As part of my recent purge of nonstick cookware, I acquired my very first cast iron skillet – a vintage large-logo Griswold. I removed all the old crud with oven cleaner and then reseasoned it. Rust was minimal, so I was able to scrub it off with steel wool. (For more on cleaning and seasoning cast iron, see my previous post.)
I’ve been interested in recipes that use the skillet’s unique properties: nonstick, stove to oven, even heating, and good heat retention. So I decided to make a German Pancake – also known as a Dutch Baby – stuffed with apples. I looked at several recipes and then came up with my own spin on it. I’d never had a German Pancake before so I didn’t know what to expect. I was amazed when I took my first bite. It was exquisitely delicious. Here’s the recipe.
German Pancakes with Apples
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup unbleached white flour (preferably with germ)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 apples (I used Fuji)
- 3 tbsp raw sugar
Set the oven to 450°F. While it’s heating up, prepare the apples and batter.
Peel the apples, slice them into ¼” pieces about 1-2″ square. Try to make the pieces relatively uniform in size so they cook evenly. Set aside.
Beat the eggs. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and beat in. Measure the flour, but don’t mix in yet.
Melt the butter in the skillet on medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in the apples and sprinkle the sugar evenly over them. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before the apples are done, mix the flour into the egg mixture. Beat until just smooth (no lumps). Don’t overmix. Then pull the apples about an inch in from the edge of the skillet and pour in the batter, starting at the edge and then filling in the middle. Put the skillet in the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature to 425°F. Bake for 20 minutes, until brown and puffed. Invert on a platter to serve.
If you don’t wash the skillet immediately, the sugar will harden like rock candy. But no worries. Just boil some water in it, and the sugar will come right out.
I couldn’t believe how good this was. I don’t know what I expected, but this exceeded it! If you try the recipe, let me know how it turns out for you.