A baked skillet pancake, or ‘Dutch baby’ as it’s sometimes called, makes a unique and memorable dish for a weekend brunch, or any lazy morning for that matter. Emerging from the oven it certainly looks impressive, with its puffy, golden top and crisp edges. Yet it’s deceptively easy to make, requiring significantly less active time than regular pancakes, so no one is stuck standing over a hot stove pouring batter and flipping cakes while everyone else is having their morning fun with coffee, or mimosas, or maybe a little of both.
Simply whip up the batter in a blender (this can be done the night before, to make things even easier the next morning), pour it into a hot, greased skillet, and pop it in the oven. Similar to a popover, the eggy batter puffs up as it bakes, creating a light and airy pancake with crisp, golden edges and a tender, eggy center reminiscent of that classic French dessert, clafoutis. Less flour-y and more eggy than regular pancakes, the Dutch baby is more satisfying, too, and won’t leave you vulnerable to a carb-crash an hour later. This gluten-free version also contains almond flour for an extra boost of protein, always welcome at breakfast in my opinion.
Although the GF batter doesn’t puff up quite as dramatically as the classic made with all-purpose wheat flour, the flavor and texture are on-point. We also felt quite a bit lighter and brighter after eating it than we would have after eating the gluten-containing original, and happily experienced none of the brain fog that usually settles in after a plate of traditional pancakes.
With the first of the summer peaches in our fruit bowl I decided to feature them here, sautéing the peach slices in butter and then drizzling them with agave nectar to lightly caramelize their edges before adding the batter to the skillet. And, since I think we can all agree that blueberry sauce is always a good thing, I whipped up a batch of the quickest and easiest 2-ingredient version while the pancake was in the oven.
Although this is a dish I would love to start the morning with, it’s also special enough to serve as a dessert later in the day, in which case a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream would make an extra-sweet finishing touch.
Gluten-free Dutch Baby with Peaches + Blueberry Sauce
Gluten-free, Dairy-free adaptable
for the Dutch baby:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dairy milk or plant milk of your choice (I used homemade coconut milk – recipe follows)
2 tablespoons organic agave nectar, divided (or substitute maple syrup or honey, if preferred)
1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons grass-fed butter or ghee (or coconut oil, if dairy-free is preferred)
2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced into eighths
for the blueberry sauce:
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon maple syrup
powdered sugar, for serving (optional)
Add eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, flours, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt to the container of a blender. Process on high until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Set aside the batter aside to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge).
Preheat oven to 425F.
Heat a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add butter and cook for a few minutes until it begins to turn golden. Add sliced peaches and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are just starting to get a little color on their undersides, then drizzle the peaches with remaining agave syrup and cook for a minute more. Add batter to the skillet, tilting the pan so it distributes evenly around the peaches. Transfer to oven and bake until pancake is puffy and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the pancake is baking, combine blueberries, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. I like to get in there with a fork and break up some of the blueberries to make the sauce extra juicy. Turn off heat and cover to keep sauce warm.
Remove pancake from oven and show it off to your family and friends immediately (it will deflate as it cools). Cut into wedges and serve with warm blueberry sauce and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Homemade Coconut Milk
Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free
This milk is great for baking, smoothies, coffee or tea, curries — pretty much anywhere you would use coconut milk. Vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract adds an extra lush dimension to this simple plant-based milk, but the milk is also delicious without it (leave it out if using the milk for a savory dish).
Yield: about 3 cups of coconut milk
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or pure vanilla extract (optional)
3 cups filtered water
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender (e.g., vitamix). Blend on high until coconut is completely broken down and milk is smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a nut-milk bag to remove pulp (which can be used in baking), and transfer milk to an airtight glass container.
Store chilled (I like to shake the bottle or jar after the milk has been in the fridge for about 30 minutes to help break up the coconut fat layer that rises to the top before it solidifies). Use within 3 days for best flavor, and shake well before each use.