Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun with Cast Iron Skillets: German Pancake Edition

Our friends came to visit and I felt compelled to make breakfast, my most loathed meal. As I slowly woke up at 9:45, my still partially unconscious brain summoned the mouthwatering image of a German pancake from the cast iron skillet article in the May 2006 Real Simple. Not because I have a photographic memory- I really, really don't- but because I make the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin from the article at least ten times a year.

It was so easy - basically just whisking a simple crepe batter while the butter melts in the cast iron skillet in the preheated oven. The batter and is poured into the pan and returned to the oven to bake for about 15 minutes until "puffed and golden." (Only in the food world is "puffed" a lovely way to be described.)

And that's really it. Once you take the lovely golden puff out of the oven, you just top it with whatever you see fit (traditionally, lemon juice and confectioner's sugar) and if you have more than four guests (using a 12-inch skillet),  you could easily have another batch of batter ready to go.

It was absolutely delicious. The batter was light and very much like a french crepe, which makes me think you could go savory with the recipe as well for a light lunch. The endless possibilities for variations is my favorite aspect of this recipe. This time, I used lemon juice and about 2 Tbs of raspberry rhubarb jam before dusting the whole surface with confectioner's sugar. But Nutella would be amazing. Nutella and raspberry jam? Lemon curd! Fig jam and Stilton cheese? Be still my heart.

Try it, you'll live for it.


  • large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, preferably whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fruit jam (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, salt, and vanilla and mix until incorporated; set aside.
  2. Add the butter to a large cast-iron skillet and transfer to oven until the butter melts. Remove from oven and quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet. Return to oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the lemon juice (if using) over the pancake. Spread the jam (if using) evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.

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