I distinctly remember the first time I ate a Dutch Baby. I was in 6th grade in Home Economics class and it was the first recipe we made.
The recipe was very simple but for my fellow classmates it was disastrous. Watching eleven-year-old kids crack an egg for the first time is hilarious and slightly terrifying at the same time.
I remember pouring the batter into the hot pan and placing it in the oven thinking to myself that it was going to be disgusting. Did anything tasty ever come out of a Home Ec class? After 30 minutes of cleaning up flour and broken eggshells I pulled the Dutch Baby out of the oven and I was totally caught off guard.
Some sort of magic had taken place in that oven as I pulled out this huge, fluffy, billowing pancake. I had never seen anything like it. I placed it on the table and my teacher instructed us to finish the pancake with a dusting of powdered sugar. My mouth started to water as the snowfall of sugar landed on the cracked surface of the pancake. I could not wait to dig in.
But before I could cut a slice my teacher walked over to the table and squeezed half a lemon onto the Dutch Baby. I felt like someone poured hot sauce on chocolate cake. Why did she have to ruin a perfectly good pancake with freaking lemon juice? Ugh!
I pouted in my chair while one of my classmates sliced me a piece of the Dutch Baby. I hesitantly put a piece in my mouth and it’s like a light bulb went off in head. There was something so incredible about the acidity of the lemon juice mixed with the powdered sugar. I had never tasted anything quite like it.
The bottom of the Dutch Baby was smooth and almost custard like. The exterior was caramelized and slightly crunchy. Then there were these pops of sweet and sour that exploded on my tongue. It was amazing.
That Dutch Baby opened my eyes to the importance of acidity in food. Without the lemon juice that pancake would have just been sweet. Not that being sweet is a bad thing but that lemon juice added depth and contrast to something that seemed so simple.
From that point on, literally, everything I ate or cooked had some acidic component to it. For me, acid really is the spice of life.
My version ( based on a recipe from Gourmet Magazine) of the Dutch Baby includes the classic ingredients:
flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk
However I added lemon zest into the batter itself to give it extra burst of lemony goodness.
Please do yourself a favor and make this Lemon Dutch Baby. It will change your morning and your love of acidity.
- ⅓ C sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg white
- ⅔ C 1% milk (can use skim, 2% or whole milk)
- ⅔ C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Accompaniments: powdered sugar and lemon wedges
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Once the oven is heated place a 10-inch cast iron pan into the oven.
- Mix the sugar and lemon zest together. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, Add the milk, vanilla extract, salt and lemon/sugar mixture. Mix for another minute until combined.
- Pull the pan out of the oven and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the butter to the pan and make sure it's fully coated.
- Then add the batter and place the pan back in the oven.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until the pancake is fully and golden brown.
- Top with powdered sugar and serve lemon wedges.