Sleeping in until noon is by far the best part of summer vacation. When I’m home alone, I usually end up making some instant oatmeal or Nutella on toast–whatever I can deliver from plate to mouth with as little effort as possible. If I’m really lazy, I’ll roll over, fall back asleep, and start thinking about lunch in an hour.
But BovineBoyfriend is a breakfast food connoisseur, and even on the latest of mornings, he will not be denied his breakfast goodness. I ended up visiting him at my (now) alma mater this week, and when we decided to get out of bed well past noon, he was raring to go for some breakfast.
A look into his fridge revealed that he desperately needed to go grocery shopping, but one thing he had in abundance was eggs. When we have plenty of eggs and the patience to cook up a pretty darn spectacular breakfast, we turn to German pancakes.
Mmm…I want another one already.
German pancakes, Dutch babies, they’re so easy to make, so versatile, and so rewarding for how little effort you put into them. They’re the perfect breakfast to share, and don’t require standing over a skillet or griddle, churning out one pancake at a time. If you like eggy custards, you’ll fall in love with German pancakes. And if you have a cast-iron skillet, you should be making this now!
I forgot to take step-by-step pictures of the German pancake (I blame it on the morning grog), but you essentially melt two tablespoons of butter, mix it with 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk in 1/2 cup of flour and a few shakes of cinnamon, get rid of most of the lumps, and pour it into a waiting cast-iron skillet. Put it in the oven at 450F and forget about it for 12-16 minutes. For me, it took about 16 minutes, but we also like our German pancakes more golden and crusty on the edges, and less eggy and soft.
My favorite version of the German pancake is packed with caramelized apples inside, followed shortly by German pancakes topped with fruit salad and whipped cream. Alas, BovineBoyfriend had no fruit in his fridge, but he did have a carton of hand-picked real Maine blueberries (picked last summer) in his freezer. While we could have tossed the blueberries into the German pancake before it hit the oven, I was in the mood to go one step further. Blueberry sauce a la IHOP!
I had never made blueberry sauce before, but I looked up a couple of recipes and miraculously, we had all the right ingredients for a highly-rated recipe from Allrecipes. Blueberry sauce is surprisingly easy to make, and quick as well! I threw this together in less than 10 minutes. That’s as close to instant gratification as it gets.
I added 1 cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons of water, 1/2 cup of orange juice, and 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) of sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. I let it come to a boil, which took about 6-7 minutes. At this point, my blueberry sauce looked like this:
As soon as it came to a boil, I threw in 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of cold water. In it went, and the sauce instantly went from runny to the beautifully thick and viscous blueberry sauce consistency we know and love. Like this:
It was about this time that the German pancake was finished with its wild ride in the oven and was ready to come out. Puffy, golden, and delightfully misshapen–it’s hard not to love these pancakes. They may not be perfectly domular, but they have character, damnit! This morning, mine looked like this:
Yes, there will be butter collected on top. You can sop it up with a paper towel if you want, or you can let it sink back down into the pancake. The choice is yours! The world is your pancake!
I presented the completed pancake to BovineBoyfriend and he was mighty pleased. He was surprised that I had managed to make a successful blueberry sauce (shows you how much faith he has in my abilities). We sat down to this beautiful Thursday morning spread:
Unfortunately, we have no pictures of the blueberry sauce drizzled onto the pancake, since we were ravenous and tore at the pancake like college students at free pizza, but rest assured, it was glorious. The slightly tart orange-flavored blueberry sauce was the perfect accent to the mellow eggy pancake. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the orange flavor, but BovineBoyfriend enjoyed it. If you want a pure unadulterated blueberry experience, feel free to substitute water for the orange juice. I might try that myself next time. Besides that, it was the perfect sweetness, and I will definitely be making this again to put on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, yogurt, maybe even toast. The possibilities are endless!
German Pancake (yes, just one pancake)
(Adapted from Steamy Kitchen)
Serves two lazy snoozers.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons of melted butter (preferably cooled)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Melt two tablespoons of butter and set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs and stir in the milk, sugar, and salt. Once the butter is moderately cool, add the melted butter to the bowl and stir. Whisk in the flour and cinnamon and mix just until most lumps are gone.
Pour the pancake batter into a greased 9″-11″ cast-iron skillet and bake for 12-16 minutes (16 minutes for me). When golden brown, remove from the oven and serve immediately with whatever fruit strikes your fancy. In this case, blueberry sauce!
Note: If you want to serve the pancake right from the skillet, make sure you add the blueberry sauce separately once it’s on a plate, rather than right in the skillet. The sugariness of the sauce will necessitate a soapy skillet cleaning otherwise.
10-Minute Blueberry Sauce
(Adapted from user ISYBEL on Allrecipes)
Serves 4 blueberry fiends
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) water + additional 1/8 cup cold water
1/2 cup orange juice
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) white granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Add the blueberries, 2 tablespoons water, orange juice, and sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring gently. When the mixture starts to boil (about 5-7 minutes later), dissolve the cornstarch in the 2 tablespoons cold water and add this mixture to the saucepan. The sauce should almost immediately thicken. Cook it for a couple of minutes longer (or to your desired thickness), and add the vanilla and cinnamon. Enjoy!
Note: I thought the orange juice flavor was too strong, but other reviews have said it goes away after sitting for a while. We had blueberry sauce left over, so we’ll make regular pancakes to eat it with tomorrow and see if this is indeed the case.
Pancakes + blueberry sauce together made quite the decadent breakfast/brunch/lunch. Make some for your special snoozer tomorrow!