Recipe: Big Pancake

This month on we're playing with the theme of Three Square Meals and we're starting with breakfast. Hands down my favorite breakfast is a whimsical, slightly sour baked creature that my mom used to make for me when I had sleep-overs at our house. We called it Big Pancake; others know it as a Dutch Baby.

For its ease of preparation and for its high wow-factor presentation, Big Pancake is my go-to dish for big gatherings, holidays and lazy weekend mornings. You can serve a lot of people without a lot of effort, and everyone's jaw will drop as they witness the spectacle in the oven.

The ingredients are basic and it can be made in any oven-safe dish (cast iron skillet, pie dish, square or rectangular glass baking dish, roasting pan) so it's likely you're already armed with the right equipment.

Big Pancake is best served with fresh berries, a shake or two of powdered sugar and a squirt of lemon juice. If you can't get a hold of berries, heated pure maple syrup comes in as a close second.

Big Pancake
Makes 2 large pancakes, 4-6 servings each

4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Lemon wedges
Powdered sugar
Pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Whisk eggs, milk, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, or whiz in a blender. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Divide butter between two 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillets, glass baking dishes, or one larger rectangular roasting pan. Place in oven until butter melts. Remove pans, swirling butter to coat sides. Divide batter between pans. Bake on lowest rack until golden brown, set on center rack and allow to bake until sides rise high above the sides of the pans, 12-15 minutes.

Slice pancake into wedges and serve with dusting of sugar, berries and a squirt of lemon juice, or just some good maple syrup.

For something a little more composed, check out Faith's fruity riff on my Big Pancake method: a delicious Weekend Apple Pancake. Think Big Pancake plus Tarte Tatin. (Not a bad thought, right?)