19 October 2012

Dutch Baby Pancake with Caramelized Plums in Brandy, Cinnamon & Lemon Zest


Our house has grumpy little people when the sun rises in the morning.  Each little person hides deeper under the covers when we call out. 

"Rise & shine kids!"  Grunts.  
"Breakfast is ready!"  Grunts.
I draw the curtains to let the morning light come in.  More grunts.
"You will be late for school!"  Grunts.
My older son stands up but sports the grumpiest morning expression in his face.  
My younger daughter unites herself with the bed.  When she does that, it only means one thing.  It's a quiet declaration of a difficult morning.  Whereas if she stands up and takes her breakfast, then it's a promise of a smooth morning.  


Crying, running after an escaping toddler, accomplishing some cleaning in the bathroom, putting the clothes on and explaining for the umpteenth time why school is important, are our daily morning activities at home.  At 8 o'clock in the morning, it's like my husband and I just finished a marathon and we are ready to call it a day.   Are your mornings like ours?


My husband takes the kids to school on his way to work so as soon as I bid them goodbye and close the front door, I can't help sighing with relief.   Waking up daily to a noisy, chaotic morning takes away my desire to listen to anything at home.  I enjoy the complete silence.  Even music disturbs me now, spoken by a once-upon-a-time music crazed person.


What music meant for me once was replaced by cooking and enjoying the fruit of my labor in silence.   It's therapeutic and it helps me start the day right.  I like both savory & sweet breakfasts.  A typical Italian breakfast that I usually have is a croissant, a glass of freshly squeezed  orange juice (if in season) and espresso. 


But sometimes, a craving for different breakfasts, both savory & sweet overtakes me.  The other day, I had a big desire to make some pancakes and while I was eyeing the fresh plums in the fruit bowl, I already had my breakfast mentally mapped out.  I thought of a dutch baby pancake with caramelized plums spiked with brandy and spiced with cinnamon and lemon zest.  I couldn't wait for morning to come.  The usual morning chaos didn't deter my enthusiasm. 


I have to be honest and say that the slices of the dutch pancake above are what remained of my breakfast.  I was meaning to take a picture of the whole pancake in the cast iron skillet but hunger pangs won.  This is the second dutch baby pancake that I have shared in my blog.  If you are curious about how it should look like straight out from the oven and see the frutti di bosco sauce I paired it with, click on this link

Let me share with you a picture of the organic fruits from the farmer's market I recently visited and our quince harvest from our tree.

Meantime, I hope you have a good weekend everyone! 




Dutch Baby Pancake with Caramelized Plums in Brandy, Cinnamon & Lemon Zest

Ingredients:
Serves 2 - 3

Dutch Baby Pancake:

Ingredients:
Serves 2 - 3
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or 1 teaspoon extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Icing sugar
  • Fresh mint leaves (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. Meanwhile, combine eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.  You can also whisk this manually but putting everything in the blender is much faster and easier.  Set the mixture aside.
  3. When the oven has already reached the right temperature, put the butter in a large ovenproof cast iron skillet, between 10" to 12".  Place the skillet in the oven until the butter melts.
  4. When the butter has already melted, remove it from the oven and swirl the melted butter around so it evenly coats the skillet.
  5. Pour the mixture into the skillet and put back the skillet inside the oven.  Cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until the Dutch Baby is puffed and golden brown. 
  6. Serve the pancake with the caramelized plums on top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon powder, lemon zest and icing sugar.

Caramelized Plums:

  • 5 - 6 medium plums, seeded & quartered
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brandy 
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus a dash for sprinkling on the pancake)
  • Zest of 1 lemon (leaving some for garnishing)
Directions:
  1. While waiting for the pancake to cook, warm up a small saucepan.  
  2. Melt the sugar with water.  Let it cook until it slightly changes color.
  3. Add the butter.  Add the plum slices and lemon zest when the butter has melted.  
  4. Add the brandy and flambè.  
  5. Sprinkle with the cinnamon powder.  Cook for about 1 minute more.  Set aside.  




20 comments:

  1. Your pancake looks divine and I love the caramelized plum topping. Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Rowena (Kabayan!), Am so glad to finally make it to your blog. Your site is amazing, what a delight to the eyes! I get Dutch pancakes here but no yummy topping such as yours! Will definitely check your site often for lovely recipes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abby! Likewise, I love taking a peek at what you're cooking at your FB page & blog too. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Rowena - I would love to have these for breakfast! They look absolutely divine!!! Lovely photos!

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you waved these pancakes under your daughter's nose, she might leap out of bed in anticipation. The chaos element was not one of my favourite parts of motherhood.
    I have you in my Great Cooking Blogs list on my blog now - you deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder when these chaotic mornings will end. :-) Thank you for giving me the honor of being in your Great Cooking Blogs. Thank you very much Suzanne!

      Delete
  5. Looks delicious! Lovely photos!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that you map out breakfast. I looked at those quinces and I could almost see quince paste nicely stacked in the pantry. I'm envious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually dedicate a couple of days of quince jam making every year. They are great in jams but never tried them in pastes. I will have to try next year. Thanks Maureen!

      Delete
  7. Whereas you have kids I seem to always have an endless parade of people in and out of our house for one type of work or another. That and the phone ringing constantly throughout the day. I savor the mornings when I can have complete quiet in the kitchen and not have to answer to anyone.

    I've never made Dutch baby pancakes before but I'd love to try. What a beautiful breakfast and that bounty of fruit is enviable. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you try a dutch baby pancake, you will be hooked Jean. It's easier than regular pancakes cooked one by one and it's wonderful to watch in puff up in the oven.

      Delete
  8. Hello Rowina,
    I am so glad that I found your blog. Those pancakes look so delicious. I tasted quince for the first time and have been wondering how else to put it to use. Now I have your recipe for our breakfast this weekend. I briefly browsed through your posts. I am sure that I will be back often to check your recipes. Let's stay connected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Vijitha. I appreciate the kind words. I hope you will find recipes to your liking. Have a good weekend!

      Delete
  9. Beautiful pancake- I would love to have breakfast at your house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Patty! And I would love to have you over too!

      Delete
  10. Hi Rowena,
    You are living my dream life, lol. My grandparents came to America from Italy, I'd love to be there, but home is where the family is. Sounds like you have a new home there now. Love how you elevated a breakfast classic. We can still get good plums here too. Your photography is just gorgeous. Glad I found you.
    -Gina-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gina. Thank you for writing. I know what you mean about living in another part of the world, away from your heritage, is like. And yes, home is where the family is. That is why I am here and made Italy my new home too. I hope you pass by again. Thanks!

      Delete

I would love to read what you think!