If frequency counts towards stardom, peanut butter and bananas are the superstars of my breakfast routine.
I eat half a banana smeared with peanut butter more often than not, sometimes supplemented with a dollop of yogurt and granola, scrambled eggs with feta if my boyfriend feels like getting fancy, pancakes, toast with PB&J, or an apple with peanut butter. But I’m just obsessed with that creamy, sticky, healthy-sweet combination.
I’ve also developed a mild obsession with dutch babies ever since that basic dutch baby I posted a few weeks ago. I talked about the Wednesday Chef’s baked apple pancake, and wondered why I hadn’t made it again. This morning, I ate half a banana with peanut butter in my kitchen and wondered why I hadn’t made it again. And why no one, it seemed, had deemed a peanut butter and banana dutch baby worthy of recipe postage.
I was worried that this recipe just wouldn’t measure up to Luisa’s luscious apple pancake (I’ve never fried bananas before), but it totally does. Even with a few tweaks, it’s just as luscious with its wiggly, uneven puffs that lead into crisp edges and custard-y innards. Bananas, slightly caramelized and soft, provide pockets of intense sweetness amid a blanket of peanut butter-perfumed pancake. This is like a teeny-bopper, trendy version of the classic, rustic apple pancake. This is just the thing to serve as an easy, tasty brunch show-stopper.
I’m not afraid to say I like this better than my basic dutch baby. I like this better than anything ever, basically.
Changes: Luisa’s recipe is already neat and streamlined; apples are sauteed in butter in a skillet, batter goes on top and the skillet bakes for a trim half hour. I don’t know about you, but I like my pancakes even speedier.
I updated this recipe by using one less egg, less butter, a smidgen of whole wheat flour for health, adding peanut butter and bananas instead of apples. With a few other tweaks, I adapted the Wednesday Chef’s recipe and followed CookingLight’s method of baking the pancake for only 10 minutes, and mine was done in 12. Since I used my home home convection oven, I recommend baking a little longer if you don’t have a convection oven. No fancy pre-heating of the skillet in the oven required!
Tips: I’m embarrassed to say that I never understood what creating a well in the center of dry ingredients did for a recipe. In this recipe, it’s an essential step that allows you to slowly control the incorporation of dry ingredients into wet gradually so that your batter isn’t lumpy (a problem I encountered with the last dutch baby I made). With each swirl of the whisk, you should drag a little more flour into the wet mixture so that it comes in streaks of powder instead of lumpy clumps.
It’s better to slice your bananas on the thick side rather than thin, otherwise they’ll disintegrate into mush during the browning step. Err on the side of undercooking them (unless you want mush), because there’s plenty of time for them to get tender in the oven.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
3/4 cup 1% milk (I think almond milk and other types of milk should work)
1 tablespoon butter
1 large, firm banana (or two small), sliced width-wise into coins about 1/2″ thick
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
Powdered sugar, for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Whisk together the flours, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs and peanut butter into the milk. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into the center, whisking the dry into the wet as you pour. Slowly incorporate flour mixture until mixture is runny and smooth. Set aside.
Preheat a 9″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When you add the butter, it should should sizzle. Once the butter is melted, turn heat up to medium-high and add the sliced bananas. Let cook for about 10 seconds, then start flipping banana coins so that each side gets browned. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and gently stir so that the brown sugar melts and caramelizes. Avoid disturbing the bananas.
Pour the batter over the bananas, turn off oven heat, and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Transfer skillet into the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and puffed. Check for doneness with a fork or toothpick. Inside should be custardy, but not wet. Sift powdered sugar on top and serve hot!
More pancakes starting in 3…2…1…
Classic Buttermilk Pancakes: the best basic pancake best I’ve found, super fluffy, puffy and buttery even though there’s not a ton of butter. They get all crisp-toasty with a soft, buttery inside when reheated (that’s when I like them best!), one of my favorite vehicles for some PB&J.
Basic Dutch Baby: got a bare kitchen? This baby requires the bare minimum for pancake ingredients and turns out one heck of an oven-baked pancake!
Pie Pancakes: if you have leftover pie, you must make these fat, puffy pancakes!