Puffy apple pancakes from the oven are favorites in our house. They remind us of Kaiserschmarrn and other egg-based concoctions from the Alps of Switzerland and Austria. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, they make for a lovely communal breakfast since they’re made in cast iron skillets and baked. I typically remove them to platters to serve, but I’ve also placed the skillet (if it’s a good looking one) right on the table.
While apples are the classic, I’ve made this with Italian prune plums in August and now in June, with sweet Rainier and Lapins cherries that I picked yesterday. I particularly like the cherry version since it too reminds me of summers spent in Vienna. I adapted this recipe from Marion Cunningham’s classic, The Breakfast Book, which is a delightful and useful compendium of good ideas for the morning meal.
1 scant pint sweet cherries, pitted and halved
Juice of one-half lemon
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
4 tbsp butter, divided in two
2 tbsp sliced almonds
3 eggs, room temperature (place in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes)
½ cup milk, room temperature
½ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the cherries, sprinkle them with lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine. Melt the butter in a heavy, ovenproof skillet (9-10 inches in diameter) over low heat. Remove half of the butter to a bowl. Sauté the cherries in the remaining butter until they soften. Add the sliced almonds.
Lightly beat the eggs, butter and milk. Sift in the flour, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add the salt. Pour the batter over the cooked cherries and place the skillet in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes. If your skillet has a wooden handle like mine, wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it from burning.
Remove the pancake from the skillet (or not) and sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar. It will start to fall as soon as it is removed from the oven, so it’s best eaten right away.