This is the hardest part of the recipe, I promise

I made a Dutch Baby. Or maybe it’s not a Dutch baby; it’s just a big apple pancake. I’m not entirely clear on the difference, but boy was it delicious. Really, so darned good. And pretty, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to take my word on that. I always saw these going by to other tables on visits to the Original Pancake House, but I never had the patience to order one. They take extra time, and I wait for no pancake.

But I found a recipe for one made at home and it didn’t look too hard, plus I have all those apples (still!), so I decided to give it a shot. I thought my husband was going to go into shock. You see,  I don’t do weekend breakfasts. By which I mean, I eat the hell out of them, but the most I can manage to make before noon on a weekend is maybe toasting a bagel and half the time, I don’t even do that right. For our entire relationship, he has been the maker of weekend breakfasts. But he put on his amused let-the-little-woman-try-her-cute-little-pancake smile and sat back to read the paper, while I started peeling apples.

He took this step very seriously.

I did get a little help. That’s my oldest son in the picture above, who was my sous chef. He was really annoyed that I didn’t call him in to peel the apples, because for some reason he loves that chore. But he did everything else, and he could, because it is so easy. Really really really easy. If you ask me, easier than making regular pancakes because you don’t have to stand over it and watch for bubbles and flip them and then throw away the ones you burnt and still, it’s not ever the pancakes you want, because the search for the perfect pancake is a lifelong endeavor, no? Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, with this one, you cut up some apples, start cooking them on the stovetop and then throw them in the oven while you prepare the pancake mix. Here’s mine in the oven. It’s not very pretty — yet — because it hasn’t started puffing up. And it’s totally out of focus, I know. I’m sorry!

Bubble bubble toil and trouble

Ignore my dirty oven, please.

The truth is, I did take a picture of it once it came out of the oven, all puffy and pretty. But the picture disappeared from my phone, and by the time I realized it, we’d already fallen on the thing like ravenous wolves. It is so good, you guys. You have to make this. I think I might try this with other fruit, maybe bananas or plums. Yum. Here’s the recipe, originally from thekitchn.com. If you want pretty pictures, go there, they have tons. I usually change up recipes before I repost here, but I made this one exactly as is. Next time, I might try some different fruit and I will definitely try to get away with fewer eggs, for my husband’s sake. You can dust it with powdered sugar, if you want (I didn’t) and serve it with the usual pancake accoutrements. We ate it straight up and it wasn’t missing a thing.

Weekend Apple Pancake
serves 3 to 4

2 large or 3 medium apples, preferably tart ones like Granny Smith
4 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs
Powdered or cinnamon sugar, to serve

Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel, core, and quarter the apples, then cut them into medium slices (1/4-inch thick or less). Then cut the slices in halves or thirds. You should have about 3 cups of chopped apples.

In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon and ginger and set aside.

Cut the butter into chunks and place them in a deep cast iron skillet or 8×8-inch baking dish. Put the skillet or baking dish in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the 1/3 cup brown sugar over the melted butter. Carefully spread the apples on top of the brown sugar and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples. Put the pan back in the oven to caramelize the apples and sugar.

Whisk the flour with the remaining tablespoon of sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly with a large wire whisk to beat out any lumps. When the flour is smoothly incorporated into the milk, beat in the vanilla and the eggs one by one. Beat by hand for 2 minutes, or until foamy. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. By now the sugar should be bubbling around the apples.

Take the pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the apples. Bake for about 20 more minutes or until center is set and sides are lightly browned. The pancake will puff up dramatically but fall after a few minutes after you take it out of the oven.

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