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Recipes: Soft, crisp pancakes with rhubarb, salmon, or chocolate

Impress mom on Mother’s Day with these sweet and savory Dutch baby recipes.  

Rhubarb and rose Dutch baby.
PHOTO BY ANTHONY TIEULI; FOOD STYLING BY SHEILA JARNES/ENNIS INC.
Rhubarb and rose Dutch baby.

If a giant pancake and a popover had a child, it would be a Dutch baby. These easy-to-make pancakes bake up soft and crisp, airy and creamy, and can be prepared both sweet and savory — so many ways to show your appreciation to mom this Mother’s Day. These are best made in a cast-iron skillet; however, I’ve made them in nonstick and standard skillets with excellent results. If you go the nonstick/standard route, you may need to up the baking time by a few minutes.

Rhubarb and Rose Dutch Baby

Makes 1 10-inch pancake; serves 4

Rosewater brings out the slightly floral quality of rhubarb, but if it isn’t to your liking, you can substitute vanilla extract. You can purchase rosewater in Middle Eastern grocery stores.

½pound thin rhubarb (about 4 stalks), trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
½cup granulated sugar
1tablespoon lemon juice and
¾ teaspoon lemon zest from
1 lemon
teaspoons rosewater
1cup whole or low-fat Greek
yogurt
2/3cup all-purpose flour
¼cup confectioners’ sugar
Salt
3large eggs plus 1 egg yolk,
at room temperature
2/3cup well-shaken buttermilk,
at room temperature
1teaspoon vanilla
2tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
¼cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

With the rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine rhubarb with granulated sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in an 8-inch baking dish. Toss until sugar begins to dissolve. Bake in the oven until the rhubarb is tender but not mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Drizzle the rosewater over the rhubarb and let sit until it cools slightly (rhubarb can be served warm or at room temperature). Measure out 1½ tablespoons of the syrup from the rhubarb and whisk into the yogurt.

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Meanwhile, increase the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees and place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in it to preheat. Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolk until light and foamy, about 1 minute. Add buttermilk and whisk until combined. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain — do not overmix. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla.

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Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter to the pan. Swirl butter around the pan to ensure even coating. Pour the batter into the heated skillet and bake until edges are deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a wire rack. Spread the yogurt over the surface of pancake and top with rhubarb, some of the rhubarb syrup, and pistachios. Cut and serve.

Chive and Salmon Dutch Baby

Makes 1 10-inch pancake; serves 4

2/3cup all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper
3large eggs plus 1 egg yolk,
at room temperature
2/3cup well-shaken buttermilk,
at room temperature
3tablespoons chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
2tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
3ounces smoked salmon
½cup sour cream
1tablespoon capers
1cup watercress or arugula leaves

With the rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.

Meanwhile, combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolk until light and foamy, about 1 minute. Add buttermilk and whisk until combined. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain — do not overmix. Stir in 3 tablespoons chives.

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter to the pan. Swirl butter around the pan to ensure even coating. Pour the batter into heated skillet and bake until edges are deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer skillet to a wire rack. Top with slices of salmon, dollops of sour cream, capers, watercress or arugula, and additional chives. Cut into wedges and serve.

TIP: WORKING WITH RHUBARB

ANTHONY TIEULI
When shopping for rhubarb, try to find redder, thinner stalks; they’re more tender and appealing. Be sure to remove and discard the leaves — they are poisonous. Rhubarb can go from firm to mush in a matter of minutes. Test for doneness with a skewer or a paring knife, or use your fingers to gently touch the rhubarb.

Chocolate Dutch Baby with Sweetened Ricotta and Raspberries

Makes 1 10-inch pancake; serves 4

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Little pockets of warm butter spill into crevices on the surface of the pancake and mix with the melted chocolate to create a delicious chocolate glaze.

1cup whole-milk ricotta
½cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for serving
½teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3cup all-purpose flour
3tablespoons unsweetened
cocoa powder
1teaspoon espresso powder
Salt
3large eggs plus 1 egg yolk,
at room temperature
2/3cup whole milk, at room
temperature
2tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
1ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1cup raspberries

With the rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.

Whip ricotta cheese with ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate.

Whisk flour, remaining confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and ½ teaspoon salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolk until light and foamy, about 1 minute. Add milk and whisk until combined. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain — do not overmix.

Carefully remove skillet from the oven and add butter to the pan. Swirl butter around the pan to ensure an even coating. Pour batter into heated skillet and bake until edges are deep brown and crisp, about 15 to 17 minutes. Scatter chocolate over the center of the pancake and return to the oven to melt the chocolate, about 1 minute. Transfer skillet to a wire rack. Scatter raspberries on top of pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Slice and serve with a dollop of sweetened ricotta.

Bacon, Leek, and Gruyere Dutch Baby

Makes 1 10-inch pancake; serves 4

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2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and black pepper

3 large eggs plus 1 yolk, at room temperature

2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk, at room temperature

3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 leeks, halved using white and light-green parts only, rinsed and sliced crosswise into ¼-inch slices (about 1 cup)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into three pieces

½ cup grated gruyere cheese

With the rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolk until light and foamy, about 1 minute. Add buttermilk and whisk until combined. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain — do not overmix. Set aside. Cook bacon in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving rendered fat in the pan. Cook leaks in skillet until soft, about 4 minutes. Add bacon back into pan along with the butter. Once the butter has melted, pour batter into heated skillet, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake until edges are deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer skillet to wire rack. Slice and serve.

Eva Katz is a contributing editor at Cook’s Country Magazine and a freelance recipe developer. Send comments to cooking@globe.com. Get the best of the magazine’s award-winning stories and features right in your e-mail inbox every Sunday. Sign up here.