Aaaand Pancake Fridays are back with a very special edition!
This Grapefruit Dutch baby is up on I Heart Daily as part of a spring-into-summer recipe series I’m doing with them. You can find my first post on stenciled birthday pizookies here; this latest post is all about what you should be doing for Mother’s Day (hint: showering moms with love and her breakfast with powdered sugar).
A little background on this lovely feature: from third grade until high school, my singular goal in life was to be a published author (that, and to land the hunk of my dreams…okay, that was just high school). I did a lot more creative writing back then and by some complete stroke of luck, an essay of mine was published in a book, compiled and edited by seriously one of the most wonderful (generous! encouraging! kind!) people I know, Amy Goldwasser. It’s thanks to a partnership between Amy’s book and I Heart Daily that this recipe series came about.
But since this recipe is for Mother’s Day, let me take a moment to focus on another generous, encouraging, and kind woman I know: my mom. Our mother-daughter relationship, like many, was strewn with rocky patches throughout my adolescence thanks to one Extremely Moody Daughter. Thankfully, that is over. And I am who I am because of her.
I am published because she has always supported my dreams, given me time to think and write and brood. During the college decision process, I chose the better college because she helped me see the big life picture while I was just contemplating weather patterns. Though I’d also chosen the more expensive college, I graduated debt-free because she and my dad worked hard, took the time to become savvy about savings and investments, and invested in our future. I have a well-paying job because she nudged me to look beyond the limited field of writing jobs I thought I wanted. I’d choose bibimbap over Big Macs any day because she’s sliced hundreds of apples, cooked thousands of stir-fries and casseroles and rice dishes, and taken me and my siblings to countless farmers’ markets to teach us the importance of nutrition, cooking and local food. I can spot a sub-par head of broccoli a mile away.
I have a stubborn habit of sticking with things until they’re finished because she’s taught me the importance of commitment and follow-through. I always make the extra effort to hold onto empty water bottles if there are no recycling bins around because she’s told me over and over the importance of sustaining our planet. I know how to work hard because she is my epitome of hard work–many nights I have driven home to see the light glowing in her upstairs office at 10, 11, midnight. I entertain dreams about starting my own business because after putting herself through law school, that’s exactly what she did. I support myself because she has ingrained in me the importance of never relying on a man. I am in a fulfilling relationship because she taught me self-respect. I get to think seriously about what I want to be when I grow up because I know she is always there to encourage, commiserate, and think things through.
But because she is hundreds of miles away in California, I can only offer this blog post in lieu of making her the actual breakfast in bed she so thoroughly deserves. While the larger version of this—more suitable for a family—is up on I Heart Daily, I’ve been getting quite a bit of mileage out of my 6-inch cast-iron skillet with a smaller version, so I thought I’d post it below. It’s perfectly suited for just two people and although my mom is the time-crunched, efficient type who almost always springs for a larger version + leftovers, I’m sure she would appreciate the well-portioned size of this smaller creation.
You can sub nearly any spring fruit for this caramelized-fruit-studded, soufflé-like pancake, which is really quite light for a decadent-looking breakfast. I had grapefruit on hand, which resulted in pockets of tangy-sweet fruit with a slightly bitter edge where it met the pancake, greatly enhanced by a swoop of powdered sugar. I can’t even imagine the deliciousness this might be with perfectly ripe strawberries instead.
To all the moms out there: Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are, even when your kids don’t acknowledge this universal truth regularly, the way we should. I don’t know where I would be without mine.
This caramelized grapefruit studded dutch baby is airy and light: crisp on the outside and custardy on the inside. Use any spring fruit you have on hand: mango, cherries, strawberries, apricot.
- 1 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1/2 grapefruit, peeled and segmented (or about 1 cup your fruit of choice)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- scant 3 tablespoons milk
- scant ½ teaspoon vanilla
- scant 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- dash of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit (you will be reducing the heat later! A brief, initial blast of high heat helps give the Dutch baby extra volume).
Place a 6-inch oven-proof skillet on the stove and melt ½ tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
Toss grapefruit in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and add to the pan; cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, until tender and caramelized. Sprinkle grapefruit with additional sugar if you like, flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla very vigorously—this is where you are incorporating air into the eggs to help the pancake rise.
Add the flour, salt and cinnamon and mix until just combined—don’t overmix or your pancake will be tough. Melt the other ½ tablespoon of butter and gently whisk into the batter.
Pour batter into the skillet over the grapefruit and immediately move the entire skillet to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 5-10 minutes until puffed and brown. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve immediately!
Full segments of grapefruit look pretty, but make slices hard to eat. Chop segments up into smaller pieces for easier eating!
Adapted from this lovely creation.