A Prologue Written After the Fact
Dutch Babies are relatives of the German Pfannkuchen, which are in turn relatives of French crepes. They are also, I find out belatedly, an especially eggy, sweet variation on the popover, and suddenly everything starts making sense. Read on…
Background and A False Start
I grew up begging my Dad to make German Pancakes all the time, but he only had time to make them on weekends. I haven’t managed to master his way of doing it, which is less of a recipe than an ever-evolving method that he can’t articulate because he always does it before coffee. But eventually I did arrive at a completely different recipe for the same thing by hybridizing a number of online Dutch Baby and German Pancake recipes. And then I became gluten-free.
My first mistake was to ditch my recipe and try to find a GF Dutch Baby recipe. No real luck there – the ones I found used flour mixes that I would have had to purchase, or they just didn’t look right. But I’m a big fan of Alton Brown, so I took his Dutch Baby recipe and subbed in the usual dairy-free options and the flours and starches mix from the best-looking GF Dutch Baby recipe, which was at0micgirl’s at GroupRecipes.com.
It was… adequate. A little too doughy though.
Back to my original Dutch Baby recipe, but what to use for flours? It occurred to me while I was noshing on another batch of GlutenFreeEasily’s popovers, that Shirley’s 3:2 white rice and cornstarch blend would probably do nicely. BINGO!
Gluten Free Dutch Babies Recipe
- 4 Tbsp. soy free Earth Balance
- 3 small or 2 large tart apples*
- 3/4 cup of Shirley’s popover flour blend, which is 3 parts white rice flour to 2 parts cornstarch
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup Coconut Beverage
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 generous tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup (or more) cinnamon sugar
Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice your apples very thin or dice them.
Put 2 Tbsp of soy free Earth Balance in each of two 9 inch round cake pans or pie plates and put them in the oven to melt. Meanwhile, whisk or blend 4 eggs, 3/4 cup “milk,” 3/4 cup of the flour mixture, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 generous tsp. vanilla.
Take the pans out, tilt them to level out the “butter,” and spread the apples evenly around the bottom. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar over them (about 1/8 cup per pancake). Then pour the batter evenly over the apples and cinnamon sugar and tilt and tap the pans to level it off.
Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for a minute, cut into wedges and plate. Or, you know, do what I did, make a complete mess of it and tell your spouse that it’s meant to look like that.
Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar at the table.
For apples, I used Granny Smith, but only because it’s not apple season, so it’s hard to find my favorite Winesaps and Northern Spies and Belle de Boskoops. For the “milk,” you could also use almond milk or rice milk. For sugar, I like to use Florida Crystals because of their taste and packaging. If you react to grain-based alcohols, you will react to vanilla extract, so you can make your own using potato vodka or rum. Especially rum. For the cinnamon, Penzey’s Spices have no gluteny fillers, are the best I’ve ever found, and aren’t all that expensive if you buy them by the ziplock baggie instead of the jar.
People also make Dutch Babies with pears and a nutmeg-cinnamon mixture instead of apples and cinnamon. Or they make them without any fruit at all, and then drizzle a lemon glaze over the top.