Dutch Baby

Dutch baby

Here are creative ways to experience Dutch babies-German pancakes-as well as information concerning their background.  (For more on the history of pancakes, see Norwegian Pancakes.) Indeed, this Dutch baby will tantalize your tongue!

The Famous Original Pancake House in Portland, OR

My first experience with this treat was at The Original Pancake House here in Portland, OR, which James Beard recognized, as number ten in his 1970’s list, of America’s top ten restaurants.  (For more on this eatery, see Tabbouleh.)  In the 1990’s, I attended The Original Pancake House several times a week, sitting at the community table with my friends-the regulars-I’d met there.  Here, I often indulged in this lemony, puffed-up pancake, which was only slightly sweet; there were always doggie bags of leftovers to take home.

My Family History with Dutch Babies

Unbeknown to me at the time, this creation played an important part in my family in the latter part of 1981: My aunt Sheila was caring for my bedridden sister Maureen-pregnant with her sixth child-by cooking for her family several times a week, as my brother-in-law was in Wyoming, with his work.

To the delight of all these children, Sheila most often made multiple Dutch babies in pie plates, cutting them in sixths, and serving them with four or more toppings.  The kids would take several pieces at a time, choosing from these various toppings, among which were numerous berries, home-canned apple sauce, and a creamed chipped beef (jars of thinly sliced dried beef in a homemade cream sauce).

The memory of Aunt Sheila’s making Dutch babies is indelibly set in my nieces’ and nephews’ hearts; when either the person or the food is mentioned, the above story spills forth.

Recipes for Both Small and Large Dutch Babies

I wasn’t aware of this ministry at the time, and I knew nothing about Dutch babies, until I moved to Portland in 1986; here I discovered them as huge, massive pancakes made in a cast iron skillet (served with fresh lemon, butter, and powdered sugar).  Thus, I have always made them in this same manner; though now I prefer to use Swerve Confectioners Sugar Replacement.  Below you will find this large pancake receipt, as well as directions for making Aunt Sheila’s smaller pie-pan version, in case you are baking numerous pancakes for a crowd.

Savory and Apple Dutch Babies

There are multiple variations of Dutch babies online; some of the best savory options can be found at https://www.allrecipes.com/article/savory-dutch-baby/  There are many recipes for a German apple pancake on internet as well.  I, however, feel my Apple Pancake is by far the best.  Unlike all these other receipts, mine has the fresh apples-mixed in cinnamon sugar-baked on top of the puffed-up Dutch Baby.  This provides perfect, moist caramelized apples, as opposed to the other versions’ drier, smothered apples, which are baked underneath the batter.  Note: as with the Dutch baby, I first experienced this German apple pancake at The Original Pancake House, beginning in the 1980’s.

German Pancake’s Past in American Cook Books

In my rather extensive cook book collection, there were no recipes for Dutch babies-German pancakes-present in cook books published in the early days of our nation.  In fact, I didn’t find any receipts for this German pancake until 1930, with The Settlement Cook Book, by Mrs. Simon Kander.  The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, also boasts of directions for a German pancake, or pfannkuchen; this cook book was first published in 1931, with multiple printings following-my edition is copyrighted 1964.  A healthy version of a German pancake is present in Jean Hewitt’s The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook, published in 1971.  1

I found a Dutch apple cake in two of my mid-twentieth-century cook books: Fannie Engle’s Cook Book, 1946, and The New Century Cook Book, 1949, by Demetria Taylor.  This cake is quite similar to the apple pancake, with sliced fresh apples arranged over the top of a pan of cake batter, which is then dusted well with cinnamon sugar and baked.  2

As a side note, Margret Visser points out in The Rituals of Dinner, 1991, that it is considered impolite to cut pancakes with a knife in Germany, as it could appear that one thinks they might be tough.  3

Lessons Learned

We should be aware how our acts of kindness may leave lifelong-in some cases eternal-influence on others, as seen above in my family.

Likewise, our words and deeds can also leave bad impressions on those around us; thus, we are careful to guard ourselves in both speech and actions.  This, however, can only be done effectively, if we bring our thoughts captive, not letting strife or bad memories rule and reign in our hearts.  (We cry out for help in doing this!)

In this way, we are set free from captivity and bondage, and we can be used subsequently, to help bring our loved ones and others into freedom.

References:

  1. Simon Kander, The Settlement Cook Book (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Settlement Cook Book Co., 1930), p. 83.; Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, The Joy of Cooking (Indianapolis, Indiana: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1931, 1936, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1962, 1963, 1964), p. 214; Jean Hewitt, The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook (New York: Avon Books, 1971), p. 304.
  2. Fannie Engles, Fannie Engles’ Cook Book (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946), pp. 126, 127; Demetria Taylor, The New Century Cook Book (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1949), p. 727. A revised and enlarged edition of Phyllis Krafft Newill, Good Food and How to Cook It (New York; D. Appleton-Century Company, 1939).
  3. Margaret Visser, The Rituals of Dinner (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), p. 186.
  4. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/german-apple-pancake/ and https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/23900/german-apple-pancake/

serve it forth-a Dutch Baby

Dutch Baby (German Pancake)  Yields: 2-3 servings, when made in a cast iron skillet.  For larger crowds, may make multiple, half-recipes in 9″-pie or cake pans. Total prep time: 35 min/  active prep time: 10 min/  baking time: 25 min.

 

 

 

Receipt for a cast iron skillet, or half this recipe for a 9”-pie pan:

4 lg eggs

1 c unbleached white flour  (Bob’s Red Mill organic is of high quality; available in bulk, or 5-lb bags, at our local New Seasons.)

1/4 tsp salt  (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is critical for optimum health; an inexpensive fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco for $4.95/5 lb.)

1 c milk  (May substitute alternative milks, such as almond or oat.)

6 tbsp butter, plus more for serving

2 small lemons, quartered  (Inexpensive organic lemons can be purchased at Trader Joe’s for $1.69/lb, or 6 small lemons.)

Powdered sugar  (May substitute Swerve confectioner’s sugar, which is sugar-free; for information on Swerve, see Great Keto Citrus Cookies).

  1. batter lightly beaten-somewhat lumpy

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Beat eggs in a large bowl; stir in flour and salt.  Mix in milk gently; do not over beat-batter will be somewhat lumpy.  (Optional: may refrigerate batter overnight.)  See photo above.
  3. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, or if using 9” pie plates, place in oven to melt butter-may cut butter in small pieces, so it melts quickly and evenly, without browning on edges.
  4. smaller Dutch baby in a 9″ pie pan

    Pour egg mixture into hot skillet, or pie pan, and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  (See photos of smaller Dutch baby here, and larger, cast-iron-skillet pancake at top of entry).

  5. Cut pancakes in desired number of pieces; I cut the larger pancake in halves, or thirds, and then serve it to my guests, with butter, lemon slices, and powdered sugar.  (For larger crowds, the multiple, smaller pancakes can be cut into sixths, so your guests can choose from numerous toppings, such as: various berries and fruits, applesauce, and creamed chipped beef.  This latter is a blend of cream sauce and dried beef.  Five-ounce jars of these thin slices are available for $4.39 at our local Fred Meyer’s.)
  6.  Serve immediately and be wowed!

Great Keto Citrus Cookies

keto citrus cookies

These keto citrus cookies-my sister Maureen’s creation-are a treat, as is the following information on Swerve confectioner’s sugar, which is used in the frosting.  Here I compare it to Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener.

Lakanto Monkfruit Tastes Better Than Swerve

Personally I prefer the taste of Lakanto Monkfruit sweetner, with erythritol and monkfruit, to Swerve, a blend of erythritol and prebiotic oligosacchariedes; I notice that Swerve leaves an aftertaste, when consumed with coffee, a flavor-enhancer.

Comparing Monkfruit to Swerve

Both are natural sweeteners, containing nothing artificial including no preservatives; they are non-GMO, gluten-free, non-glycemic, and diabetic friendly.  They taste and measure like sugar.

These two sweeteners are part erythritol.  Lakanto Monkfruit has monkfruit added, which is derived from the fruit called monkfruit (for details see Healthy Date/Apricot Bars).  On the other hand, Swerve states its ingredients come from select fruits and starchy root vegetables.  In this case, they add oligosaccharides to the erythritol.

How Oligosaccharides In Swerve Are Derived 

These oligosaccharides are derived from adding enzymes to starchy root vegetables, thus breaking down the starch and producing this carbohydrate, whose molecules are made up of a relatively small number of monosaccharide units.  1

Common oligosaccharides include the simple, single sugars-monosaccharides-glucose, fructose, and galactose.  1,4 glycosidic bonds bind these together to create disaccharides, such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose.  All sugars-known as oligaosaccharides-are formed when two or more monosaccharides are joined together by O-glycosidic bonds.  2

Another term for sugar is saccharide, while the word oligosaccharide, though a broad term, is most commonly used to refer to a carbohydrate polymer whose molecules are composed of a relatively small number of these monosaccharide units-typically between 3-9 units.  3

Makeup of Swerve Quetionable

Swerve does not reveal what type of simple sugar, or monosaccharide, is used to make up its carbohydrate polymers, which are specifically referred to as oligosacchrides here.  They also state that they have introduced a small amount of natural citrus flavor, though we don’t know exactly what is meant by “natural flavor”, or more specifically how it is derived in this case.  4

Its oligosaccharides are prebiotic fibers, or types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which cannot be broken down by the human digestive tract; thus, they are considered calorie-free, passing intact through our digestive systems into our colons, where they support the growth of healthy bacteria.  Being calories that our bodies cannot assimilate, these oligosaccharides are considered to be calorie-free, not raising blood sugar or insulin levels; they, however, may cause digestive upsets, leading to gas, bloating, and diarrhea, which is especially true when used in high amounts.  5

Swerve Has A Broader Basis Of Culinary Use

In its favor, Swerve boasts that it browns and caramelizes just like sugar.  I, however, am not as sold on its flavor as much as that of Lakanto Monkfruit, but large amounts of this latter may cause dryness in baked goods.  Nevertheless, I love Monkfruit-over Swerve-added to my hot oats and chia seed parfaits, as well as in baking, when used moderately, with the addition of konjac root powder, or a similar product.

Swerve, however, makes confectioners sugar, a must for frostings, as found in the recipe below.  Note: it is easy to make your own confectioners sugar, by grinding Monkfruit in a blender-be sure to cover the machine with a towel, while blending.  Granulated Monkfruit, Swerve, and ground Monkfruit confectioners sugar, all measure exactly the same.

These Alternative Sugars Ideal For Keto Diet

My health condition recently called for a decrease in the amount of carbohydrates I was taking in.  Thus, I became interested in Dr. Colbert’s keto diet.  This greatly reduces carbs, while calling for a concentration of high-quality fats, to achieve keto-zone for effective weight loss (see https://drcolbert.com/).

My personal need, however, is to be sure I eat enough calories in a day, so as not to lose weight, while not consuming high amounts of carbs for those needed calories.  Henceforth, I follow the keto diet loosely, not needing to maintain keto-zone that his patients require for losing weight effectively.  I have only skimmed the surface of all Colbert’s teachings, receiving his recommendations for 70% of your daily caloric intake, to be derived from healthy fats (see Healthy Date/Apricot Bars).

I have learned to love my homemade ghee-see recipe at Vichy Carrots-in my hot cereal, and I lavish grass-fed Kerry butter on keto bisquits made with almond flour-my next entry.  Likewise, I fill a tablespoon-size impression in my homemade, sprouted three-bean dip, with organic olive oil, the king of all oils-a quick and easy way to consume my needed fat.  (See recipe for Sprouted Three Bean Dip.)  This last I eat with just eleven organic bean chips, as recommended for a serving, counting all my carbohydrates carefully.

Applying This Lesson To Life

I can have a moderate amount of carbs, just not the quantity I was previously eating to maintain calories for my weight.  I have learned it is all about balance!

We notice that there is always a tension of some sort in watching our diets, as well as in maintaining other life experiences.  This characteristic in our existence demands that we be alert, so as not to be caught off-guard in matters of physical and mental health.

Our inward wisdom will naturally resolve these apparent problems, when we quiet ourselves and subject our instinct to react with feelings to rather settle in calm!  We always ask God for help to access our inner voice.

In this way, we don’t eat compulsively, tasting nothing, or of equal importance, we don’t eat at all, because of emotions.

In regard, to living with this inward stability, we must avoid high-frenzied reactions to the inevitable fiery darts, which cause hypertension.  Neither, do we give an opening for inertia, brought on by over-stimulation, producing the need to stop the world and get off.

All this can be done, when in rest-believing-we seek composure in both eating and living.  We always achieve this symmetry, when we ask God for his needed help.

References:

  1. https://swervesweet.com/about
  2. https://teaching.ncl.ac.uk/bms/wiki/index.php/Oligosaccharide
  3. Ibid.
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/swerve-sweetener
  5. Ibid.

finished product

Keto Citrus Cookies  Yields: about 18 cookies.  Total prep time: 1 1/4 hr /  active prep time: 45 min/  baking time: 30 min .  Note: frosting is enough for four cookie recipes; may quadruple cookie recipe, or better yet, may freeze leftover frosting in separate containers, for future single batches.  Cookies also freeze well!

 

 

Zest of 1 orange & 1 lemon  (Organic is important here for flavor and quality, as skin of citrus fruits readily absorb pesticides.)

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c Lankanto Monkfruit alternative sweetener  (This is available most reasonably at Costco.)

1 lg egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 c almond flour  (Costco’s almond flour is much cheaper than any other available-$12.99 for a 3-lb bag.)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp konjac root powder, or a similar product of your choice  (This softens baked goods and is available on-line.)

1/2 tsp salt  (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is essential for optimum health; a fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco for $4.95 for 5 lbs.)

Frosting This is enough for four recipes; it freezes well, making subsequent batches of these cookies quick and easy.  Be sure to divide into four equal parts, freezing three parts in individual containers.  Note: it is also possible to refreeze frosting once, if you prefer lightly frosted cookies and do not use all the frosting.

1 stick of butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 pkg of Swerve alternative confectioners sugar  (To make your own confectioners sugar, grind the better-tasting Monkfruit in a blender-be sure to cover blender with a towel.  Note: Swerve, granulated Monkfruit, and ground Monkfruit all measure exactly the same.  Use 12 oz of ground Monkfruit, in place of the Swerve in this recipe, or enough to bring frosting to desired consistency.)

1/3 c blended juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

  1. grating fruit

    Be sure butter and cream cheese are softened, before starting recipe.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Zest two lemons and two oranges, if making frosting at the same time as baking cookies.  If using leftover frosting, therefore baking cookies separately, just zest one of each fruit.  Set aside zest, see photo above.  Note: this frosting recipe makes enough for four batches-18 cookies each.
  4. dough

    If making frosting, juice all fruit together in a bowl; set aside.

  5. In a large bowl, mix butter and Monkfruit.  Beat in: egg, vanilla, and the zest of one lemon and one orange.
  6. Stir together baking soda, konjac root, and salt into almond flour, using a separate dish-better yet, shake well in a quart-size sealed storage bag.  Mix almond flour mixture into butter mixture; do not over-beat.  See above photo.
  7. forming balls of dough

    Using a teaspoon, form 18 balls on two parchment-lined cookie sheets, several inches apart from each other; see photo.

  8. Bake pans separately in hot oven for 15-16 minutes, or until golden brown.  Do not over-bake, as these will cook more on pan while cooling; see bottom photo.  Meanwhile, make frosting.
  9. golden brown cookies

    Mix frosting by creaming together softened butter and room-temperature cream cheese; add confectioner’s sugar; then, beat in 1/3 c blended fruit juices.  Finally mix in remaining zest, vanilla and salt.  Divide frosting evenly in four small containers, freezing three of these for quick future batches of cookies.  Note: if you like lightly frosted cookies, you will have leftover frosting; may refreeze this one time.

  10. When cookies are done, be sure to cool on pan; then, place on wax paper to frost (see photo at top of recipe).
  11. Enjoy these great, “legal” cookies!