Years ago, some friends owned a Bed & Breakfast. It was before the idea became viral, before every lover of food and travel dreamed of owning their own, even before there were organized associations and definitely before there were listings on the internet.
It was a beautiful home, tucked into a rural community in Amish country. The bedrooms were equipped with huge, fluffy towels—better than anything in my closet at the time. You needed a step stool to get into one of the canopy beds, which was decorated with everything from pillow shams to pillows to a comforter that made the whole room feel more inviting. The adjacent bathroom had its own toiletries, and basically it was an experience that elevated the visitor beyond anything you could get at the ritziest hotel in the biggest cities of the world.
It was welcoming, personal, and a part of the trip that we cherished. But, beyond the hospitality of our friends, there was the food.
The breakfast part of this B&B offered what the proprietor called a Dutch Apple Pancake, if memory serves. It was appropriately themed, since they were in what’s known as Dutch country, and the B&B was filled with apple-themed collectibles. It was also eye opening, eyebrow raising, struck dumb amazing! She’d bring this gorgeous concoction out onto the patio on a sunny summer day, complete with coffee and companionship, and you’d think you’d died and gone to heaven.
I wanted to make it, but it looked so complicated—plus, it was sort of a trademark for her, and I didn’t feel right even asking for it. So I just enjoyed it whenever we got the chance to stay.
Somewhere along the way, these friends sold the B&B and devoted themselves to another business—letting go of the spacious home and—let’s be honest—all of the upkeep, landscaping, and problems that go with that type of ownership. I can’t blame them; in fact, I’m appreciative that we got the chance to see just how hard that type of business was before we—food and travel lovers that we are—chucked our day jobs and opened a B&B as well.
But, I do regret not getting her recipe. Now, after years of thinking about it, and even trying to replicate it (can you say failure?), I’ve adapted a recipe that works, and really is as easy as she always told me it was. Here is our version of a Fruit-Filled Puff Pancake. Enjoy!
Note: if your fruit is tart, you may want to add a tablespoon of sugar to it as it cooks. You can use a variety of different fruits in this dish, including raspberries, blackberries, even bananas. Next time I may even try it in a set of small skillets for individual pancakes. The adventure continues!
*with inspiration from Taste of Home
For the Pancake
- 4 eggs, large or extra large
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
For the Filling
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 apples (any kind—we mixed Green and Gala)
- 2 pears
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- Sprinkling nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon at most)
- Sprinkling cinnamon (1/8 teaspoon at most)
- Optional whipped cream or syrup
- 1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- 2 Prepare fruit by peeling and slicing it thinly.
- 3 Combine eggs, half & half, flour, sugar, and nutmeg—you can do this by hand, using a hand mixer, or even a blender; set aside.
- 4 Place the first 3 tablespoons butter in a cast iron skillet or other oven-proof skillet, and heat in the oven until butter is melted (about 2 minutes—don’t let it get brown); coat the pan evenly with the melted butter.
- 5 Pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet.
- 6 Bake about 15-18 minutes until pancake has puffed up and the edges are browned. Don’t worry if it looks wet in the middle—you don’t want it too brown.
- 7 While pancake is baking, put the 4 tablespoons butter in another skillet on the stovetop and let it melt.
- 8 Add the fruit, cover, and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 9 By this time your pancake should be done, so keep an eye on it and remove from oven and let it sit until your filling is ready. If there were any large bubbles in the pancake do not puncture them—they will fall naturally.
- 10 Remove the cover from the fruit-filled skillet and cook another 3-5 minutes to let the fruit get a little caramelization.
- 11 Pour the prepared fruit into the pancake and spread around, keeping in mind that the skilled is hot!
- 12 Add a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon just for color—not too much.
- 13 Slice like a layer cake and serve warm, adding whipped cream or syrup as desired.