This recipe for Mini Cherry Curd Dutch Baby is a must for your brunch menu! The dutch baby pancakes are light and fluffy and topped with a refreshing and creamy cherry curd. Plus, make them individual servings and bake in mini 3.5-inch cast iron skillets!
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Dutch Baby Pancake
The dutch baby pancake, also referred to as a German pancake is essentially a popover. It puffs in the oven when baked, and it does not use any chemical leaveners – such as baking powder – to give it its rise. So, how does it puff up like magic in the oven? The egg is what gives the dutch baby its puff. The batter is also much thinner than a typicaly pancake batter, so there is less flour to weigh it down.
Tips for Making the Dutch Baby
- My number one tip for making the mini cherry curd dutch baby is pre-heating the cast iron skillet. Pouring the batter into the hot skillet does two things – it helps to create a nice crusty exterior on the dutch baby, and the quick heat helps the dutch baby to bake and rise.
- Whisk the egg and the milk thoroughly before adding the flour. You want to make sure the mix is light and airy. With the egg as the only leavener, we want to make sure it is fully mixed.
- Be careful with the mini skillets. I say this from experience – the little cast iron skillets are so small, they can nearly fall through the grates of your oven rack. So you just want to be sure you are setting them evenly on the rack so they don’t tilt or lean while baking!
What?! Cherry Curd? We’ve heard of lemon curd and we’ve even used it on our Filled Cream Puffs. While the lemon curd is yummy, I wanted to take advantage of the vibrant summer fruit gracing the shelves of our produce section. Enter the refreshing cherry!
Though cherry curd and lemon curd share a similar name, they are a little different in their preparation. Most notably that the cherry curd does not have as many egg yolks as you would use for lemon curd. From there, we cook it almost like we would a pudding. We are going to heat up the cherries first, then temper the egg yolk with some of the hot cherry liquid.
With the help of cornstarch, the curd will thicken and the result is a dreamy cherry filling. While the cherry curd is perfect on top of these dutch babies, you could also use it as a filling in Vanilla Cupcake, as a filling layer on a Chocolate Cake, or for even more cherry on top of our Cherry Skillet Cake.
Cooking with Mini Skillets
The 3.5-inch skillets are not just intended to be uber cute. I think they do serve a practical purpose in that they are perfect for single servings. The mini cherry curd dutch baby is one use, but image making individual brownies, skillet cookies, or even small cakes! The possibilities are endless!
These are the cast iron skillets I used for this recipe. Just like any cast iron skillet, I care for them the same way I do my large skillet. I wash mine out with warm water then wipe down with salt (or even sugar, since we are using them for baking), which works as an abrasive to clean it. Rinse out the salt and dry by heating on the stove until all the water evaporates. I never use soap on my skillets, because I don’t want to lose any of the ‘seasoning’ skillets.
Serving the Dutch Baby
One of the (many) great things about baking in a cast iron skillet is, you are going to serve in it as well. So, no need to worry about how to get your baked treat out of the pan, or finding the right serving platter. Besides, how delightful is the presentation of a small skillet filled with a light and fluffy pancake? I don’t think it gets much more stylish!
Mini Dutch Baby
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped - frozen will work too
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup - or any sweetener of choice
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- In a medium saucepan, add the prepared cherries, lemon juice and maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until the cherries start to break down and the juices are released – about 8-10 minutes. As the cherries are cooking, mash periodically with a wooden spoon to help break the cherries down.
- While the cherries are cooking, in a medium mixing bowl add the egg yolk and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly drizzle about 1/4 cup of the cherry mix into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This tempers the eggs and brings them to temperature so they don't scramble. Pour the tempered mixture back into the saucepan, continuing to whisk constantly and return the saucepan to medium heat. Cook until the mixture is thickened and slightly bubbles – about 3 minutes.
- Strain the cherry curd through a fine mesh strainer that has been set over a medium bowl. Press the curd through the strainer with the wooden spoon – squeezing as much curd as possible into the bowl. Scrape the underside of the strainer to get all of the curd into the bowl!
- Cover the curd with plastic wrap set directly on top of the curd, to keep a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. The cherry curd can be made 3 days ahead of time as well.
- Preheat oven to 475F degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Place the mini cast iron skillets in the oven while it is preheating.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extra until light – about 1 minute. Add the flour and continue to whisk until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is light and smooth – about another 2 minutes.
- Remove the heated skillets from the oven. Place 1 teaspoon of butter in each skillet – the butter will sizzle and melt quickly. Carefully swirl the butter to coat the bottom and the sides of the skillet.
- Pour equal parts of the batter into each skillet. Carefully return the skillets to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until dutch babies have puffed up and the tops are golden brown. Note: when placing the mini skillets in the oven, carefully set on the rack so they don't fall through the grates!
- Cool the dutch babies, in their skillets, for a few minutes on a wire cooling rack. When ready to serve, scoop a dollop of the cherry curd onto each dutch baby. Optional – sprinkle with fresh fruit and powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!
- The 3.5-inch mini skillets are small. They each will yield 1, smaller portion single serving. If you prefer to make the dutch baby in one larger skillet, I would not recommed anything larger than an 8-inch skillet.