Baked German Pancake with Apples

On Sundays, we like to have a more leisurely breakfast than during the work week, and this baked pancake is one of our favorites.  In restaurants, this pancake is often called a Dutch Baby, and in several cookbooks it is called a German Pancake.   The recipe that I use is for German Apple Pancake from The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas.  The proportions are easy to memorize,  ¼ cup milk and flour per egg, so that you can scale it up or down, depending on how many people are joining you for breakfast.  This pancake is nice for holidays; my mother and brothers also use this recipe for special occasion breakfasts.

Most of the time, we make a plain pancake (Ken calls it “oven pancake”), but  it is especially good with sautéed apples, which is how the recipe in Vegetarian Epicure is presented.  Because the pancake takes 25 minutes to bake, you can slice and sauté the apples while the pancake is cooking.  If you would rather read the paper with a cup of tea or coffee while the pancake is baking, skip the apple filling, and serve the puffy pancake with melted butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

German Apple Pancake adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

Pancake:

3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ Tablespoons butter

Filling:

1 pound tart apples (about 3 apples)
¼ cup melted butter
3-4 Tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of the apples
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg

Topping:
2 Tablespoons melted butter
powdered sugar
lemon wedges for squeezing juice

To make the pancake:

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Place oven rack in middle of oven, and remove any rack above it. (This pancake can rise quite high and you don’t want it to hit the rack above!)  In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, flour and salt (but not the butter).  I use a hand-held rotary beater for this.  Melt the butter in a large, heavy, oven-proof skillet.  When the butter is very hot, spread it across the pan and pour in the batter.  Immediately put the pan in the hot oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and continue baking for 5-10 minutes.  The pancake will puff up and the edges will be brown and crisp.

To make the filling:

While the pancake is in the oven, peel the apples and slice them thinly.  Sauté the apples in ¼ cup butter with 3-4 tablespoons of sugar and season to taste with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cook the apples over medium heat for about 8 minutes.

Topping:

While the pancake is in the oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and put it in a small bowl with a spoon or small ladle.  Put some powdered sugar in a bowl with a spoon, and put the lemon wedges on a small plate.  When the pancake is done, cut it into wedges and put on plates, then spoon the sautéed apples over.  Pass the melted butter, lemon wedges and powdered sugar for each person to “dress” the pancake as they like.  Serves 3 to 4.

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3 Responses to Baked German Pancake with Apples

  1. Diane says:

    This is delicious! We devoured it for breakfast and it’s better and easier than pancakes. I don’t have a cast iron skillet so I used a Pyrex dish. It was not as pretty, but it worked. I also used 375 degrees as the starting temperature. I may have skimmed fast, but I wasn’t sure about the oven temperature. Thanks Diane!

  2. Diane says:

    Diane, glad you liked it! A pyrex dish is a good choice– that is what we use when making multiple pancakes for a group. Ken prefers to use a very large nonstick skillet so the sides don’t rise up so high when he makes one.
    Thanks for pointing out the missing temperature setting– We preheat the oven to 450 and then lower to 350. But as you’ve discovered, there is some flexibility in the temperature. I will edit the recipe to indicate the temperature.

  3. Thanks for writing about this recipe. I’ve been using it from the Anna Thomas cookbook for more than thirty years. I’ve become such an internet-dependent lazybones that when I wanted to make it today – for dinner – rather than look for the cookbook among the dozens on my shelf, I thought, “Surely someone has blogged about this recipe”… and that’s how I found it hear. My computer stays open more easily than a book, is backlit and easy to read, and played music for me while I cook! Not quite ready to get rid of all those cookbooks, but I so rarely use them anymore. Tonight I used apples of various types from my friend’s orchard, and it was, as usual, delicious. I always use half the butter called for in the filling, and don’t miss the rest. What a great recipe. Thanks!

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