People say never go to bed angry, I say never cook with anger. I’m not the best at admitting when I’m wrong or saying sorry when it needs to be said. Instead I’ll bring you half my dutch baby pancake, still warm and singing straight from the oven. We’ll eat in silence and then lick the sweet rhubarb juices off our spoons, off our chins and move on with the day.
Cooking is cathartic. We cook, we stir, we whisk, we wait. We think about how we can be a better person and try a bit harder with the things that matter. Cooking is a safety net of things we can do. We know that coating rhubarb slices in a layer of sugar and popping in the oven will result in soft, sweet and tangy joy. We know that whisking flour, sugar, egg, milk and cardamom will create the perfect vessel for our tender rhubarb. We know that this is a temporary blip in the road of our lives together, that they’ll be many more dutch babies along the way and that we have what matters at the end of the day.
Dutch babies are knew to me and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on all these years. Quick, foolproof, the right balance of sweet meets savory. The perfect pudding to celebrate the transition of summer to autumn. To celebrate the frozen bounty of rhubarb still loitering at the bottom of the freezer, and to welcome the time of cosy jumpers, enveloping scarfs and winter boots with style.
This is a dessert that can be made out of the ends of ingredients. The last lonely egg in the carton. A dribble of milk at the bottom of the bottle. Rhubarb straight from the freezer and into the hot pan. A spoon of flour and a spoon of sugar. Done. It’s that easy.
Ingredients – makes 1 small dutch baby in a 4 inch skillet, to make 1 large dutch baby double the recipe
2 sticks of rhubarb, cut into 2 inch lengths – frozen is fine
3 teaspoons sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Dutch baby pancake
1/4 stick of butter (30 grams)
1/6 cup plain flour (22 grams)
1/4 cup of milk (60 ml)
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar to serve
1. Heat oven to 200C (390F) and place the cast iron pan in the oven to heat up. Once hot take out of the oven and add the rhubarb in a single layer. Sprinkle over the sugar and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the rhubarb is tender when stabbed with the tip of a knife.
2. Take out of the oven and pour out any excess liquid into a small pan. Put the rhubarb and pan to one side. Add the lemon to the pan of rhubarb juices and heat on a medium heat till reduced and thick. Take off the heat.
Dutch baby pancake
1. Reduce the oven temperature to 190C (375F). Add the butter to the cast iron pan, dotting it around the rhubarb. Melt over a medium heat until the butter is bubbling.
2. Whisk the flour, egg, sugar, salt, milk and cardamom in a jug till combined. When the butter is bubbling pour the mixture over the rhubarb and place in the oven.
3. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top and puffed around the sides. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Pour over the rhubarb syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.