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A Dutch baby pancake in a cast iron skillet

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These 3 savory Dutch baby recipes are perfect for Easter brunch — or any springtime occasion

When I first heard the term "Dutch baby," I'll admit, I was bewildered. Research regarding the origins of the dish explained it's a cross between a pancake and a crepe, but baked. The batter fluffs up during cooking, and each one has a unique shape. They're mesmerizing to watch rise through the oven glass door while they cook.

The dish originated in Germany and was first served in the United States in the early 1900s at Manca's, a diner in Seattle. The owner's daughter coined the name Dutch baby, presumably the result of an Americanization of Deutsch into Dutch.

Dutch babies are traditionally filled with sweet ingredients such as apples, raisins, powdered sugar and honey. However, there's no reason why you can't turn them savory; here are some combinations that my family enjoys.


Ham and Sausage Dutch Baby

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
4 ounces breakfast sausage
4 ounces diced ham
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Instructions
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, cook sausage and ham over medium heat, stirring often until the pork has browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl and set aside. Drain grease and wipe clean with paper towel. Add butter to skillet and place in oven.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the eggs, milk and cream. Add the flour, mustard, salt and pepper and process until blended, about 10 to 15 seconds. Remove skillet from oven and immediately pour egg mixture into skillet.

Bake until mixture puffs and turns light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Add in 3/4 cup of the shredded Cheddar cheese and top with the reserved sausage and ham. Add the remaining cheese and the chopped chives. Serve immediately.


Country Ham and Gruyere Dutch Baby

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
1/2 cup chopped country ham
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

Instructions
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, cook ham over medium heat, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add butter to skillet and place in oven.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the eggs, milk and cream. Add the flour, mustard, salt and pepper and process until blended, about 10 to 15 seconds. Remove skillet from oven and immediately pour egg mixture into skillet.

Bake until mixture puffs and turns light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with the reserved ham, along with the cheese, chives and tarragon. Serve immediately.


Vegetable and White Cheddar Dutch Baby

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup diced ham
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup diced Roma tomatoes

Instructions
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the ham, onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the ham has browned and vegetables have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and place skillet in the oven.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the eggs, milk, cream and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Add the flour, mustard, salt and pepper and process until blended, about 10 to 15 seconds. Remove skillet from oven and immediately pour egg mixture into skillet.

Bake until mixture puffs and turns light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and add the diced Roma tomato. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Serve immediately.


Author image

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. You can contact her at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.