This recipe is from my book! Which is totally 28% off on Amazon at the moment AND you can still get it in time for Xmas!
Can I say something? I’m in the best Christmas position of my life. In terms of responsibilities, year 25 is looking like it might be one of the best Xmasses ever. I am the farthest thing from a Grinch ever. I fall much farther on the Buddy the Elf side of the spectrum, but I don’t love the mountains of work and obligation that can often come around the Holidays.
I know I’m not the only person who struggles this time of year. The world is full of plenty of people ready to unload about their Christmas dread/rage/stress/depression. To those people I say: I’m sorry this is such a sucky time for you. I wish we could set up a holiday sanctuary for you, maybe somewhere tropical, where you can just forget the whole thing. OK? My deepest sympathies.
For those people who, like me, LOVE all the fun aspects of Christmas – the music, and the gift giving, and the FOOD, and the eating, and the parties and the food – but just don’t love the time-pressure and the stress and the crappy, forced interactions, can I just say, I think I’ve worked out how to have my cake and eat it too.
You see, 25 is the perfect age for Christmas (unless you can be 6 years old). I have no kids, so I don’t have to wake up early (or do any of the other million-and-one things that a parent would have to do that I don’t even know about). My parents still host Christmas day, with a big fancy lunch where all I have to do is turn up. AND now that I’m 25 I’ve finally culled my group of friends down to only people who are super-chilled, definitely don’t care about gifts, and we’ll either see each other or not, no big deal. SUCCESS!
That’s where this delicious, puffy, chill-as-f*ck Vanilla Bean Dutch Baby comes into the picture. It’s what I will be making for breakfast this Christmas morning. You see, since I’m heading over to my parent’s house (for an amazing lunch, remember) around 11am, my boyfriend and I have the whole morning to ourselves. We’re also opening our gifts to each other on Christmas eve – in the Icelandic tradition – so we don’t even have any wrapping paper to clean up! Can you hear how cocky I am about this holiday? I’m so sure it’s going to be great! I can only assume from my supreme confidence that it will all go wrong at some point, but at least I know this pancake will be delicious.
It’s so easy, much easier than traditional pancakes or crepes. The vanilla-scented batter is whisked together in seconds, all in one bowl, then it gets poured into a hot, buttery skillet and bakes in the oven. When it’s done, it will have become a huge, puffy, crisp-edged, custardy pool of goodness. No hanging around, no flipping, nothing, just whisk-pour-bake-EAT. I’m serving mine with a little mixed berry salad, doused with a light ginger syrup. Ginger is such a holiday flavour to me; my Dad always eats crystallized ginger this time of year, and this syrup takes all of 5 seconds of heating and stirring.
Once the soused berries, chilled in their spicy syrup hit that buttery-hot Vanilla Bean Dutch Baby? That’s my Christmas day made. I guess I don’t even have to worry about my hubris causing disaster, because this pancake is all I need. Hope you’re just as excited, and overly confident for Friday as I am!
- 1oz (25-30g) butter
- ⅔ cup (100g) plain flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste / 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- ¾ cup (185ml) milk
- 2 tbsp icing sugar (aka powdered sugar)
- 3 tbsp water
- 2-3 thick slices of fresh ginger
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
- small handful raspberries
- small handful of redcurrants, taken off the stem
- To make the dutch baby, preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Place the butter into an 8 or 9 inch cast iron pan (or a similar sized baking dish), and place in the oven to heat up.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla seeds, followed by the milk, making sure there are no lumps.
- When the butter in the pan has melted, carefully remove the pan from the oven, pour in the batter, and place it straight back in.
- Bake for 18-–20 minutes, or until puffed up and golden.
- While the pancake is baking, place the sugar, water and ginger for the syrup into a very small saucepan and stir together. Place over a low heat, until the liquid turns clear and just bubbles up. Place the berries into a serving dish, and pour over the syrup, then chill in the fridge.
- When the pancake is ready, it will be puffy and huge, and golden - crisp at the edge, and custardy at the bottom. Slice into wedges, top with plenty of berries and syrup and dig in!