January 27, 2010 § 12 Comments
It is so easy, in fact, that it is one of the first dishes I ever cooked – when I was seven or eight, I do believe. We had a little cookbook with easy recipes for kids, and this was in it. Cooking simple things early in life gave me a sense of culinary confidence which has led me to do many, many strange things with ingredients over the course of the years. Luckily, I did most of those things while I lived alone, so the myriad disastrous dinners that ended up in the garbage can (those were my pre-compost days, mea culpa, mea culpa) were my own private shame.
Never had any trouble with this old stand-by, though…oh, except for when I tried to make it whole wheat. No go. Otherwise, it’s a versatile recipe. For one thing, this is pretty much the same thing as Yorkshire pudding (if you omit the sugar – and, if you want to be really authentic, cook it in drippings).
Also, it can be made into a little gourmet dessert if, instead of pouring all the batter into a big cast-iron skillet, you pour small amounts of it into baby bundt pans – or, if you ain’t got none, muffin tins (which I don’t have. Odd. I have baby bundt pans, but not muffin tins? This is probably a metaphor for something). ..and then serve it on precious little plates, with a dollop of whipped cream and a few berries and maybe a small puddle of blackberry brandy or grand marnier reduction.
It’s also the basis for a frittata, another dish that is easier than you’d expect.
This Dutch Puff – or Souffle Pancake – or Yorkshire Pud – takes about five minutes to throw together, and fifteen in the oven: so you can put it in, take a shower, do your make-up, put on a silk negligee – or silk pyjamas, whatever – brew coffee, and, voila, in no time at all you have an elegant breakfast with which to surprise your sweetheart. Or yourself.
1) Preheat oven to 425.
2) Put 2 tbsp SALTED butter in a medium-sized cast iron skillet, and put skillet in oven (or put 1 tsp each butter in baby bundt pans or muffin tins – and put those in oven)
3) Measure into a medium-sized mixing bowl:
1/2 c milk
4) Measure into another mixing bowl:
1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar (unless you are serving this as a savory accompaniment to a meat dish)
(Like my cool green egg? It really is green. The chicken laid it that way.)
4) Blend or whisk wet ingredients.
5) Add wet to dry, and keep right on whisking – until smooth and yellow and runny, like very thick scrambled eggs.
6) Remove skillet (or tins) from oven. It should be all glossy and bubbly with melted butter. Swirl butter around to make sure whole pan is coated.
7) Pour in batter
8) Put in oven for 15 minutes (12 minutes if making mini-puffs)
9) It will be golden brown and madly puffy when you remove it. Mini-puffs tend to hold their puff better, once removed. Either way, they will taste like very delicate french toast, or bready souffle.
10) Pour over it: honey, syrup, berry sauce, jam, marmalade, cream….
And here’s what Dobbit looks like, perplexed at being given his fourth mini-puff.
But he ain’t complaining.