I spotted a pretty little 1-pound bag of Meyer lemons at a local market. Meyer lemons can be hard to come by in general where I live here on the Kenai. I snatched up the bag and spent a good deal of that evening pondering what recipes I might make with them this year. They are beautiful for waffles, poppy seed coffee cake, lemon curd, pudding cake and many beverage and savory preparations as well. This time, I opted for a glorious Dutch baby pancake in a cast-iron skillet.
This batter comes together very easily, with just a quick whirl of all the ingredients in the blender. Then you pour it into a cast-iron skillet with melted butter on the bottom and bake it in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. When it comes out, it's this pillowy, golden marvel, with pockets of melted butter on top. Good grief, Charlie Brown! Top it with powdered sugar and Meyer lemon slices and a generous squeeze of Meyer lemon juice all over. Finally, slice it and sit down to devour. The pancake deflates rapidly once removed from the oven, so it's best served and enjoyed right away.
Meyer lemon Dutch baby pancake
Makes 1 large pancake, serves 2-3
• 3 tablespoons butter, divided
• 2 eggs
• 1 egg white
• 2/3 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• powdered sugar and Meyer lemon wedges, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a 10-12 inch cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven for 8 minutes, allowing the butter to melt and the pan to preheat.
2. Meanwhile, melt the other 1 tablespoon of butter. To a blender, add the 1 tablespoon melted butter, eggs, egg white, milk, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, flour and salt. Whirl until mixture becomes a smooth batter, about 30 seconds.
3. When the cast-iron skillet is preheated and the butter is melted, carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and pour in the pancake batter. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until puffed up and golden. Remove the pan from the oven, and working quickly (as the pancake rapidly deflates), top with powdered sugar and a generous squeeze of lemon. Slice and serve with more powdered sugar and lemon wedges on the side.
Note: When Meyer lemons aren't in season, a traditional lemon can be used.
Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your inquiry may appear in a future column.