Year’s ago we came across a recipe for Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar that our friend Jane Lear had come up with when she was Senior Articles Editor for Gourmet magazine. It took only three eggs, two lemons and some sugar and flour to make a glorious dessert: a giant popover with pancake overtones made in an iron skillet. As we were gobbling it, we thought: Wouldn’t this also be great SAVORY instead of sweet? We imagined it baking it with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to make something akin to a giant gougere, an eggy, crispy cheese puff usually made in bite-size portions. We tried it and it worked, to sublime effect.
Our plan: take out the sweet stuff, vanilla and spices from Gourmet’s recipe to leave the essential batter in place. Then add grated Parmigiano and flavorings that complement it: cayenne, nutmeg, black pepper, salt.
The first try was a bust: we’d mixed too much cheese into the batter, which then didn’t have enough ballast to rise, and baked into stodgy pancake. So we mulled it a bit and tried a different strategy: Using less cheese and sprinkling it on TOP of the batter before popping it into the oven. The result: a hugely puffed fragrant cheese creation: part crispy, part chewy, part eggy/pancakey delight…We ate the whole thing.
Best of all, we found we had a Formula for an Eggy, Chewy, Crispy Puffed Pancake (Savory or Sweet):
Take the basic batter: 3 eggs + 2/3 cup milk + 2/3 cup flour + salt + 2 tablespoons butter
-turn it sweet, by adding sweet spices and vanilla and sprinkling it at the end with lemon sugar
-turn it savory, by sprinkling 1/2 cup finely grated cheese on top OR stirring a few tablespoons finely snipped chives into the batter
Just follow the steps in the recipes below.
Recipe Trail: Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar
You’ll find Gourmet’s original recipe for Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar here. We found that using only 2 tablespoons of butter and mixing some of it into the batter worked best. And we like letting each person sprinkle as much Lemon Sugar on their serving as they like. You’ll have way more than you need, but it keeps indefinitely to use on all sorts of things, including French toast and yogurt – or your next Dutch Baby.