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Strawberry Dutch Baby and Egg & Cheese Muffins, on the fly

Feb 25, 2014

Since I missed out on taking a trip for the last mini-break over MLK Day, I made sure to schedule a visit for Presidents' Day. Megan, one of my very first friends here, was on my shortlist of people to visit. I am a great wingwoman, so a few years ago I introduced her to her husband at Rhino Bar of all places, and now she has a little baby girl. She hasn't lived in DC for a while, but thankfully she's only a five-hour drive away. 

Since the bebe is only a month old, Megan had her hands full, so I put myself to good use and got creative in the kitchen. After the first night, I had grand plans to go grocery shopping on Sunday and make a big Southern breakfast, but we woke up to snow that didn't stop until I left, so we opted to stay in, enjoy the view and focus on catching up. 

And that's how I learned how to make a Dutch Baby. 

During the baby's morning feeding, I looked around for inspiration ingredients and found ricotta cheese and some yummy looking strawberry preserves, as well as some eggs and breakfast sausage.

I plugged "ricotta cheese" into the Betty Crocker Meal Finder app -- which, y'all, if you like to cook easy meals you must download -- and found a Raspberry-Rhubarb Dutch Baby Pancake. Obviously I couldn't make that, but I could figure something out as long as I had the ricotta (they had all the other basic ingredients). Game on.

You'll need:

Dutch Baby

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced or cubed peaches
1/4 cup strawberry preserves (or other fruit spread)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp cornstarch

Egg & Cheese Muffins

3 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled sausage
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp basil

First, heat the over to 425°F. For the Dutch Baby, start by whisking the flour, milk, eggs and vanilla. 

Melt the butter in a glass pie dish in the oven, swirling it around so it covers it evenly. Pour the batter on it and bake 18-20 minutes until golden.

Isn't that beautiful?! It was so crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. I think the shape is fun, too. You clearly never know what you're gonna get!

While it's baking, you can start on the fruit topping. I found some sliced frozen strawberries and canned peaches, and I added the strawberry fruit spread as well. I felt like the fruit spread gave it enough sugar so I didn't add any, but if you want it to be sweeter (my version is not too sweet), add the granulated sugar. Put all the fruit in a saucepan with the water and cornstarch (and sugar, if you want) and simmer over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Mix the ricotta cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl. Remove the pancake from the oven and spread the cheese mixture in the bottom of it. 
Pour the fruit mixture on top of the cheese and spread around evenly. It's looks so fancy and it's so easy to make!

For the egg & cheese muffins -- which aren't really muffins because there's no flour in them -- bring your oven down to 375.  Whisk your eggs, cheese, milk and spices. (You don't need to add salt because the cheese and sausage have enough.) Brown the sausage (about half a tube of breakfast sausage) and add and mix in. 

Spray your muffin tin with some Pam. (Megan told me later she'd never seen anything come out of these so perfectly. You can't always trust Teflon, y'all.) Fill the cups almost to the top.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until they're bubbly on the sides and browning on top. (I took this phot about halfway through -- bubbling but not quite brown enough for me.)

In the time it took me to make this, Megan fed the baby and came downstairs ready to eat, as she had been smelling all the aromas for the past 45 minutes. And there was plenty left over for her to enjoy after I left. :)


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