Apparently I’ve been holding out on Dad and Sandy. This morning I baked a cinnamon apple dutch baby for the three of us, and how the compliments flew.

DSCF0239-1Not necessarily of my baking skills – it’d be difficult to ruin a dutch baby; more of the grandeur and enticing aromas.

Even to someone who’s witnessed the db phenomenon numerous times before, it continues to amaze me. A handful of ingredients are mixed together, poured into a pan and placed in the oven. When the timer dings, a magnificent transformation has occurred. The once tiny pool of batter has soared skyward, the edges a deep golden brown, the center still pale with a few bubbles – and on this morning, showcasing the caramelized cinnamon apple slices.

Dad tried several times to dole out individual plates before my explanation of how to eat a dutch baby sank in. One large plate in the middle for the baby, napkins and forks for all. Huddle in – start with your fingers, finish with the fork. Yes it’s flaky and crumbs will fall onto the table, but that’s what damp towels are for. Savor the db while it’s warm and towering; worry about the mess later.

Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby [serves 2-3]

Printable recipe.

For the apples:

1 T butter

2 small crisp apples [such as Gala]

a generous sprinkle of cinnamon

a pinch of brown sugar

For the batter:

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup milk [preferably 2% or whole]

1/2 cup ap flour

1/2 t salt

2 T butter, melted

1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Butter a 12″ ovenproof skillet [or wrap foil around the handle] and set aside.

For the apples, set a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the 1T butter. When the butter is melted and foamy, add the apple slices and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and brown sugar, cooking a couple minutes longer until the apple slices are slightly caramelized.

In the meantime, break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly mixed [a handheld mixer works nicely]. Add the milk and blend well. Sift the flour and salt onto a piece of wax paper. Lift the wax paper up by two corners or sides and pour the contents slowly into the egg and milk, whisking steadily. Add the melted butter and mix briskly so the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the skillet and scatter apple slices over top.

Place skillet on the middle oven rack and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and bake for another 10 minutes. [Mine developed a rich golden hue after the first 10 minutes. I lowered the temperature at this point and baked only for another 7 minutes – when the edges were deep golden and the middle fully set.]

Serve at once while hot and high and mighty.

An adaptation of Baked Pancakes from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

We sat around the table in our pajamas and dug in, dreaming up new flavor combinations for next weekend’s dutch baby. Dad and Sandy were in breakfast heaven, while I was whisked happily back to Pensacola, if only for a moment.