Sometimes when I try something new, I scratch my head and wonder, “Where did that come from?” One never knows where inspiration lies. Such is the case with my recipe for Smoky-Maple Apple Dutch Baby. Far in the reaches of my subconsciousness came an idea about getting apple slices infused with a light smoky flavor. I am still pinching myself and asking, “Did I really make this?” Yes, I did. I can’t deny it.
During the month of October, I wanted to feature apples in a new recipe. Over a couple of weeks, I tested different flavors to find a combination highlighting apples in a new way. It occurred to me, sweet, caramelized and smoky accents are wonderful flavors with crispy apples. So, instead of using butter and brown sugar, I sautéed apple slices in rendered bacon fat and maple syrup to develop the smoky-sweet flavor I was looking for. To my delighted surprise, it worked.
I did whaat? I sautéed apples in bacon fat. Ever so clearly, I can hear in my mind two opposing reactions to my confession. One, “OH man, that is so good.” The other being, “Nooo. You did what? Bacon fat? Really?.” Admittedly, I am split on both sides of the fence. However, I am moving forward and not looking back. Unanimously, my quest for flavor overruled all other concerns. It is funny because I never cook like this. Don’t get me wrong I love bacon, but bacon fat is something I freeze then throw away, not cook with. Cooking with bacon fat was a no-no in my childhood home and a lesson I learned early in life. Regardless, using the rendered bacon fat, instead of butter, added the natural smoky accent I wanted. No apologies.
Call this a rebellion from my upbringing, but these apple slices cooked in bacon fat and maple syrup are addictive. The smoky-maple flavors are subtle, but work well against the light-custard foundation of the Dutch Baby Pancake. It is not too sweet or too rich, which sometimes occurs when using brown sugar and butter. A light sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg adds a little warm spice. Fresh rosemary and lemon juice brighten all the flavors and bring them together. Since a light hand is used for seasoning the Apple Dutch Baby, all the flavor accents behave and work harmoniously together. The apple is the star, with the pancake and everything else the supporting actors.
More Breakfast Recipes:
This recipe is part of a collaborative apple recipe project with other food bloggers on social media. The tag, #aisforalltheapples, is going live on October 25, 2017, and you’ll find over 70 photos featuring the best apple recipes on Instagram and other social media platforms. Additionally, you can visit their websites using a direct link to each apple recipe. Please note, at the time of my publication, some of the links below will direct you to a 404 page. Please, don’t get alarmed. All the posts publishing on or by October 25th, but not at the same time. The 404 page will redirect you to the home page and you can search for the recipe. I will update my post as everything gets published. Thank you for your patience.
Hope you enjoy #aisforalltheapples, and my Smoky-Maple Apple Dutch Baby.
Smoky Maple Apple Dutch Baby Pancake
For the Smoky-Maple Apples
- 1 medium crispy apple like Honey Crisp or Yellow Delicious
- 2 TB (26 g) bacon fat*, or butter (31 g)
- 2 TB (38 g) real maple syrup
- Freshly grated nutmeg
For the Smoky-Maple Apple Dutch Baby
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla or 1 TB Apple Brandy (Calvados)
- 1 TB (13 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (74 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 TB (31 g) butter
- Smoky-Maple Apple Slices
- 1 tsp or less minced fresh rosemary plus more for garnish
- Optional- 1 slice bacon cooked and crumbled
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Powdered sugar for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F (218 °C)
Prepare the apples
Peel and core the apple and slice into rounds, 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.
Heat a large 10-inch (25 cm) skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bacon fat and maple syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Arrange the sliced apples in a single layer around the skillet. (You will need to cook the apple slices in a couple of batches.) Grate nutmeg over each slice of apple. Cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes. Turn the apple slices over, grate more nutmeg and cook until the apples are softened, but still firm and hold its shape, 1-2 minutes. Place the cooked apple slices on a plate and continue with the remaining apples. The glazed apple slices could stick together so do not stack them on the plate. You may need more than one plate to hold the smoky-maple apple slices.
Make the Smoky-Maple Apple Dutch Baby Pancake
Clean the skillet and place in the pre-heated oven.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla or Calvados. Add the flour and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps.
Add the butter to the skillet in the oven.
When the butter is melted and stopped bubbling, remove the skillet from the oven then tilt the pan to make sure the melted butter is evenly coated across the bottom and sides of the skillet. The butter may brown a little but that adds more flavor. You don't want the butter to burn so watch it carefully.
Pour the batter into the center of the pan. Layer as many apple slices around the pancake batter as you like. It is ok to overlap the apple slices here. Sprinkle the minced rosemary over the apple slices. If you are adding crumbled bacon, sprinkle it over the apples now. Return the skillet to the oven.
Bake the Dutch Baby pancake for 20 minutes. Don't open the oven door until at least 15 minutes goes by. You can check the pancake through the lighted window in your oven. The Apple Dutch Baby won't rise and bubble until it gets sufficiently hot. The pancake is done when the sides have risen, and the surface is golden brown.
Remove the Apple Dutch Baby from the oven and lightly garnish with some minced rosemary if needed. Squeeze lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon) all around the Dutch Baby.
Serve immediately for breakfast garnished with a light coating of powdered sugar and bacon on the side. Or, for dessert with ice cream and caramel sauce.
* If you are like me and don't save your rendered bacon fat, cook at least 4-6 slices of bacon in the skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Use the same skillet you plan to use for the Dutch Baby and sautéing the apples. It all depends on your bacon, but you should get plenty of rendered bacon fat to cook the apples with. Or cook enough bacon for your whole family or friends to enjoy with their Apple Dutch Baby and reserve 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat for the apples.
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© 2017 – 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.
I love breakfast and will never skip this meal. Most of the time I enjoy a bowl of yogurt with fruit and coffee, or almond butter on multi-grain toast. No matter what I am eating, breakfast is a sacred and meditative time of day even if it only lasts for 10 minutes.
Our usual breakfast routine is self-serve. I stock our pantry and frig with our habitual breakfast foods. Joe does his thing in the morning, and I do mine. Joe makes us a big pot of coffee, so all I have to think about first thing in the morning is locating a clean mug. Sometimes it is the little gestures that mean so much. I love waking up and seeing a full pot of coffee ready and waiting. I can sip hot coffee and ease into the routine of the day.
Thanksgiving is a month away, and I am looking forward to having a full house and time to dig into a big breakfast shared with people I love. The kitchen table welcomes the family with a selection of cherished breakfast delights like eggs, pastries, bacon, fruit, coffee, and oj. Everyone is lounging around in their pj’s. The morning sleepiness gradually subsides, helped along by jokes and ease. A cherished moment of family down time before the holiday activities and cooking begins.
But why wait until a holiday to enjoy a breakfast meal together? I believe it is time for me to bring back an old tradition we had while dating. It is time for a breakfast date, and pancakes are on the menu.
Not just any pancakes though, Dutch Baby pancake made with oat flour. Dutch Baby Pancake, also known as German pancake, is one skillet sized pancake cooked in the oven. It is one of the easiest breakfasts to make, and has very few ingredients. It is delightful. Dutch Baby pancake is light and puffy, like popovers and crêpes. I believe there are two ingredients that make a Dutch Baby pancake stand out. Frist, add some freshly grated nutmeg in the batter instead of cinnamon. The warmth of nutmeg nicely compliments the oat flour. I like it more than cinnamon. Then, after the pancake is out of the oven, finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Wow. Don’t skip the lemon. A little squeeze of juice transforms the plain Dutch Baby Pancake into a regal delicacy.
Why change a good thing and substitute all-purpose flour with oat flour? Why not. Oat flour has a slightly nutty and caramel flavor making it a complimentary ingredient to use in a variety of baked goods. It is also a great gluten-free substitute for all-purpose flour. Replacing all-purpose flour with oat flour makes the butter taste butterier with a slight nuttiness. Also, you do not have to worry about over-mixing the batter when you use oat flour. Dutch Baby pancakes made with oat flour will not rise up the sides of the pan like a traditional one, but it will puff up randomly, creating hills and valleys for pools of butter and syrup to collect. This oat flour Dutch Baby pancake reminds me of funnel cake with its irregular shape.
This recipe is adapted from David Eyre’s Pancake, The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
Want more recipes using oat flour? Try my Gluten-free Nifty Cake
Where to buy oat flour? Oat flour is widely available at some large supermarket chains, such as Stop&Shop and Whole Foods. It is also available at smaller specialty grocery stores like Mrs. Green’s and family run markets like DeCicco’s in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Bob’s Reb Mill is the most widely available brand of oat flour. They supply a gluten-free oat flour and a non-gluten free oat flour. Also, King Arthur, and Arrowhead Mills have oat flour, but they may not be gluten-free. Often, oats and wheat grow in fields next together and may cross-pollinate. As well as, oats and wheat are milled in the same facility. Unless it says Gluten-free on the label, the oats are cross pollinated or cross contaminated with wheat. Additionally, Amazon sells oat flour. However, compared to my grocery store, it is double the price.
Gluten-Free Dutch Baby Pancake
- 1/3 cup 1 1/2 oz/ 43 g oat flour*
- 1/2 cup whole milk 118 ml *see note for a dairy free alternative
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tea of freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 Tb butter 2 oz/52 g
- 1 Tb confectioners sugar
- 1 lemon
- *If you want to use all-purpose flour use 1/3 cup 1 5/8 oz/46 g of all purpose flour
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet, or sturdy oven proof skillet in the oven to heat up.
Sift the oat flour into a medium mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the flour. Add the milk and nutmeg and mix all the ingredients until combined.
Heat the skillet in the oven and add the butter. After the butter melts and stops bubbling, pour the batter into the center of the pan. The batter should spread evenly out. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The pancake should be evenly golden brown and set in the middle.
Sprinkle the Dutch Baby with powdered sugar and put the pan back in the oven for a minute or so.
Remove from the oven and squeeze the juice from half a lemon all over the pancake. Serve immediately.
You can slice it right in the skillet, or slide it onto a serving plate then serve.
Serve the pancake with fresh fruit topping of your choice, and or maple syrup.
Dairy free option: I made the recipe using oat flour and almond milk for a dairy free and gluten free alternative. Use the same amount of unsweetened almond milk as cows milk in the recipe. The Dutch Baby pancake will not be as puffy, but it still will puff up and taste great.
Dutch Baby is also great as a dessert. Drizzle it with Nutella or chocolate sauce and creme fraiche or ice cream. Any fruit topping with cream is a good option as well.
© 2016 – 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.