So I had my "bite" (though not an appetizer per se, it is a great "bite" and would work as the dessert bite or even at a brunch party), but I still needed my "sip." Ah the wonders of the food blogging community! I remembered I had recently read about wonderful drinks in copious numbers over at "Oh you tasty little things." Her sparkle ninja drink sounded just right, laced with multiple fruit juices and banana flavored rum. Fruity and appropriate.I ended up changing the Sparkle Ninja drink into what I am dubbing a "Sitting on the Porch" because I used peach juice instead of guava (my supermarket was lacking yet again). The change made it less pink than the original, and far less tropical, but so tasty. It is a drink to sip while sitting on your front porch in a rocking chair on a hot summer day. Seriously. One sip and you are transported to Georgia where the peach you garnish with is fresh and the air is warm. Perfect for working out these winter duldrums. But watch out; don't use the drink to warm you up too much: you can't taste the liquor. It will pack a powerful punch without any rum taste.
The German Pancake (aka Dutch Baby) recipe is from my "Best of the Best" cookbook. I am FINALLY having some luck with that book. The first 3 or 4 recipes I tried from it were either mediocre or bad. I am finally getting to the good ones. In this recipe I LOVED the apple topping. I left the skins on for convenience, but I think it actually made it better, and my friend who normally does not like apple topping or filling said she actually liked this one. I also liked the base and the WOW factor it delivers when you get the puffed up pancake out of the oven, but it does deflate rapidly. It's ok, still tastes good deflated. It tasted to me a little like french toast. Very yummy.
My one complaint was the amount of butter. There was waaaaayyy too much butter. The 6 TBSP in the pan lead to a PUDDLE of butter that got passed on top of the batter and ended up as a PUDDLE of butter on top of the cake. EW. I dabbed it off before anyone else saw it cuz it was nasty. Lesson learned: Don't put tons of butter on pan then expect none of it to end up on top of the batter. I'd suggest using 1 TBSP for the apples and about 3-4 TBSP for the pan next time and see how that goes.
Sitting on the Porch
3 parts lemon lime soda (I may try decreasing this amount next time because there was not even a slight hint of alcohol taste, so you can likely cut back on the mixers a little)
2 parts strawberry nectar
1 part peach juice
1 shot Malibu Banana flavored rum
Combine all ingredients (prefferably all cold). Serve with a slice of peach as a garnish.
Serves 4 (no, it actually serves 6)
7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (I'd say to use about 4-5 total next time)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I did not peel)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1 cup bread flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place a large ovenproof skillet in the oven to preheat.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Add the apples and sauté until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon until the sugar is melted. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they are light and frothy. Add the milk, flour, vanilla extract, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Beat for more 5 minutes. The batter will be thin but very smooth and creamy.
4. Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the remaining 6 (next time 3-4) tablespoons of butter, tilting the pan to melt the butter and coat the skillet. Pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet all at once, and immediately place the skillet in the oven.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed up and golden brown.
6. Remove the pancake from the oven, bringing it to the table in its pan or sliding it onto a serving plate. Once it is out of the oven, the pancake will begin to deflate. Dust it with confectioners’ sugar. Cut it into wedges and transfer them to individual serving plates. Top the wedges with the apple mixture and serve immediately.