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German Pancakes with Caramel-Poached Pears

German pancakes, or Dutch babies, are the traditional Christmas morning breakfast from my childhood. While these take a little while to bake, you only need about three minutes, one bowl, and one whisk to throw together. Depending on what you top them with, they can go either sweet or savory.

GERMAN PANCAKES WITH CARAMEL-POACHED PEARS
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
2/3 cup flour, sifted
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons super soft butter

4 under ripe pears, peeled and quartered and cored
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Equipment
2 springform cake pans
Large mixing bowl
Whisk
Large heavy-bottomed sauté pan
Silicone spatula

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Start by whisking up the eggs in the large bowl until a little frothy. Add in the salt, lemon zest, flour, milk, and 1 tablespoon of sugar and whisk briefly. Drop in the soft butter in little pieces, then whip the mixture until there are hardly any visible butter pieces, about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into two greased springform cake pans and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the pears, 1 cup sugar,  water, and lemon juice in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan. Stir to dissolve sugar, then place over high heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer.

Caramel develops better when the pot is shaken but not stirred, so do your best to let it reduce on its own. Low temperature and slow cooking are also good things to keep in mind! The sauce is finished when it is a just little runnier than you think it should be. It will thicken as it cools, and if you wait until it is the desired consistency when hot, you will have candy and not sauce!

Be very careful not to touch the caramel in the pan. It will be at least 300°F, and sugar clings to your skin and will not wash off quickly with water. Let the sauce cool in the pan a little before serving.

Now all you need is some whipped cream! Combine the heavy whipping cream with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and whip with a whisk until it’s the consistency you’d like. It will work, just keep at it!

Sunday morning sweet tooth satisfied.

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