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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Puff Daddy

Today is Father's Day and that means breakfast.  It's not that I don't usually make breakfast.  It's just that since it's a holiday (kind of), I figure that I should go to a little more trouble than slapping some All Bran on the table and calling it a day.

Charlie has a theory regarding holidays that aren't his birthday.  He calls them fake holidays.  Included in this list is any event for which he is expected to come up with a gift, such as other people's birthdays, the aforementioned Father's (and just to be fair, Mother's) Day,  and anniversaries.  He makes a small exception for Christmas and Hanukkah, but that's mostly because he's home and I can badger him.

This is an area where Charlie clearly needs some work.

But I digress.  In honor of Father's Day, for which both kids eventually got Ted something, I decided to make the Father of All Pancakes, the Dutch Baby, or as we call it in our house, the puffy pancake.

This is a breakfast that makes a statement.  The thing is deliciously puffy, filled with air but with a custardy base.  Served with berries, it's a real statement.  And the best part is that it's easy and easy is always the main ingredient around here.

So, in honor of Ted (and all dads out there), I did it up right.  Too bad I forgot to make the coffee.

Recipe:  Puffy Pancake


2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Equipment: a 10-inch cast-iron skillet


Put skillet on middle rack of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Beat eggs with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and frothy, then beat in milk, flour, vanilla,  lemon zest, and salt and continue to beat until smooth, about 1 minute more.  The batter will be thin.

When the oven is fully preheated, remove the skillet from the oven and add butter to hot skillet and melt, swirling to coat. Add batter and immediately return skillet to oven. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 18 to 25 minutes.

Serve immediately, topped with fresh berries or powdered sugar.

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