Oven pancake.

For breakfast lately I have been making oven pancakes, basically giant popovers of varying degrees of airiness/custardiness. The Dutch pancake — usually made in a skillet — has long been my go-to easy-but-nice weekend breakfast staple: it is eggy, but tends toward the puffy side and is traditionally served with lemon and sugar. Lately, though, I have been making Swedish oven pancakes in the mornings, which contain fewer eggs but more flour and milk, and have a more custardy and solid consistency than their Dutch cousins. These are usually served up with syrup, in usual pancake fashion, and have the virtue of combining the stick-to-your-ribs quality of eggs with the satisfying sweetness that I always like in a weekend breakfast. It’s a rare combo — I find them more filling, for example, than French toast, yet equally, if not more, satisfying.
The Swedish oven pancake renaissance in my kitchen was inspired by the Christmas holidays, when my relatives from California came out to visit us at home in Albany. My parents and I are breakfast people, and egg people in particular: we depend upon a timely and filling breakfast — alongside a good, strong cup of coffee, of course — to keep us in good morning humor and to get us through the day. My mom’s siblings and their families, however, seem to need less in the way of breakfast, and aren’t particularly put out if there isn’t anything to be had until ten or eleven o’clock. The result was a houseful of people who wanted different food at different times — a challenge for any breakfast maker. Once we had exhausted the usual make-it-as-you-need-it family Christmas traditions — these included scrapple, makowiec (a Polish poppyseed-filled pastry), and, later, leftover pierogi — we needed some new ideas that would please both the kids who wanted sweet and the adults who wanted eggs. After a few mornings of cold scrambled eggs, I put forth the idea of a Swedish oven pancake as one possible solution, as the recipe we have makes a large one, suitable for a crowd. We made one, and it was a big hit.
It was after returning home in the new year that I put together my recent pear fixation and my rediscovery of the joy of Swedish oven pancakes. The result: the Swedish oven pancake with pear. It turns out to be such a delicious, easy, and filling breakfast that I’ve made it about four times this week. In fact, I have some left from this morning that I’m going to go polish off right now.
    
Swedish Oven Pancake with Pear
Serves 2-4
2 eggs
2 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
1-2 T. butter
1 pear
cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425. Beat together eggs, salt, adding milk and flour alternately to avoid lumps. Put butter in skillet and melt in heating oven; remove pan when butter has melted and pour in batter. Peel and slice pear; arrange slices on top of batter. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and edges have puffed up. Serve hot with syrup.
To make for a crowd, double the recipe and use a 9×13 in. pan instead of a skillet. Apples or other fruit, or perhaps even breakfast meats, would be suitable additions instead of pears. You can also make it plain — the original recipe is simply all of the above, minus the pear and cinnamon.
Dutch Pancake
Serves 2-4
The Dutch pancake is more like a giant, eggy popover, and is prepared similarly to the latter, with a reduction in oven temperature partway through.
4 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 400. Beat together ingredients, alternating milk and flour. In skillet in oven, melt 2 T. butter. Pour batter into skillet. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve with lemon and sugar.
ADDENDUM: One other perk of making oven pancakes frequently is that the butter tends to season your cast iron quite nicely: after a week of frequent oven pancakes, my skillet is seasoned to absolute perfection. And I got many meals out of it!

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9 thoughts on “Oven pancake.

  1. Do you remember the time that we had that argument at the A-Side about pancakes and you ended up declaiming something along the lines of, “Those are goddamned flapjacks, and they aren’t the only kind of pancake!”
    Those were the days!

  2. Ah, yes, I do remember that. We did well on the food front in that apartment, for sure. And we certainly had some major discussions on the matter! From bananas to flapjacks to baking season…
    I am still just not a flapjack girl — I like my pancakes eggy, not floury and fluffy. I actually have a funny story related to that: a couple of summers ago, I was making pancakes a lot when we were in Maine, and I had found what seemed to be a really good pancake recipe in the L.L. Bean cookbook. They were simple, thin, and delicious with a sauce made from fresh raspberries from next door. I liked them so much, in fact, that I copied the recipe so I could make them at home; but when I did, I discovered that the reason I had liked them so much was that the ancient baking powder I’d been using in Maine was simply kaput, and they hadn’t been leavened at all. The ones I made back in Madison from the copied recipe and baking powder with oomph in it turned out to be… flapjacks.

  3. There are eggs in a lot of things that don’t give them the taste and consistency of omelettes. I like the variety of the Swiss/Dutch/Low Countries/Nordic pancakes but I prefer the flapjax varietas.
    On a related note: I did make an incredible portabella, onion, and sun-dried tomato omelette this morning. And by morning I mean about an hour ago.

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