Food Daily Dish

Easy dinner recipes: Savory or sweet German pancakes in 30 minutes

Call them what you will — Dutch babies, German pancakes, Dutch puffs — they're all about the souffle factor. German pancakes are so easy to make — who doesn't love a dish that comes together in less than half an hour using only a few ingredients? And then there's that delicate texture and flavor — light and airy, but rich and almost nutty, it's like biting into a delicious cloud.

But perhaps the best part is simply watching them puff in the oven. They're downright fun to watch.

Usually, German pancakes are served for breakfast, dusted with powdered sugar and maybe a squeeze of lemon, or perhaps with sautéed apple slices spooned in the center. But why stop at breakfast? The basic batter is simple — a little flour, a few eggs, some milk, maybe a pinch of salt or a little sugar to sweeten. Think of it as a blank canvas waiting to be flavored. 

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

Go savory — perhaps adding chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, with finely grated Gruyère cheese and a few strips of crumbled bacon added for richness. Not overly heavy, the cheese and bacon give the pancake a subtle richness, perfect served alongside a simple salad.

Want sweet? Try chocolate. Fold sweetened cocoa powder into the batter to flavor (I found chopped chocolate or chips to be too heavy), adding just a touch of espresso powder — you won't taste the coffee, but it will help to bring out the richness of the chocolate. Round out the flavorings with a little almond extract or orange zest, then toss it in the oven. Serve it topped with a big scoop of ice cream.

You can find the basic recipe, along with three variations, below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

 

BASIC GERMAN PANCAKE

30 minutes. Serves 2 to 4

1 cup (4.25 ounces) flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup (½ stick) butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, then beat the egg mixture into the flour. Melt the butter in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet and pour the batter into the hot pan. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Serve immediately.

EACH OF 4 SERVINGS

Calories 311

Protein 11 grams

Carbohydrates 26 grams

Fiber 1 gram

Fat 18 grams

Saturated fat 10 grams

Cholesterol 221 mg

Sugar 2 grams

Sodium 166 mg

NOTE: Dress up the pancake as you like, perhaps with a pinch of spice or lemon zest. Serve plain or dusted with powdered sugar.

 

GERMAN PANCAKES WITH SAUTEED APPLES

45 minutes. Serves 2 to 4

Sautéed apples

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup rum

3 apples, preferably Granny Smith, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 slices

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small saucepan, combine the raisins and rum over medium-low heat just until the rum warms and begins to soften the raisins. Remove from heat and set aside until the raisins are softened and plump. Drain the rum and set the raisins aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the apple softens, 4 to 6 minutes (the slices should still be a little crisp). Remove from heat and stir in the raisins. Keep warm.

Pancakes

1 cup (4.25 ounces) flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup (½ stick) butter

Sautéed apples

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and pecan pieces. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, then beat the egg mixture into the flour. Melt the butter in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet and pour the batter into the hot pan. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Spoon the apple mixture into the center of the pancake and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

EACH OF 4 SERVINGS

Calories 632

Protein 13 grams

Carbohydrates 66 grams

Fiber 5 grams

Fat 33 grams

Saturated fat 16 grams

Cholesterol 244 mg

Sugar 35 grams

Sodium 318 mg

 

SAVORY GERMAN PANCAKE WITH BACON, CHEESE AND HERBS

30 minutes. Serves 2 to 4

1 cup (4.25 ounces) flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut into ¼-inch crosswise strips

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cheese and herbs. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, then beat the egg mixture into the flour.

2. Render the bacon in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet until crisp, then strain the bacon, leaving the hot fat in the pan. Stir the bacon into the batter, then pour the batter into the hot pan. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden-brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Serve immediately.

EACH OF 4 SERVINGS

Calories 354

Protein 16 grams

Carbohydrates 26 grams

Fiber 1 gram

Fat 20 grams

Saturated fat 7 grams

Cholesterol 216 mg

Sugar 2 grams

Sodium 372 mg

 

CHOCOLATE GERMAN PANCAKE

30 minutes. Serves 2 to 4

1 cup (4.25 ounces) flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon espresso powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Zest of 1 orange (optional)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1/4 cup (½ stick) butter

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder, brown sugar and orange zest. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, milk and almond extract, then beat the egg mixture into the flour. Melt the butter in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet and pour the batter into the hot pan. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Serve immediately.

EACH OF 4 SERVINGS

Calories 347

Protein 12 grams

Carbohydrates 35 grams

Fiber 3 grams

Fat 19 grams

Saturated fat 10 grams

Cholesterol 221 mg

Sugar 7 grams

Sodium 169 mg

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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