Monday, October 20, 2008

Linda's Delicious Dutch Baby Pancakes!

Linda prepares amazing breakfast dishes for our guests, and uses many herbs from our own herb garden. She's a great cook but she wouldn't admit it! She does admit, however, to getting nervous when she learns that a professional chef stayed the night before and now is tasting her morning meal. But guests love her and her breakfasts, and she prefers to prepare too much food than to have guests leave hungry (thanks to her Texas hospitality upbringing!) Linda is also often asked for her breakfast recipes, and one in particular is her spectacular Dutch Baby Pancake. We thought we'd share the recipe, and a picture with you. This is a big hit with our guests!

Makes 2-4 servings
3 eggs room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 cup sifted bread all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg if desired
2-3 tablespoons butter
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Powdered or confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place butter in a heavy 10" ovenproof frying pan or a cast-iron skillet in oven on middle rack until hot and sizzling. While pan is heating prepare your batter. NOTE: Use a shallow pan, not more than 3 inches deep (pie pans, cast-iron skillets, oven-proof fry pans, baking dishes, paella pans).

In a large bowl beat the eggs until light and frothy; add milk, flour, vanilla extract and cinnamon; beat for 5 minutes more. The batter will be thin, but very smooth and creamy. Using a pot holder, remove the hot skillet from the oven and swirl the butter to coat the skillet. Pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet all at once, and immediately return the skillet to the oven.

Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown (bake until the pancake puffs up around the edges - it may puff irregularly in the center). Squeeze fresh lemon juice over pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Linda often fills the middle of the pancake with caramelized pears or apples. You may also serve with warm maple syrup. Enjoy!

Harvest Time in Wine Country

The weather has been fabulous for gathering and harvesting the grapes this week. As I sit with guests on the front porch watching all the activity in the vineyard below, we marvel at the beauty of the colors and the efficiency of the workers! We can hear the soft hum of voices as they are cutting the grapes. As the vineyard owner passes by with his tractor loaded, the sweet fragrance of the grapes drifts our way. We talk about the process involved with planting, cultivating and pruning in order to produce the best grapes for our wonderful Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines. My neighbor, Matt Kinne, is a winemaker who is passionate about his craft and uses minimal intervention in order to produce a high quality product. His label is McKinlay Vineyards, and we are pleased to showcase his wine here at the Inn. Salud!