharon this looks ready for my fork :). Since I'm more confident in my crêpes skills than my pancake skills this sounds like a perfect start for me. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Yummm I love these things. Also makes a nice light change from a syrup soaked pancake:-)

tigerfish said...

It puffed up so nicely :) ...and look at the generous toppings of strawberries....yummy!

Anonymous said...

o i love it when Dad cooks. they're always so funny and slightly awkward!

this is great. pancakes rule.

Nilmandra said...

That pancake does look delicious. Pancakes do need a good skillet though, I would love to get one like yours that can go in the oven. One more thing to go on my long kitchen wish list!

Sharon said...

veggiegirl - these pancakes are a perfect solution for your fear! No perfect circles needed! :)

linda - Thanks for hosting the roundup. My Dad is a cute one.

noble pig - I love the puffiness as well! I wish it didn't deflate after you take it out of the oven.

grace - maybe I need some pancake tips from you!

lore - I wish I had a little to share with everyone. Though the recipe mentioned 4 servings, we managed to eat the whole thing by ourselves :)

tigerfish - I'm loving that strawberries are in season and so cheap right now!

diva - I'm not sure my Dad ever cooked again so I'll have to hold on to that memory

nilmandra - I love my cast iron skillet but boy, is it heavy!

Elle said...

I've always wanted to make one of these. I guess I should just give in and buy a cast iron skillet, right? Your pancake looks amazing!

La Bella Cooks said...

The fresh berries alone have me sold on this lovely dish. I loved your story as well, thanks for sharing that.