Wednesday, August 29, 2012

German Pancakes

One of my cheapskate codes of conduct is that if someone offers you a food that you do not hate (and that is healthy), and asks if you can use it, you say, "Yes." Even if using it will require a little bit of effort or creativity. Such a thing happened several weeks ago when a friend who has chickens brought by no less than 4 dozen eggs right after I had just bought 2 dozen eggs and one of our ducks had decided to start laying. "Can you use them?" she asked.

"I'm sure I can," I said.

But as the days went by I wasn't making my way through them very fast. Six dozen eggs plus a few duck ones called for a few drastic measures. I made this egg bake and these waffles (doubled). I made crepes. Also, I remembered this recipe for German pancakes (sometimes called Dutch Babies) that my sisters had introduced me to. It was easy enough to assign to a 7-year-old (minus a certain hot butter step), used half a dozen eggs, tasted good, and could be eaten with savory or sweet toppings. Also, it puffs up in this groovy kind of way. Perfect.

My kids were a little skeptical, but when I told them they could sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on it, they agreed (oh, how gracious of them) to give it a try.

German Pancakes
makes 1 8x8 inch pan, thick OR 1 9x13 inch pan, thin (we opted, sort of accidentally for the 8x8)
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cost: $1.35
eggs: .60, flour: .10, milk: .15, butter: .50

1/8-1/4 C butter (you'll use 1/8 in a 8x8 inch and 1/4 in a 9x13 inch)
1 C flour
1 C milk
6 eggs

Heat oven to 450 and set rack in middle. As it heats, put butter in pan and stick that pan int he oven so the butter melts.

In the meantime, mix eggs, milk, and flour until mostly non-lumpy (mine always retains a few lumps and they are never noticeable in the finished product).

Take out your pan of butter, wait for the oven to finish heating, and then dump (careful not to splash the butter) your batter in and put it into the 450 degree oven. (Note: The butter won't all stay on the bottom; some will swish around and even get on the top of your German pancakes. Not a problem.)

Bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are at least 160 degrees and preferably a little hotter (they'll be firm when a fork is inserted and just beginning to brown at the edges).

Remove and top as you like. You can use sweet things (my favorite one is powdered sugar with a sprinkle of lemon juice) or savory ones (roasted tomatoes anyone?).

Note: These stay hot for a while so don't chomp right in and burn your mouth. I think the butter keeps them extra hot for a little longer than you'd expect, especially if you made the thick ones.


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