Happy Independence Day! This is one of my favorite, favorite holidays. It’s warm outside, hot dogs are on the menu
, and firework show grand finales make your heart skip a beat.
This year, we are visiting my husband’s family on the West Coast, in the Skagit Valley in Washington. I’m not sure where we will be watching fireworks, but it’s so pretty here that I would happily watch the sky at night, fireworks or none.
I haven’t ever visited Washington before and, while we will be spending most of our time in Mount Vernon, we hope to spend a day or two in Seattle. After doing some research on Seattle and food, I learned that the “Dutch Baby,” the delectable, half-crepe-half-popover that is as fun to watch bake as it is delicious to eat, was created in a restaurant in Seattle in the 1950’s.
(In an effort to give you the most accurate story that I could of the evolution of this dish, I reached out to the Manca family to see if they could provide me with any information on Victor or his famous dish. It was a real shot in the dark but they were very kind and agreed!)
Despite its name, the Dutch Baby is an American recipe. It was created at a restaurant called Manca’s Cafe, by a man named Victor Manca. Victor moved from from Salt Lake City to Seattle in the early 1900s. According to Victor Manca’s great-grandson, the Dutch Baby is probably a twist on the the German pfannkuchen. Just like the way the Amish were nicknamed “Pennsylvania Dutch,” even though they are German, the “Dutch” in this case is a corruption of the word “Deutsch,” meaning “German.”
Let’s get started.
This recipe is very simple. You can see above all the ingredients you need. You mix everything together, throw it into an oven-safe skillet with butter and pop it into the oven. Then the fun happens. After about five minutes you will start to see the batter creeping up the sides of the skillet. By the time it’s ready to take out of the oven, you’ll have a puffy, golden brown breakfast treat. Then you get to decide what to fill it with. I’ve seen Dutch Babies filled with butter and maple syrup, like a traditional pancake. Lots of people suggest a slice of lemon with powdered sugar. My favorite is lemon curd with berries and powdered sugar. And remember, the pancake will deflate soon after you take it out of the oven, so serve it immediately, if possible.
You will reduce the lemon curd down with a little water and then coat the berries with the syrup.
Once the Baby is done, immediately fill it with the berries. (If it takes some color from your pan, don’t worry: It’s still soft and delicious.)
And then dust with powdered sugar.
Now try it yourself!
Berry, Cherry Dutch Baby
Slightly adapted from Sunset.
Dutch Baby ingredients:
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs (room temperature)
3/4 cup milk (room temperature)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar (for dusting)
Dutch Baby instructions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heat butter in a 10-inch, oven-safe, pan until melted.
While the butter is melting, mix eggs in a large bowl until they are pale and frothy, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add the milk, flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla to the eggs. Continue mixing, until fully combined, about 2 minutes.The batter will be very thin.
Take the butter off the heat and add the egg mixture to the pan immediately. Place in oven for 18-20 minutes.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven and immediately add your toppings.
Berry Filling ingredients:
3 tbsp lemon curd (I like Dickinson’s)
1 tsp water
1/2 cups mixed berries and cherries
Berry Filling instructions:
Heat the lemon curd and water in a small saucepan on the stove until the mixture becomes a syrup.
Clean the berries and add them to the syrup, while the saucepan is still on the stove, and mix to coat.
Add the mixture to the Dutch Baby as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Top with powdered sugar (optional). Then slice it up and enjoy! Serve immediately, as it will quickly deflate.
It’s extremely simple to make, kids (and adults!) love the way it looks coming out of the oven, and it’s scrumptious. Not a bad combo.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July, everybody!