Like in every year, strawberries were the heralds, followed by cherries … and now out of a sudden the whole farmer’s market is covered in shades of red and blue. It’s the season for all those sweet-sour jewels that delight us only for such a short period of the year! And I enjoy it to the fullest!
Blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, currants – I love all of them! And nearly all of them I have packed into this baked oven pancake during the last weeks when this dish has become a staple in our flat (at least on the days that were not too hot). This recipe definitely is well tested!
This latest version I made with some perhaps more exotic berries … at least you usually can’t buy them, but have to pick them yourself. I am talking about elderberries. They are just getting ripe around here and I imagined them to be as well a good companion for a sweet Dutch Baby. And they are! Preparing them is a bit more work intense, but it’s worth the effort.
The flavour of elderberries – you shouldn’t eat them raw – is very intense and hard to describe. As a child I didn’t like it at all – perhaps because it was solely associated with being ill: When we’ve got a flue we had to drink the warmed dark red elderberry juice. And this had some reason: Those little dark blue perls are packed with vitamin C and B, essential oils, antioxidants… Scientific studies proved elderberries (Sambucus nigra, to be precise) to be effective for treating influenza. They have anti-inflammatory, soothing and mucolytic effects. As a household remedy they’re also used as cure against stomach disorders. It is even suggested that elderberries help in treating diabetes. And, well, your skin won’t mind antioxidants as well, eh?
Finally some notes on the name of this pancake: It is referred to as “Dutch Baby” or “German Pancake”. As I never came across this kind of pancake in the Netherlands nor do I know this as a German traditional dish, I was curious how it got its name. Apparently – but not much is certain – the Dutch Baby was invented in a small café in Seattle according to German pancakes, which were called Dutch because the daughter of the house couldn’t pronounce the word “deutsch” (German) correctly. That’s how the story goes 😉
Anyway, German, Dutch or American – the important thing that counts in the end is taste. And in when it comes to this the Dutch Baby is a winner!
Dutch baby with elderberries (1-2p.)
80 g flour, 2 eggs, 100 ml milk, 1+1 tablespoon sugar, dash of salt, 1 tablespoon butter, 75 g elderberries (about 6 umbels) or 150 g other berries or fruit (f.ex. blackberries, blueberries, cherries), icing sugar
In a small bowl whisk flour, eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt. Let batter rest for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 200°C. Also prepare the elderberries: First wash them (still on the umbel), then remove berries from the umbels into a medium bowl. Fill bowl with water and stir the berries. Let sit for a minute. Pour off any berries or stems that float to the top, and strain the rest of the water out of the bowl.
Heat butter in a cast iron (or other ovenproof) skillet (∅ 23). Add berries and remaining tablespoon of sugar and sautée for about a minute, then pour in batter in circles into the skillet, starting from the centre. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Use potholders to remove pancake from oven. Generously dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. A scoop of vanilla icecream makes everything even better!