Pear Dutch Baby Pancake

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This morning’s breakfast: pears fresh from the tree by the kitchen, caramelized in butter. Fresh lemon and honey squeezed over top while still hot.

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Late Summer Treats

 

We’ve been gathering fruity riches this month: apples, grapes, pears, oh my! It is a very prosperous fruit year. Melons, jalapenos and fish peppers, as well as green beans, are also doing well this year.

Here we have some of the treats I’ve made this August: green tomato & cheese Dutch baby, strawberry-pear cobbler, and apple cake with a sweet hummus frosting.

For the Dutch baby, I sliced green tomatoes and placed them in the cast iron skilled with butter & oregano to pre-cook in a 415 F oven for 5 minutes. I added chunks of mozzarella to the egg/milk/flour batter and poured it over the tomato/butter skillet and quickly returned to the oven for 20 minutes. Squeeze a fresh lemon wedge over the pancake before serving.

For the cobbler, I pressed a shortbread crust into the bottom of a pan, topped with a mixture of strawberry chunks, thinly sliced pears, & sugar, and then crumbled some shortbread on top, streusel-style. Baked in a 375 F oven til firm.

For the apple cake, I diced our homegrown apples and mixed them into a VGF cake batter with buckwheat flour, cinnamon, fresh ginger, nutmeg, a pinch of cloves, a splash of apple cider vinegar, oil, sugar, molasses, and baking powder. While it baked for a good 35 minutes at 350 F, I made the frosting in our powerful new food processor. Chickpeas (cooked soft or from a can), tahini, vanilla, applesauce, and confectioners’ sugar, blended until ultra-smooth. Once the cake cooled, I spread the sweet hummus on top, then sprinkled with cinnamon & fresh apple slices. Some folks are unsure about the “sweet hummus” at first, but are sold at first taste – no garlic of course! It tastes reminiscent of halva, a sweet tahini treat.

 

Springtime Dutch Pancake

I’m in love with chives this year! I’ve always liked them, but for some reason they are just shining this month. Chives chopped finely are the freshest green garnish of the season. They add a small bite, a nip of allium flavor. The tiny chive is a reminder of larger vegetables to come soon.

Some weekends growing up, my mom used to make what we called “special pancake,” which we served with Vermont maple syrup and a splash of lemon juice. I’ve also heard it called Jacob’s pancake, Dutch baby, and “failed popover.” The recipe is very simple, and similar to popovers, just two eggs, a cup of milk, a half-cup flour, and butter pre-melted in the pan while the oven’s heating up. Flavor it however you feel like, whether plain, or with thinly sliced apples & cinnamon, or shredded cheese. Today I have mixed in a handful of chives, fresh sage, one of the first yellow summer squashes, salt & pepper, and a small pinch of nutmeg. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 400 F degree preheated oven. When it is approaching golden brown, and poofed up in random beauty, it is done. Serve immediately, or watch it deflate in a few minutes.

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