To us, the best way to enjoy a Dutch Baby pancake is in a cabin. In the woods. Preferably during a snow storm. The souffléd pancake is a looker — it rises to great heights, gets crisp on the edges, custardy in the middle, and is a pancake crater thats a natural bowl for anything you like to top your pancakes with from fruit to syrup. This time of year we like to serve it with caramelized fruit from pears to apples or persimmons and the best Maple Syrup you can find.
at room temperature
or half-and-half, at room temperature
or white whole wheat flour
trimmed, quartered, and thinly sliced
or an orange liqueur such as Cointreau
Heat the oven to 425°F, arrange a rack in the middle, and place a seasoned 10-or-12-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl occasionally to make sure it melts evenly. Cook until it starts to smell toasted and looks golden brown, remove it from the pan and set aside to cool slightly.
Combine eggs, cream, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt in a blender with 2 tablespoons of the brown butter and blend until you have a smooth batter, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Using a dry towel or pot holder, carefully remove the very hot skillet from the oven. Return the remaining melted browned butter to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet, making sure not to splatter batter all over the sides of the pan.
Carefully return the pan to the oven and bake until the pancake is puffed up, golden brown on top and crispy on the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. When it foams, sprinkle the sugar over the top and cook until bubbly. Add the persimmons and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of pear liqueur and a pinch of cinnamon and set aside until ready to use.
You can use thinly sliced apples or pears instead of persimmons if you want.
Using a dry towel or pot holder, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and use a heatproof spatula to turn the pancake onto a large plate. (It may fall slightly once removed from the heat, but thats normal.)
To serve, cut into wedges and sprinkle with powdered sugar, a squeeze of lemon, and a spoonful of your favorite preserves.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp