June 23, 2010

A Multi-Purpose Meal

Dutch Babies with Mulberry-Rhubarb Compote.

It's nice to find things that serve more than one purpose. Dryer sheets, for instance, are perfect for softening laundry, freshening stinky shoes and gently scenting the clothes in a packed suitcase. Coffee grounds...not only for your daily cup, but also for flavoring meat rubs and desserts, boosting your potting soil and an excellent exfoliator. I can't even begin to list the endless uses for Sharpie markers or pickling salt!

Generally, I'd call myself a focus-on-one-thing-at-a-time type. I would much rather take on a single project and do my very best, than to have various activities going on at the same time. I like to fancy that I multitask fairly well when I put forth some effort--It's just not my natural inclination! I suppose it now sounds a bit smarmy to say, I expect superior multitasking skills out of a good dish! Why can't breakfast also be dessert? Or an entree be an appetizer? We all know, there are times a person (or dish) has to wear many hats in order to be considered worth while! That's life...I never said it was fair.

Several years ago, I discovered dutch babies (AKA German pancakes). My husband described childhood memories of massive balloon-like pancakes, served in a piping hot skillet, that deflated the moment you touch them with your fork. I started playing with dutch baby recipes and found they all are very similar, with just a slight variance in measurements determining whether a stiff, stand-up dutch baby or an instantly deflating, tender dutch baby. After numerous test-runs, I lean towards the pancake that puffs up in the oven, but flattens out once it's removed. The texture is sublime--almost indescribable! Sumptuous and solid on the bottom with sheer wrinkled pockets where the bubbles once were. The ratio of eggs help deliver the lift, but does not create a rubbery consistency. The flavor is delicate, rich and just slightly eggy, like a custard or souffle.

Traditionally dutch babies are baked in a preheated iron skillet, then cut into wedges, drizzled with lemon and sprinkled with sugar. They are mildly sweet and addictively scrumptious! We eat them this way, more than I should admit. But this week we still had a horde of mulberries leftover from our last berry-picking excursion, so we decided to serve the dutch babies with a mulberry and rhubarb compote. The floral and tart essence of the compote is wildly accented by the supple platform the dutch babies provide. We also tried making them in muffins tins for teeny-tiny dutch babies. They were so cute--the kids instantly went nuts over them! Please note, I have both silicone muffin pans and metal muffin pans. The dutch babies popped right out of the silicon pans, but needed a little encouragement from my spatula in the metal pans.   

I'm proud to present a true multi-purpose meal! Dutch babies with mulberry-rhubarb compote makes a perfect breakfast, brunch item, or dessert (add whipped cream). The compote also works well as a fruit spread, or as a accompaniment to a lavish cheese board!


Dutch Babies

6 Tb. melted butter
1 cup flour
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
4 eggs

*I always have vanilla sugar on-hand, for such an occasion as this! I simply place a vanilla bean in a jar and fill it with sugar. After a few days the sugar is heavily scented with vanilla...and hard to beat! The bean can stay in the jar for quite a while before it loses it magical powers--just keep filling it with more sugar and screw the lid on tight.

Preheat the oven to 375*F. In the blender, add the flour, sugar, salt, milk and eggs. Process for 10 seconds, then add 2 Tb. of melted butter and process again.

Brush the remaining 4 Tb. of butter into 24 muffin tins—thoroughly coating. Slowly pour the batter into the muffins tins.

Bake for 12-14 minutes—until edges are golden brown and the center is puffed.

Immediately remove the Dutch babies from the muffins tins and top with mulberry-rhubarb compote!

Serves 6+.

*If making the traditional way, this is enough batter for two cast-iron skillets.

Mulberry-Rhubarb Compote

1 ½ cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup mulberries, stems removed
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup sugar
1 Tb. cornstarch
¾ tsp. salt
1 Tb. chopped mint leaves

Pulse the rhubarb in the food processor 5-6 times to a diced consistency. Then pulse the mulberries 3-4 times to chop.

Add rhubarb, mulberries, orange juice, sugar, salt and cornstarch to a sauce pan and simmer over medium for 10-15 minutes—stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in the fresh mint leaves. Makes approximately 2 cups.

Dutch Babies With Mulberry-Rhubarb Compote on Foodista


  1. Sommer, I am German but have never seen pancakes like this. Ours are BIG and flat. I would say about 10 inches in diameter and thin. That's how my family in Germany makes them. We eat them with just marmalade or savory with a salad or some champignons.
    I really like your smaller ones. (To eat one of these big pancakes is way to much) And the compote looks delicious with it.

  2. oh this is my kind of sweet thingie...I can see you had extra mullberries, what a perfect use of them in this compote! I never heard of those dutch babies, I want a dozen of those! so cute!

  3. I luuuuuuuv Dutch Babies they are my favorite pancakes. It's lovely that you made little baby ones. They look adorable and delicious. And the compote....yummmm.

  4. Wonderful pancake dish. Love rhubarb, it's one of my favorites.


  5. I have never tried these and they look amazing. My mini makes her First Communion on Sunday and this is breakfast! Your pics are incredibly delicious. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  6. Those look fantastic. Never heard of those cute pancakes! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  7. Dear Sommer - Few thing beat a dutch baby! My fave is with apple but the mulberry compote has be converted :)

    Gorgeous in every regard.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  8. I've never had a Dutch baby though these remind me a little of popovers or even Yorkshire puddings!

    You make them sound soooooo mouthwateringly good - I'll make these for Saturday brunch this weekend I think..... and start my diet next week *sigh*

  9. oh my goodness, another regret for not picking those darn-blasted mulberries....great treat anytime of the day and just a great fruit spread recipe

  10. What an awesome idea...thanks for sharing, I love the mini dutch babies, I will have to try them in the muffin tins, I know the kids will them and me too=}

  11. Ohh I love Dutch Babies but have only ever had them sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar this just sounds lovely.

  12. This looks so good! My dad loves German pancakes. Your mulberry compote sounds so good with it.

  13. I really love those smaller Dutch babies.I make one large one and am never happy with its appearance. I also love your use of the compote. You've turned this homely treat into something worthy of visitors. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  14. The compote looks scrumptious and so do the babies:)

  15. I've never made a dutch baby before, but these look fantastic!

  16. Love these dutch babies...Looks yummy!

  17. I've never tried a dutch baby before... I feel like I've missed out! The mulberry compote looks amazing!

  18. The Dutch babies look fantastic! I have never made them before. But more than the dutch babies I love the mulberry and rhubarb compote. I can imagine the compote tasting fantastic topped with some club soda.

  19. Your dutch babies are cute and delicious looking. I love the compote and I would love these for dinner as well as breakfast or lunch!

  20. These dutch babies look amazing! they would be great for sunday brunch too!

  21. Wow! I think I'm going to try these as an alternative to pancakes. So simple. Is that the Wilton Ultra Bake? I own two.

  22. I am already thinking about making these tomorrow... I am so envious of everyone and their mulberries. I have never found them here but will continue to look. I'd love to give this a full try. In the interim, I'll make the dutch babies and pair it with whatever looks good at tomorrow's farmers market! :)

  23. oh i love dutch babies, and with berries how super, I love how you used a muffin tin, great idea..oh sharpies rule baby!!

  24. Sommer, I just made them! I couldn't believe how puffed up they came out of the oven!!! I was so excited I had to let you know immediately! Thanks for sharing a great recipe. They've already deflated and my kids are devouring them right now with icing sugar because I didn't make the compote and just realised we're out of jam. I will definitely make these again and again. It's really a thrill to see them puffing up LOL

  25. A delightful meal!! So special & apart too!

    I have never heard of Dutch babies. And The Netherlands is our neighbour country!!

    Waw!! What a luscious lunch or dessert!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,...lovely & fab food!

  26. Yummy - your Rhubarb compote looks just perfect!!!

  27. Both the Dutch Babies and compote sound great. Great idea to pair them together. I like the idea of adding whipped cream for dessert!

  28. I LOVE that you put these into muffin tins! Genius!!! :D I will definitely be using this recipe next time I have guests over or just want a little sweetness for breakfast.

    Plus, I can tell you another use for dryer sheets: If you have frizzy hair or staticy clothes, just rub the sheet gently over your hair/clothes and volia! Static is gone, and frizz is tamed.

  29. Hey Sommer, I think I've had this before. My Mom used to make something like this, and she lived in Germany when she was little. Maybe she picked it up from her Mom. However, my Mom burned things a lot and is not much of a baker, so I could just be thinking of fallen muffins that didn't work out (smile).
    These look great, and I am curious about the 'indescribable' texture!

  30. I want to make these and I will! Yummmmmmmm!

  31. Yum! I've always wanted to make these but never seem to remember when I want a sweet breakfast treat. Thanks for the reminder, and on how to make vanilla sugar!

  32. I made these the other morning with my BFF...they were incredible and pretty easy to make!!!

  33. Cute dutch babies, loving the mulberry-rhubarb compote. Thanks for sharing.

  34. I have made a large Dutch baby pancake in my cast iron skillet, but I never thought of making individual ones in muffin pans. What a great idea! Thanks!


I love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for taking the time. If you have a question, I'll get back to you ASAP!