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July, 2013

German Pancakes with Fresh Berries, Whipping Cream, Orange Zest and Mint
By Heidi Allison

Easy to prepare, this is a great recipe to cook with your kids since it brings excitement, and, lots of drama to the table— it’s fun to watch this pancake rise during the last 10 minutes of cooking to a puffy 5 inches in height— like magic!

Cinnamon SticksSimilar to Yorkshire pudding, German pancakes are sweet breakfast pancakes that are baked in a hot (400°F) oven, rather than cooked at a low heat on a griddle or flat-top. Somewhere between a soufflé and a French crepe, this recipe produces a pancake like no other: a 5-inch high, puffy, light cake with a crispy, browned top crust, and a slightly “eggy”, crepe-like texture in the middle. Topped with a mix of fresh berries, orange zest and a dollop of whipping cream— this versatile dish also doubles as a killer dessert!

Derived from the German dish, Apelpfannkutchen, this pancake batter uses eggs, flour, milk, salt, and is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla (a regional variation adds kirsch liquor to the batter). Traditionally, German pancakes are not served cloyingly sweet—they were topped with drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a touch of melted butter and a dusting of powdered sugar, or caramelized apple slices with cinnamon and a dab of whipping cream.


StrawberriesEasy to prepare, this is a great recipe to cook with your kids since it brings excitement, and, lots of drama to the table— it’s fun to watch this pancake rise during the last 10 minutes of cooking to a puffy 5 inches in height— like magic! This interactive dessert is also healthy: traditional whole milk has been switched out to 2% fat milk-- without compromising taste or texture. Fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries add a balance of sweet/tart fruit flavor, which is topped with a light shaving of fresh orange zest, a dab of whipping cream and fresh mint—a much healthier choice than melted butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar!

While this simple dish has very few ingredients, there are tricks that ensure success: using fresh eggs, room temperature ingredients, and cooking the pancakes in a pre-heated, hot cast-iron skillet and hot oven. If you don’t want to heat up the kitchen using the oven during summer, this versatile recipe is easily adapted to use in a counter-top toaster oven —just set the temperature to 425 degrees during the last 10 minutes of cooking, and you’ll get great results!

German Pancakes with Fresh Berries, Whipping Cream, Orange Zest and Mint
Makes: 1 pancake: serves 1-2


German Pancakes with Fresh Berries, Whipping Cream, Orange Zest and Mint Ingredients:
Pancakes:
2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (can substitute with 1 Tablespoon Whipped Earth Balance Spread)
2 Eggs, room temperature
1 Egg White, room temperature
½ cup All-Purpose Flour
½ cup 2% Fat Milk, room temperature
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Sugar (can substitute 1 scraped Vanilla Bean and 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar)
¼ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon

Berries:
1 basket of ripe Strawberries (about 8 -10 ounces)
2 baskets of Blueberries (about 6 ounces)
1 basket of Raspberries (about 4 ounces)

Plating:
Zest of ¼ Orange
Zest of ¼ Lemon
Powdered Sugar (optional)
Whipping Cream
1 sprig of Mint

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place 10-inch, cast iron skillet in the oven and heat for 10 minutes.

Place eggs, flour, milk, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon into a large bowl and whisk until smooth batter is formed. Set aside.

Remove hot skillet from oven and place butter into skillet: Swirl melted butter around edges to coat. Pour batter into hot skillet, and place into hot oven.

Cook for about 20 minutes, or until edges of pancake have risen over the top of cast-iron skillet and browned. Remove from oven and place berries, whipping cream, orange zest (use lemon if using only blueberries) .

Top with whipping cream and fresh mint. (Powdered sugar is another great option.)

Notes form the Author:
Use Meyor Lemon zest if serving only blueberries— this cultivar is milder than a Eureka lemon. Doubles as an easy, evening dessert for two.