Dutch “Baby” Pancake with Rhubarb Compote and Mint

It’s rhubarb season !!! Wooohooo! To celebrate, I wanted to make an easy, multifunctional recipe by marrying  homemade rhubarb compote with a buttery, light and delicate Dutch pancake. You can have this for dessert, breakfast, brunch in a group or…my favorite… alone. 🙂

dutch pancake with rhubarb compote and mint

If you’ve ever had a bad experience with rhubarb—like discovering the brutally tart flavor of a raw rhubarb out of season—you can rest assured that this recipe will change your opinion of this “fruit.” Yes, it’s a fruit! Well, legally at least, even though it’s technically a vegetable. Rhubarb is confusing and moody. She changes with the seasons and has more than one identity, kind of like me, to be honest. After being categorized as a veg for her whole life, Rhubarb was officially declared a fruit in 1947 by a New York court since it is most often cooked as a fruit in the United States. This may have served to lower the taxes for businesses importing rhubarb as well. Regardless, I am happy that rhubarb has ended up where she’s ended up. On my pancake.

Speaking of rhubarb on my pancakes… rhubarb goes into a *magical* transformation this time of year. The official rhubarb season (for field-grown rhubarb) is from April-May until the end of summer. It develops a rich, sweet flavor that’s perfect for desserts. Little rhubarb consumption tip: make sure that you only eat the stems and not the leaves as they contain oxalic acid which is poisonous. I also recommend stocking up on rhubarb and freezing them wrapped in tin foil in plastic bags for delicious Christmas desserts. 

So that’s the scoop on rhubarb.  Now let’s talk about the Dutch baby!!! No, not like a human Dutch baby. Dutch baby is a term for a large baked Dutch pancake. In terms of flavor and texture, Dutch pancakes are big, puffy, crepe like in the middle, sweet, and buttery. But why are the called Dutch pancakes? The pancakes derived from the original German pancakes and were served in Manca’s Cafe in Seattle Washington during the first half of the 1900s. It is said that one of the daughters of the owner of the café coined the name Dutch Baby. We don’t know how, but somewhere along the way, it turned into a giant, inflated version of the original.

dutch pancake with rhubarb compote and mint

What should I do if I don’t have a blender for the batter?

Making this poofy masterpiece is pretty simple. You blend the batter until it’s smooth, making sure that all the ingredients are fully combined. I recommend a blender for this, but if you don’t have one you can make it happen with a whisk and some muscle. You can start by whisking the eggs for around 2 minutes until they are foamy and less yellow. Then whisk like a champion until you have mixed the rest of the ingredients.

Do I have to use a cast iron?

I do recommend using a cast iron for this because they are oven and stove top safe and they retain heat EXTREMELY well. Make sure you heat the iron cast skillet in the oven for 10-15 minutes before putting it on the stove, just to make it nice and hot for the cooking process to start. I was gifted mine from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen and I love it! You can use my code : SKYLER10 to get a lil discount. Honestly, nothing beats a good, solid cast iron skillet (except if you’re cooking with lemon, wine or tomatoes) and Chrissy Teigen’s pan is SUCH a good price.

What if I don’t like rhubarb? 

Rhubarb is very tart and not everyone likes it. No problem! If you are making this outside of rhubarb season, or if you’re not a rhubarb fan, I recommend strawberry or raspberry compote instead. The beauty of this recipe is that you can go with any fruit on top like bananas, blueberries, or anything you want. You can have a lot of fun with it! I used rhubarb because it is in season and I love the tartness with the sweet pancake.

Can I just use store bought jam or compote instead?

ABSOLUTELY. You can always take short cuts. I will never judge you!!!

What if I can’t find mint?

Mint is optional. I used it because I had it at home and I like the way it adds another flavor to the dish.  I’m a sucker for a pop of color and herby influence.

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings
For one large Dutch pancake:
3 eggs
3/4cup whole milk, microwaved for 30 seconds to bring it to room temp
3/4firmly packed cup all-purpose flour
1tbsp sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
4tbsp butter
For the rhubarb compote:
2-3stalks (about 2 cups) rhubarb, chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch thick pieces
1/2cup granulated sugar 
Pinch of kosher salt
For the toppings:
1bunch fresh mint, chiffonade
Powdered sugar, to taste
Equipment
Large cast iron skillet

Directions

1.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If your oven has a convection setting, use the convection bake setting instead of the conventional bake setting. If your oven is known to be a "cooler" oven, set the temp to 425 degrees F. If you don't know what I'm talking about, this probably doesn't pertain to you!

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2.

Place a large cast-iron skillet inside the oven to heat up for at least 10-15 minutes.

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3.

Combine all ingredients except for the butter in a blender. Blend until smooth. (See notes for other alternatives for blending.)

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4.

Remove the skillet from the oven and put it on the stove. Set the heat to medium-high heat. Add the butter to the skillet and swirl until melted and evenly coating the pan. Adjust the heat to high and let the pan heat for 30 seconds.

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5.

Pour the batter into the center of the skillet. The batter should evenly spread throughout the surface of the pan and begin to bubble shortly thereafter. Transfer the skillet to the oven right away and let the pancake bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and poofy. It's normal for there to be darker spots and lighter spots, but to make sure the pancake cooks evenly, check on it halfway through cooking to make sure it’s browning evenly. If not, rotate the pan 180 degrees.

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6.

While the pancake is cooking, prepare the compote. Heat a large sauce pan or skillet on medium-high. Add the rhubarb, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the skillet and cook (stirring every minute or so) for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb is softened and the sugar turns into a syrup. Remove it from the heat and place into a cup or bowl. If you want the compote to be more syrupy, add 1/4 cup more sugar.

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7.

Once the dutch pancake is golden brown and poofy, remove it from the oven and top with rhubarb compote. Finish it off with fresh mint and a dusting of powdered sugar.

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Notes

If you don't have a blender you can use a whisk. Start by whisking the eggs for around 2 minutes until they are frothy and less yellow. Then whisk each ingredient in until the batter is smooth and the ingredients are fully mixed. 

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