Aside from a fresh loaf of homemade sourdough, a dutch baby with fruit is quite possibly the best breakfast ever dreamed up. And this cherry almond dutch baby is no exception.
Marcella DiLonardo reeled me into the beautiful pages of Bake the Seasons with a recipe for salted honey challah and kept me there with promises of a sweet breakfast cherry almond dutch baby, spring-inspired greens and wild mushroom pot pies, tart and crumbly rhubarb oat squares, a lusciously iced zucchini pineapple snack cake that make me yearn for a bumper crop of zucchini, the snowy weather treasure of a winter greens galette, and the ultimate classic–salted chocolate chunk cookies. You too? I’m talking today about Marcella’s debut cookbook, Bake the Seasons (officially out next week), and sharing the recipe for her Cherry Almond Dutch Baby–just in time for some easy weekend brunch plans.
What is a Dutch Baby?
A dutch baby, also often known as a German pancake, is a thick oven-baked pancake with a soft centre and crispy, crunchy edges. It can rise quite beautifully and gets its glorious height from an ample use of eggs and not a traditional leavener. And though the fruit on top in this case prevents what would normally be quite a statuesque rise, it does lend a sweetness that makes it more like a “breakfast pastry” as Marcella describes. With no sugar in the recipe itself, I’d even call it a healthy breakfast pastry.
A Spring-Inspired Dutch Baby With Cherries
The Cherry Almond Dutch Baby is featured in the spring section of her book and pays homage to our Spring Produce guide posted earlier this week. Cherries are most often thought of as a summer fruit, but start growing in Ontario at the tail end of spring. Early spring strawberries, which are starting to make an appearance here in Ontario (yippy!), can be easily subbed–as can almost any other fresh fruit of your choosing. But if you’ve got your eye on the prize, a bag of frozen, thawed cherries (used for this shoot) will be perfectly delicious.
(For a gluten-free dutch baby with fruit, check out this post with honey and thyme roasted strawberries and bananas).
Meet Marcella DiLonardo of Hey Modest Marce
If you don’t already know Marcella DiLonardo and her inspiring blog, Hey Modest Marce, you should head on over there right now for a peek at some unique and simple recipes and beautiful, understated photography (think crisp, light, airy, overcast kind of days captured in a snap). She’s a fellow Canadian blogger living, cooking, photographing, and styling in the heart of Ontario. Her book is a reflection of her life and her work, but focussed on seasonally-inspired foods, from the abundance of the farms, orchards, and gardens of her childhood.
Bake the Seasons will inspire you to head to the farmers market, visit local orchards and u-picks, and in the simplest ways seek out seasonal produce. Each recipe is reminiscent of a special time of year, and reading this book reminded me how baking and cooking in a seasonally-inspired way brings us more in tune with our environment, our community, and the impact of our food choices–without the guilt and with all of the pleasures. It was an easy reminder that good food matters on both a personal and a political level. What a gift; and what a way to eat.
A cross between a pancake and a Yorkshire pudding, it’s slightly sweet and often topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup, but has the egg taste and puff factor of a Yorkshire pudding. This dish whips up quickly, too. Throw the ingredients into a blender, pour the batter into a piping hot pan and watch it rise before your eyes.
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅔ cup (150 mL) all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (150 mL) whole milk, room temperature (I used almond milk because it’s what I had on hand)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure almond extract
- ⅛ teaspoon (0.5 mL) fine salt
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (500 mL) pitted and halved sweet cherries, divided
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sliced almonds (I used pistachios because it’s what I had on hand)
- Icing sugar and/or maple syrup and/or yogurt, for serving (optional)
- Place an 8-inch (20 cm) cast-iron skillet in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- In a blender, pulse the eggs until frothy. Add the flour, milk, vanilla, almond extract and salt. Blend until smooth. Let the mixture rest for at least 15 minutes while the oven heats.
- Once the oven is heated, remove the skillet and add the butter. Carefully swirl the melting butter to coat the pan’s edges. Be careful, as the pan will be smoking hot!
- Immediately pour the batter into the buttered pan. Quickly sprinkle with 1 cup (250 mL) of the cherries and the sliced almonds. Bake for 20 minutes, until the dough puffs. Do not open the oven during this time or the Dutch baby will not properly rise.
- Top with the remaining cherries, and dust with icing sugar, drizzle with maple syrup, and/or dollop with yogurt. Serve immediately.
Keywords: dutch baby, fruit, cherry, almond