This Springtime Savory Dutch Baby is on repeat right now for my go-to weekend breakfast OR when I want yummy breakfast-y thing for dinner! If you don't know what a Dutch baby is, you are about to learn.
Ever heard of or had a Dutch Baby? This was an unknown breakfast item for to me up until 6 or 7 years ago - I can't remember exactly how I learned about it but I'm thinking it was on a Food Network show. Supposedly this type of "pancake" originated in Germany - yet it is known as a Dutch Baby. Why it isn't called a "German Baby" is beyond me! If you Google search a Dutch Baby, you'll find that it is also called a "Dutch Puff," "German Pancake," or a "Bismark."
If you want to go ahead and see how I made this, here's a quick video!Complicated history and name confusion aside, at the end of the day, with a Dutch baby, we are basically making a giant popover. And it's a very, very, good thing!
My egg-hating self loves a good Dutch Baby as an alternative to an omelet. You're getting a substantial dose of protein here with an egg-rich and milk-rich batter, but in a puffy souffle-like form with a custardy center. A Dutch Baby is a delightful vehicle for lots of sweet toppings - like the traditional lemon juice + powdered sugar combination, or berries + Nutella. But today I'm sharing a savory version with you because I've found an ingredient combo that is just so perfect and satisfying that I can't get over it!
So here's the situation: we are jumping on the spring produce train with tender, nutty stalks of asparagus, sliced into thin rounds and sauteed ever so slightly to bring out their sweet flavor. We are also topping the Dutch Baby batter with the most deliciously creamy, sharp and nutty Raspberry Bellavitano cheese that will melt into the pancake as it bakes and flavor the batter. It is a unique choice, to be sure, but I am currently obsessed with this cheese right now and constantly looking for recipes to pair it with! The pancake is finished with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and grassy olive oil and shavings of salty Serrano ham. And then we dig in, take the first bite, and the springtime flavor explodes onto our tastebuds and makes them dance and sing.....
If you are a fellow pancake lover or are in search of more springtime flavor, check out my Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes my Shaved Asparagus and Sweet Pea Salad, or this Roasted Asparagus with Basil Pistachio Gremolata!
At least, that was my experience! Let's hurry and wrap this up so that you can try this recipe and I can make another Dutch Baby! I'd love to know how it turns out for you - leave a comment below or upload a picture of your puffy pancake to Twitter or Instagram with the tag @sweetcayenne5.
Springtime Savory Dutch Baby
For the Dutch baby:
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup whole milk at room temperature (I have had success with mixing ½ cup 1% milk and ¼ cup ½ and ½ before if you don’t have whole milk)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled, plus 1 tablespoon of butter for the pan
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (I use/recommend King Arthur brand)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (helps stabilize the pancake as it rises and form a custard-like center)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- ½ cup grated Sartori Raspberry Bellavitano Cheese (a good, creamy cheddar is a nice substitute)
For the toppings:
- 6 asparagus stalks
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- 2 ounces thinly sliced serrano ham (prosciutto is a nice substitute)
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 450 ℉. While the oven heats, place a medium (9’’) cast iron skillet in the center of the oven.
- Place the eggs in a blender and mix on high speed for one minute. The eggs will turn a pale yellow color and have a frothy texture.
- With the blender running on LOW speed, gradually add the milk and then the melted butter. Turn the blender off and add the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Blend on low just to combine, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
- Remove the preheated cast iron skillet from the oven. Add the tablespoon of remaining butter and carefully swirl the pan so that the butter coats the bottom and sides of the pan (be careful not to burn yourself while handling the hot pan). Pour the pancake batter into the hot pan, then top with the grated cheese.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes until the pancake is puffy and golden brown.
- While the pancake is baking, slice the asparagus stalks into ¼’’ rounds, using only the tender part of the stalk (about ⅔ of the stalk). Saute the rounds in a small skillet with a bit of olive oil for about 90 seconds - avoid overcooking. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine 1 teaspoon of olive with one teaspoon of lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once the pancake is done, remove from the oven (it will start to deflate right away) . Immediately drizzle the lemon-olive oil mixture over the top, and top the pancake with the asparagus and slices of serrano ham. Serve while the pancake is nice and hot!
- If you do not have a blender, you can certainly use a bowl, whisk, and some good elbow grease to mix up the pancake batter!
- This recipe can easily be halved and baked in a 6’’ cast iron skillet to serve 1-2 people OR double and baked in a 12’’ cast iron skillet to serve 6-8 people.
- Alternative topping options:
- Omit the cheese and serve the pancake with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top, a dusting of powdered sugar, and a spoonful of your favorite jam or citrus curd.
- Omit the cheese and serve with sliced berries and drizzles of melted Nutella.