There was a lot that Badge and I didn’t know about each other when we got married, but there was one particular nugget of information I purposefully kept to myself: the family curse. The poor soul is well familiar with it now, he’s been taken under its wing regardless of consent. It’s something we take care not to mention when summer and the possibility of overnighter invitations roll in. The secret is this, every single campout of my childhood, adolescent, and adult life has been a rainy one.
Our fellow campers—those outside the family circle, of course—always seem to remark on the uncanny change in weather as we hammer in last tent stake and watch black clouds roll in. They say something along the lines of, ‘Hmm! I could have sworn they predicted clear skies tonight!’ This is the point where we skillfully swoop in with a time-tested gem of distraction; we build a fire, pull up our hoods, and break out the cast iron. Being wet gets a lot less miserable and infinitely more adventurous when you have a hot plate of something delicious in your hands.
There’s just something about a cast-iron skillet that makes you tough and homey all at once. Fried rainbow trout you caught, cleaned, and seasoned yourself; slices of richly-browned and salty potato mingled with pearl onions and rosemary; fresh fruit cobblers with bubbling filling and sugar-crusted tops. Am I the only one smelling wood smoke and drooling? Oh good. I was hoping not.
Whether nostalgia or longing for warmer weather, I've been breaking out my favorite skillets at home a lot lately with beautiful, mouth-watering results. One of those is this recipe for a caramelized citrus dutchbaby.
So maybe give it a try before you blackball us from your next camp-out. We really are a hoot to share a summer storm with, and my strawberry-rhubarb cobbler is well-worth packing the extra poncho.
If you’re a fan of protein powder, and looking for an extra boost, try adding a scoop of your favorite vanilla to the blender mix, decreasing the flour to ¼ cup.
Caramelized Citrus Dutch-baby
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 large eggs
4 egg whites
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or spelt flour for Gluten Free)
Generous pinch kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Meyer lemon or navel orange, thinly sliced
3 tsp butter, divided
1 tsp avocado oil
1 Tbs. coconut sugar
In a blender combine the milk, eggs, egg whites, flour, salt and extract. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 teaspoons butter and 1 teaspoon avocado oil in the bottom and sprinkle half the coconut sugar over the heated oil.
Carefully place the sliced lemons in one layer in the skillet; sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the top. Let the lemons caramelize well before turning over, browning and even charring slightly in places; repeat on the other side.
Remove the lemons from the skillet to a plate and add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Place the skillet on the top rack of the oven and gently pour the egg mixture into it. Carefully push the rack back into place and close the oven. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the dutchbaby has puffed slightly, but is still soft in the center.
Open the oven and pull the rack out slightly and, working quickly, arrange the caramelized lemon slices on top, gently pushing the rack back and closing the oven to finish baking, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the skillet when the pancake is golden brown and springs back when touched in the center.
Cool slightly and serve with fresh fruit or pure maple syrup. Serves 6.