Serious Eats, one of my favorite blogs, hosts a weekend cooking share post every weekend. Usually, I don’t catch them in time to participate but last week I did. The theme was pancakes. This hit very close to home for me as one of the first things that I learned to make by myself was Biscuit box mix pancakes.
In our family, there was a mini-tradition of making these on Saturday morning, with a side of cartoons. The ritual was that whichever older child got up first made the batter and then cooked these for the younger ones. Chocolate chips were added only rarely but butter and syrup were usually generously applied. As we’re all now quite spread out geographically, we haven’t been together to continue this in years.
It’s no wonder then that when I saw this cooking suggestion on Serious Eats, my tastebuds were dreaming about lost weekends and remembering a plate of poffertjes that I had at the New Amsterdam Dutch days celebration a couple of weeks ago. While waiting to get into the mini village that had been set up for the occasion, I saw people eating these little paper containers of something that looked good. Wandering around the market, I came across the stand where they were being made.
The result was well worth the three-minute wait that I had to see my mini-pancakes being made in front of me. Slathered with butter and dusted with powdered sugar, these rich and fluffy treats were the perfect mid-afternoon slump pick-me-up. It made me proud of my recently-discovered Dutch heritage to know that we’d contributed these to the culinary landscape.
Unfortunately, however, I don’t have one of those pans in which to make the little gems, and I really don’t need any more kitchen gadgets. So, I tackled one of my new favorite recipes that I discovered this past summer in Food & Wine: Mixed-Berry Dutch Baby. This has become my new go-to dish to showcase late-summer berries, and it will definitely make it into my ‘keeper’ file.
It also reminds me of the Dutch Apple Pancake that I had when I was visiting Amsterdam several years ago, and the recipe is similar to ones that I have found for that dish. The fruit becomes enrobed in the soft, cakey filling. The fact that it puffs up so high by the end of its baking time makes it all that more dramatic of a dish to serve to company or to have as a special weekend brunch, syrup not needed and cartoons optional.