Big Breakfasts

When I eat out at restaurants, I most often opt for something unusual that I might not make at home. When that's not an option, my fallback choice involves breakfast dishes. I adore breakfast and brunch and, while I have been known to swoon over a bowl of yogurt, peaches, and honey, I'm really talking about those amazing dishes that leave your home smelling like bacon and baked goods, maple syrup and omelets.

Given this, it's no wonder that there are weeks in which I plan/plot my weekend mornings well in advance. I dream about whipping up a lovely batch of waffles while my dear husband makes the coffee. I contemplate the perfect combination of flavors to include in my newest frittata. And sometimes, I think about how to fill a pancake.

Yup, that's right. I said fill a pancake. That's because one of my newest regular cravings is oven pancakes. These sweet, thick, almost crepe-like pancakes are, as the name implies, baked in the oven and result in a bowl-shaped pancake that's perfect for filling. I like to make mine giant and serve them family style, with fillings nestled in the center and dripping off along the uneven edges. While fillings are an article all on their own, I'm focusing on the foundation of this treat this time around. Needless to say, you can fill them with whichever combination of deliciousness inspires you. My most recent foray involved a cinnamon-maple syrup caramelized apple concoction that was quite successful in garnering smiles:

The key to making this dish super simple is the use of a blender. For me, that means hands-on prep time is reduced to about 5 minutes, 10 minutes tops. Then, while it bakes, you can either busy yourself with making a from-scratch filling or just sit back, relax, and enjoy some coffee while you look over the morning paper. Ah, weekend breakfasts. What's not to love?

Giant Oven Pancake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a nonstick 12-inch skillet well.

Put the eggs in a blender container, cover, and process at “stir” until light yellow in color. Push the “mix” button, remove the cover and add the remaining ingredients; process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and bake for 20 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm with the filling of your choice.

  • Yields: 1 large pancake or 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

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