Add Your Fall Apples to This Dutch Baby Cheesecake Pancake

By Kim Sunee

Updated: September 8, 2022 Posted: September 8, 2022

Harvesting the first ripe apples is one of my favorite early fall treats and I was lucky enough to have a friend always include me in her picks. This season we’ve harvested tangy golden beauties and a variety of delicious reds with blushing streaks that make for gorgeous pink applesauce and all kinds of pink crisps. In my kitchen these days, a few tart apples are chopped and tossed with lemon juice and zest before being baked with a topping of cold, brown butter, sugar, oats, cinnamon and slivered almonds – a super quick dessert with a satisfying dollop of yogurt or ice cream. They are also hollowed out and filled with butter, cinnamon and sugar before roasting until fork tender. The fruit also likes salty flavors. Apple and tangy Madras curry go well with a little cream to brighten up pork chops and chicken. Or roasted to accompany a steak or tossed into a coleslaw.

For a sweet and savory combo, if you’re familiar with apple pie and cheddar, consider this Dutch baby as a simple yet impressive alternative to pie crust and filling. This large fluffy pancake – similar to a popover – is a great way to showcase leftovers as well as the apple harvest of the season. Also perfect for a festive brunch or a light dinner with a green salad. More salty than sweet, play with your favorite flavors and additions, including smoked salmon and chives; tomato and mozzarella; sautéed kimchi and green onion; corn and jalapeño. If you’re tempted to open the oven door while the pan is in the oven, resist the urge. Just like a soufflé, this baby can be temperamental and can get deflated. For this recipe, if you prefer more “puffiness”, include half the cheese before baking, but serve the rest of the cheese as a garnish with sautéed apples on the side. Keep in mind that as it cools, the popover will become denser. Leftovers are good even cold from the fridge or reheated and served on toast for a quick snack. — Kim Sunee

Makes 3-4 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 small apples, cored and thinly sliced ​​(about 6 ounces/3/4 cups)

Salt

Optional: about 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper or onion

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)

3/4 cup milk (whole, 2%, half and half work well)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup (optional)

1/2 cup finely grated cheddar or county cheese, divided

Optional garnishes: chopped fresh herbs; caramelized onion; hot sauce; freshly ground black pepper

• Preheat the oven to 425°F.

• Mix together in a blender or food processor (or with a hand mixer) the flour, milk, egg, sugar, if using, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined almost smooth. If using, add other spices or herbs.

• Place a heavy (8-9 inch) ovenproof skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once the butter begins to bubble, add the apple and the pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are just tender, about three to five minutes. Add jalapeño or onion if desired.

• When the apples are tender (and the oven is up to temperature), turn the heat to high so that the pan is very hot; sprinkle half of the cheese over the apples and pour the egg mixture over them; top with remaining half of cheese. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the baby Dutchman is puffed and golden, about 16 to 18 minutes. To note: If it browns too quickly before puffing up, reduce the heat slightly. Do not open the oven door during cooking. When the mixture is puffed and golden, remove the mold and enjoy hot.

Variation: *For a sweet Dutch baby, omit the cheese and top with seasonal berries, favorite jams, Nutella, powdered sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.

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