I may live in Canada, and I may have grown up in Florida, but New York City will always feel like home to me.
It's where I was born, where I went to college (go Hofstra!) and where I've always aspired to settle down (you know, once I win the lottery).
So believe me when I say that I've never been happier than I was last week, when my mom and I flew there to celebrate my birthday. Between the NYC Ballet, a matinee of Once, a trip to MoMA and tens of thousands of calories consumed, it was a very full week (and when I say full, I mean my belly).
We rented a flat in the heart of Chelsea, just two blocks from Le Grainne Cafe, a charming bistro which I'm not at all embarrassed to admit we visited multiple times that week.
On the last day of our trip, we returned for breakfast and I ordered the citron sucre crepes - impossibly light confections sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar.
I wanted to make something at home worthy of Le Grainne. At this stage of my home cookery, I lack the finesse required to make crepes so I went with a dutch baby (which is basically a cross between a pancake and a popover). They have a similarly thin batter to crepes but don't require any stovetop cooking - you just pour your super-simple batter in a skillet, pop it in the oven and 15 minutes later you have a buttery, eggy pastry the size of your head.
Seriously, this is the easiest thing to make that looks the most impressive. And what's better - it tastes divine. Less is more here - just a sprinkling of lemon zest and sugar, maybe even a spoonful of blueberry jam if you're feeling wild, and you've got a top notch breakfast pastry with all the flair of a New York City cafe. But less street noise.
Definitely less street noise.
Lemon-Sugar Dutch Baby
This confection is made with basic pantry ingredients and cooks in
just 15 minutes - a perfect dish for when you don't feel like spending all
morning in a hot kitchen but do feel like treating yourself to something special.
3 large eggs at room temperature (about 30 minutes on the counter)
2/3 cup whole milk at room temperature
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Put an ovenproof skillet (such as cast iron) on the middle rack of your oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
Beat eggs with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and frothy, then beat in milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Continue to beat until smooth, about 1 minute more (batter will be watery & thin).
Mix sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. (Do not add this to the batter - sugar will keep the dutch baby from rising. This is to be added upon serving.)
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the butter to it and melt, swirling to coat. Add batter (but don't mix; just pour it over the butter) and immediately return skillet to oven. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
Top the finished pastry with the lemon sugar. Serve immediately. (The dutch baby will begin to deflate as soon as it's taken out of the oven. This is normal. Just make sure to serve asap for the best texture & taste.)
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Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.