When I was about 11 years old, my parents took me to Europe, we visited the hometown of my mom’s husband in Düsseldorf, Germany where his mother lived. We visited there for about 3 weeks, and although I had an amazing time, I have to say that I quickly grew bored of the lady’s breakfasts. It was hard-boiled eggs every single morning, and to an 11 year old that is just plain torture. So one fine morning I was surprised when she asked me to join her in the kitchen because she would be making me a different breakfast: Pfannkuchen with fresh prunes. It had never occurred to me to make pancakes in such a different way. I think this was an important day in the instilling of my love for cooking.
I adapted a recipe I found online which was extracted from a cookbook from the 1800’s written by Henriette Davidis. Pfannkuchen is a South German specialty, and in this particular recipe you will notice there is no flour in it! It has a sweet “eggy” consistency. I liked it.
You can vary the recipe and use other fruits, such as apples, cherries, blueberries, or strawberries.
Please refer to my note at the bottom regarding the procedure I used when making this recipe. There was some skillet drama.
Fresh Prune Pfannkuchen
Recipe from Wandering Spoon
Makes: 4 servings
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk (preferably at room temp)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 fresh prunes, sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, positioning the rack in the middle.
- Beat egg whites to soft peaks.
- Whisk together egg yolks, milk, cornstarch, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Gently fold in the egg whites.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Melt butter, and as soon as the bubbles subside, add the prunes. Arrange them in a single layer, and then pour in the batter. Cover partially and cook for 10 minutes.
- Uncover and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom and set in the middle.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.
The recipe calls for a cast iron skillet so you can put it in the oven. I don’t have one (but am working on it), so I did the whole thing on the stove top. It can be done, but please use a heavy non stick pan, and don’t try to make a big pancake. Use a small pan, otherwise it will be impossible to flip it over. Also, you can omit the cornstarch and replace it with ½ a cup of all-purpose flour, but I used the recipe as it is. I would also suggest some lightly sweetened whipped cream on top.
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