Who's excited about Pancake Day? Our boys are so excited and I just know we'll be making them pancakes for breakfast, they'll get them at school and will demand them for dinner too! We are huge pancake fans in this house -- the boys would eat them every day if they could but we restrict them to once or twice a week. This is a different kind of pancake -- possibly my new favourite kind -- that I've been trying out in advance of the big day in a couple of weeks.
Ever had a Dutch Baby? Making pancakes generally means hubby standing at the stove flipping a neverending supply of them onto our plates and our boys can eat a LOT of pancakes. After about 20 minutes, they declare they're full and he finally gets to eat his share. So if breakfast time is similar in your house and you haven't tried a Dutch Baby, this scenario will melt into the background. Cue one giant pancake, extremely filling, that you bake in the oven and then you all get to eat it together with your favourite toppings. Especially a cute little recipe for Maple Pecan Butter that is simply to die for. Looking good?
So I think I've said once or twice on here that Pumpkin is one of my favourite ingredients. I know it's more autumnal than winter, but when the weather is bleak outside, you need something to cheer you up and pumpkin makes a very filling and hearty ingredient (plus it's a vegetable so that must get a big tick!) I first fell in love with pumpkin when we used to visit my parents in Toronto and bought tins of Pumpkin Waffle mix from Williams-Sonoma. They are the best. But you can only get it around Halloween in their stores and we don't have the opportunity to travel to Canada right now. So I decided to bring the Pumpkin to a Dutch Baby and I promise you, this is amazing - the Pumpkin Dutch Baby with Maple Pecan Butter.
So if you're going the full mile and making the Maple Pecan Butter too (and I seriously suggest you put in the effort as it transforms the dish) you'll start the day before you plan to eat. I had some maple butter years ago in a London breakfast cafe with waffles and it was amazing. The consistency is very smooth and soft -- I refrigerated mine as I wanted the butter a little harder and this worked but it does soften up relatively fast once out of the fridge. I thought it would be as simple as softening some butter and adding the maple syrup and pecans and it is a bit more complicated than that -- but not too much! You do need a candy thermometer as you first need to gently heat the maple syrup and cinnamon stick to soft ball stage (240 degrees), then remove it from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and add the butter. Then transfer it to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for 8 to 10 minutes. It will transform pretty quickly -- I wasn't happy with the consistency after 8 minutes (not firm enough) and less than 2 minutes later it had completely transformed so do keep an eye on it. Mix through the pecans and pop it on to some clingfilm and roll it into a sausage shape. Then refrigerate until you need it but mine had around 24 hours in the fridge. The ratios of the ingredients are 2:1 maple syrup:butter if you want to upscale it and make more. It keeps for around 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
The Pumpkin Dutch Baby itself it very straightforward. Think making pancakes and it's a one bowl and one skillet recipe. All of the ingredients go in the one bowl to be beaten. The one things to remember is that the eggs and milk need to be at room temperature. The skillet is heated in the oven so it's very hot, then the butter added and finally the batter. Then popped back in the oven for around 15-20 minutes. The outsides should be puffed and golden; the insides more of a custardy consistency. When you plan to serve this, it's best to have everyone sat ready at the table as it can deflate quickly -- so it's out of the oven, toppings on and onto the table in a couple of minutes to have the full effect.
This is delicious. The inside is like a pudding | custard and I love the orange tinge that the pumpkin brings to it. As the Dutch Baby itself doesn't have sugar or sweeteners in it, it does need lovely, sweet toppings. Mine had the Maple Pecan Butter, extra pecans, icing sugar and maple syrup to crown it -- you don't need all of these (I think it would be delicious with caramelised banana or lemon and sugar or just maple syrup or honey) but it's one of those dishes you really want to dress to impress.
And the great thing about a Dutch Baby is that if you think of it just like a pancake, you can make up your own variations with fruit inside the batter (apples, strawberries, bananas, blueberries) and really get creative.
If you fancy another alternative creation for the big day, you could also check out this fabulous Dulce De Leche & Mascarpone Crêpe Cake -- Dutch Baby for breakfast and Crêpe Cake for tea, anyone?!
I hope you all have a wonderful Pancake Day next week and would to hear what you're baking to celebrate :) xoxo
Maple Pecan Butter
adapted from Martha Stewart's Maple Butter
- 232G MAPLE SYRUP
- 166G BUTTER
- 15G PECANS, ROUGHLY CHOPPED
- 1 CINNAMON STICK
- Place the maple syrup and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and heat gently until it reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage) - this should take around 10-15 minutes and it's important to keep this on a gentle heat for that time
- Remove from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the butter until it's melted
- Transfer it to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on low at first (to save splashing it everywhere), then gradually increase to a medium speed
- Keep beating for around 8 - 10 minutes but keep an eye on it from 8 minutes as it does change consistency very quickly - you're looking for it to turn opaque and have a smooth consistency
- Stir through the pecans
- Place onto a piece of clingfilm and roll it up into a sausage shape
- Refrigerate until set - mine was prepared 24 hours before I used it
Pumpkin Dutch Baby
- 3 LARGE EGGS at room temperature
- 170ML MILK (semi-skimmed or whole) at room temperature
- 150G PLAIN FLOUR
- 3 TBSP PUMPKIN PUREE
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 1 TSP PUMPKIN SPICE
- 15g BUTTER
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan)
- Put the skillet into the oven and heat for at least 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients (except for the butter) in a bowl with a whisk until smooth
- When the skillet's ready, remove from the oven and add the butter ensuring that the melted butter coats the bottom and sides of the skillet
- Immediately add the batter to the skillet and bake for around 15 minutes
- The Dutch Pancake is ready when the sides are golden and slightly puffed and the middle is a custard consistency
- Remove from the oven, add slices of Maple Pecan Butter, chopped pecans (toasted if preferred), maple syrup and icing sugar (or your preferred toppings)
- Serve immediately and enjoy with a huge smile on your face :)
- Happy Pancake Day!!