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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dutch Baby Pumpkin Pancakes



So its spring over here in great New England which is better known as "The Season of Gross Mushy Wasteland" or better know to my friends and family as "J'aime's least favorite New England Season" so I thought I'd whip up a breakfast that takes me back to one of my FAVORITE New England seasons: Fall!

Summer is of course awesome, its usually warm and bright and cheery but its New England so its also prone to freak cold fronts, and random thunderstorms.  Plus it never gets as amazingly warm as it does in my beloved state of NC.  Winter is great, for a little while, as it brings some of my favorite holidays and obviously beautiful snow. Spring is terrible, its when all the winter snow melts and reveals what has built up over months of not being able to tidy the road sides, lots of salt, sand, trash, and lots and lots of MUD.  Ugh. 

Enter Fall, I LOVE fall, the colors are gorgeous, there are still some warm days but there are also some cool days.  There is Halloween and of course the holiday of eating and baking and cooking: Thanksgiving!  One of the signature flavors of fall is pumpkin spice so I was SO PLEASED when I stumbled across this recipe from Just a Taste and simply HAD to give it a try!


I loved it, it was unimaginably simple and quick to throw together not to mention divinely tasty!  The idea of a dutch baby is to take what you would normally put in a pancake, add a few extra eggs for puffiness, and cook it in a dutch oven to get a nice light, airy texture but with crispy edges like a pancake. 


The process is super easy too, you just throw the ingredients in a blender while you preheat the oven (and dutch oven), once you've whipped some air into the batter you pour it into your hot dutch oven, throw it into your real oven to let it bake for about 20 minutes.  Normally while something is baking I go about tidying the kitchen but since I only had the blender to clean I had some extra time on my hands and thought I would work on some toppings.


The original recipe calls for pecans but all I had was walnuts so I used those instead, I gave them a nice toasting on the stove and sprinkled them with some spices.  I also whipped up a nice pumpkin syrup, recipe below, that used a good amount of real pumpkin puree since the pancake didn't call for any. 


The best part?  The outcome as totally baby approved!





Oh I'm sorry mumma, did you want some?


Pumpkin Spice Dutch Baby Pancake



Source: adapted from Just a Taste
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients for pancake

3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice 
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons butter


alternate method DIY pumpkin pie spice:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Ingredients for nut topping

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sugar (separated 1 tsp and 1 tsp)
1 tsp salt (separated 1/2 tsp and 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for syrup

2 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup sugar


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F with dutch oven in the oven.
  2. Blend all pancake ingredients except the butter in a blender, start on low so the eggs don't cook onto the blender blades, once ingredients are mixed turn the blender up to high for a couple minutes to whip air into the mixture.  Alternatively whisk ingredients in a bowl vigorously for 5 minutes.
  3. Once oven is preheated, remove it from oven and quickly add the butter and spread it around the inside of the pan.
  4. Once pan is well coated, pour in the batter and immediately put it back in the oven.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until puffed and outside is crispy.
  5. While the pancake is cooking, turn the stove onto medium heat and add 2 tbsp of butter to a medium skillet.  Once butter is melted and bubbling add the nuts, 1 tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt.  
  6. Toss nuts in pan until browned, then remove from heat and toss with remaining salt, sugar, and pie spice.
  7. In a medium skillet add all ingredients for syrup, whisk over medium heat until sugar is melted and mixture is homogeneous. 
  8. Remove syrup from heat and place in bowl for serving.