Last weekend, Debbie had visitors in from Minnesota. For breakfast she made huckleberry German pancakes. They were awed. They claimed that there was nothing that scrumptious in Minnesota. Subtract a few points because of gracious guests and it was still very good; I’ve had her huckleberry German pancakes. But she makes them so often, not just because they are very good but because they are easy.
My “go-to” breakfast for guests is pannekoeken, not German pancakes, because they too are easy and scrumptious. They’re both very good-just different. So what is the difference between pannekoeken and German pancakes
- Pannekoeken forms a big, tall bowl while German pancakes roll and buckle. (I can describe the difference better with my hands.)
- With a pannekoeken, the fruit goes into the formed bowl after it’s baked. With a German pancake, the fruit goes in before it’s baked.
- A pannekoeken is baked in a specialty pan, a pannekoeken pan, or a rounded skillet with a nonstick surface. A German pancake is often baked in a rectangular pan.
- A pannekoeken is often loaded with a savory filling or with meat and potatoes. We don’t have a single German pancake recipe that does not include fruit.
How Do you Make a German Pancake
There are a ton of recipes for German pancake batter; Debbie uses a mix. It just makes it very quick and easy. Surprisingly, it’s a pannekoeken mix. It’s the preparation method and the pan that makes the difference, not the batter. Even the ratio of milk, eggs, and mix is the same.
- Select a pan of an appropriate size. A three-egg German pancake works well in an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round pan. You can double the recipe and use a 9 x 13-inch pan. A four egg German pancake works best in9-inch square pan.
- Preheat the pan. Like with a pannekoeken, you preheat the pan with butter in it. Be careful not to scorch the butter.
- Mix the batter. Mix the batter while the pan is heating. If you use a mix, it’s only mix, milk, and eggs whisked together so it only takes a few moments.
- Make the German pancake. First, mix the brown sugar with the melted butter. Then pour the batter over the brown sugar. Then distribute the fruit over the batter.
- Bake the German Pancake. Use a hot oven, usually 425 degrees. It will take 12 to 24 minutes to bake depending on the pan size and the batch size. It’s done when the pancake is puffed and the edges are brown.
Serve your German pancake right out of the oven-they are not good cold-with your favorite syrup.
Huckleberry (or blueberry) German Pancakes
This is Debbie’s “go-to” German pancake recipe. But then, she has huckleberries. In August, she and her husband Ben take their two little girls and ride horses up into the canyons in the Big Hole Mountains where they find huge huckleberry patches. Even where they are profuse, they are slow picking but she claims they are worth it. She freezes them for the winter simply by washing them and sealing them in airtight containers.
For the rest of us, not fortunate enough to live in the foothills of the Big Hole Mountains, we’ll make do just fine with blueberries.
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup huckleberries or blueberries
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut butter into smaller pieces and place in the pan and pan in the oven. Let the pan heat until the butter is melted and bubbly but not scorched, about three or four minutes.
- While the pan is heating mix the batter by whisking the flour and salt (or mix),milk, and eggs together. A few lumps may remain but it should be smoother than pancake batter. The batter will be thin.
- Take the hot pan from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom.
- Pour the batter over the brown sugar. Distribute the berries over the batter.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 16 minutes. It’s done when the pancake is puffed and the edges are brown.
Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry.http://www.preparedpantry.com/ He is the author of How to Bake, a 318 page book about the art and science of baking. You can download a free copy of How to Bake here.http://www.preparedpantry.com/how-to-bake-free-cook-book.htm Kindle, Nook and iPad versions available.