Welcome to 2011! I hope everyone had a sufficient New Years Eve! I started my New Years Eve off by cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on Mount Washington, where my family and Sebastien’s family had been skiing and enjoying fabulous weather for five days. A long drive home, a couple of ciders, and an extremely competitive game of Apples to Apples that left me hoarse, and there you have it, 2010 was over! How is 2011 looking so far? Any resolutions in the air?
Some people are anti-resolution. They see everyday as the stepping-stones to become a better person, so they forgo the thought of one big burst of effort one month of the year. These people also do not kiss a loved one at midnight (you can kiss anytime of the year!) and probably still help themselves to champagne. Myself, I am a fan of making resolutions. Resolutions are not only goals for the future; they are the products of reflection. Being of the non-religious variety, the practice of full life reflection is meager, save for New Years and birthdays. I pull out an old notebook and split a page into categories, organized by colour, and then begin with the big goals, which are broken down into series of smaller goals. Yes, it is the scientist in me that smiles at the neat columns and extra thoughts scribbled onto many fluttering sticky notes. Whether or not you partake in this quiet, reflective ritual, I hope you have a great new year regardless!
If you try this fantastic Dutch pancake, how can it not be a great year already? Baked in the oven and served with a sprinkling of icing sugar, maple syrup, and fresh apples or berries, this would make a great brunch item for the family or guests. I once even baked a jumbo-sized one, wrapped it well in tea towels, and drove it to a music festival where many happy campers enjoyed it, accompanied by fresh strawberries and shredded mint. I’ve also seen this pancake served as a desert item, spiced up with cardamom alongside a bowl of golden raisons soaked in liquor. Enjoy this recipe throughout 2011!
Dutch Baby Pancake
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2/3 c flour
2/3 c milk
2 Tbsp butter
1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. When the oven is almost or fully preheated, place an 18 “ pie plate, or two 9” cake pans, in the oven for about ten minutes, until they are quite hot. Meanwhile, make the batter.
2) Get out a large bowl, and crack your eggs in, whisking them until they are smooth and lighter in colour. Add the sugar, salt, flour, and milk, whisking until smooth.
3) To the nice and hot pie plate/ cake pans, add the butter. It should sizzle and melt. If it doesn’t melt completely, pop it in the oven until the butter is bubbling lightly. At that point, pour in all the batter at once and put it back in the oven.
4) Bake it for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for ten more minutes, or until the pancake looks set and the edges are browning. A bit of butter on the top may make it look uncooked, so give it a prod with a fork to test the batter when you think it is done.
5) Serve! Maple syrup and berries, or whatever you see fit to enjoy this pancake-meets-doughnut-without-the-guilt.