Five Desserts to Cook in a Skillet

2009_03_12-Skillet.jpg2009_03_12-SkilletThumbs.jpgWe were so inspired by Everyday Food this month. They had a spread of desserts to cook in a skillet, which is an old-fashioned and very homey way of fixing and serving dessert. We mostly think of skillets, especially cast iron, as the thing for meat (we love searing a good steak in a cast iron skillet) but skillets are wonderful receptacles for dessert as well.

Here are a few of the Everyday Food skillet desserts, as well as a couple from our archives. There's even one that doesn't need an oven at all.

1 Warm Berries 'n' Dumplings - This was the first dessert that caught our eye. Warm berries and dumplings! Yes please. This dessert doesn't even need an oven! The berries and dumplings cook on the stovetop. This very old-fashioned dessert is called a .

2 Big Pancake - A classic breakfast or dessert, always baked in a skillet. This makes a wonderful dessert in early spring: bring it to the table hot and sizzling in the skillet, coated with powdered sugar and a little lemon juice.

3 Pear Tart Tatin - This is good made with apples or cooked quince, too. You cook the fruit in the skillet, pat an easy dough on top and pop it in the oven. Flip it over for an easy and impressive dessert.

4 Fudgy Skillet Brownies - Here you use the same skillet to melt chocolate and bake the brownies. We love the rustic look of brownies served right in the pan. Plus, as Martha points out, it's a great way to use up all those little half-handfuls of pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut lying around in your baking pantry. Throw them all in at once for mixed-up brownies.

5 Nantucket Berry Pie/Cake/Buckle - We've made this cake a whole bunch of times now. Elizabeth loves it, and I've made it at least twice since she posted it. It doesn't have to be baked in a cast iron pan, but it looks so deliciously homey when it is. Also, if you use a cast iron pan, you can cook the frozen berries for a few minutes first before adding the batter, getting out any extra moisture and cooking the juice into a thick syrup.

Do you have any desserts you like to cook in a skillet?

Related: Easy Party Dessert: Cake Bites on Toothpicks

(Images: Martha Stewart; Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan; Elizabeth Passarella)

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