Monday, June 28, 2010

Crowd Pleaser

This recipe comes from Dave Lieberman, when he used to have a show on the FoodNetwork. And really, all snideness aside, when the FoodNetwork actually produced shows about cooking. I still, occasionally, watch FN for entertainment, but certainly not for cooking.

Dave called this a St. Louis pancake. Around here we just call it GIANT PANCAKE. Sometimes its presence is summoned by Jim’s kids chanting ‘ giant pancake, giant pancake, GIANT pancake, GIANT PANCAKE!’ I usually make it just as Dave prescribed with a mixed berry topping. It’s a cheap dish to make and a total crowd pleaser, especially for the single digit set. Today I did not have mixed berries, I had 1.5 lbs. of frozen strawberries in the freezer which seemed to go well with the theme of extended, girls only slumber party.

The giant pancake is a single large cake produced, quite easily, in a cast iron skillet (the pan). Then you slice it and serve it like regular cake. It’s always a huge hit with Jim’s kids and today it was certainly a hit with my godkids. They asked that I pass the recipe on to their Mom, who is an excellent cook, we’ll get to her butternut squash recipe in another blog. Aimee if you are reading - ‘ giant pancake, giant pancake, giant pancake!’ Oh and the kids always love to help prepare it. I have to say I was impressed today when I asked my youngest god daughter to mix the eggs and milk, after 2 changes of whisks to meet her satisfaction, she completed the task of and said ‘ I’m done, light yellow, that’s right, isn’t it?’ I’ve never heard it put so simply or perfectly. Light yellow. Out of the mouthes of babes.

G I A N T P A N C A K E !

GIANT PANCAKE - adapted from Dave Lieberman - Serves 5, yes 5

3 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1.5 lbs. frozen strawberries

4 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla in a bowl. In another bowl combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Combine the dry into the wet ingredients, mix until combined, let rest for 10 minutes. While the batter is resting, place a 10” cast iron skillet in the oven. Put the berries in a pan on medium low heat on the stove top. When they start to thaw and break apart add in the sugar and zest. I like the berries just cooked, so they still have some form to them, but warm. After 10 minutes remove the skillet from the oven, add in the butter and swirl around to completely coat the pan. Then pour in the batter and cook for 15 minutes +/-. It will rise and become golden on top, like any cake, you know it’s done when you stick in a skewer and it comes out clean. Invert the giant pancake on to a large plate or platter, dust with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and serve with berries and maple syrup.

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