It was Sunday morning and I had everything I needed. Stunning candy-stripe figs; rich, salty bacon; cool, sweet watermelon and the last of summer's deep-red cherries. Still, it wasn't quite brunch. There was something missing. A great big, gaping hole on the plate in need of filling.
Pancakes? French toast? Too pedestrian. I wanted something special. Something that wouldn't pale alongside my pristine late summer produce.
That's when I remembered that funky recipe I had recently come across in Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite. It was for some sort of pancake that supposedly puffed up when you baked it in the oven. While I couldn't possibly imagine what that would come out like, I was intrigued enough to try it. Plus, I remembered noting that the recipe called for only a few basic ingredients; a definite plus on a Sunday morning!
I must admit, it is infinitely satisfying to mix a few simple ingredients in a bowl, pour them into a hot skillet containing an unholy amount of butter and have the whole thing emerge from the oven as something else entirely. It's that perfect kind of kitchen alchemy where the end result far exceeds it's humble components. I would recommend that you make the recipe for that reason alone if it weren't for the fact that it tastes amazing as well. Ethereal and comforting at the same time, it's a difficult thing to describe, except to say that I have craved it absolutely every day since making it. Rich with butter, faintly spicy from the nutmeg and barely sweet. It tastes as much like breakfast as it tastes like dessert. It tastes like brunch. It tastes like Sunday.
I've changed this recipe only slightly. Mostly because I find it impossible to add nutmeg to something without adding vanilla as well. I also swapped out the lemon for orange because I thought the softer, sweeter orange juice would work well with all the warm flavors at play here.
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
1 medium orange
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 450. Meanwhile beat the eggs lightly in a medium bowl. Then add the milk, flour, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt and mix until a slightly lumpy batter forms. Zest the orange into the batter and mix again briefly.
Melt the butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted add the batter to the skillet and transfer to the prehated oven immediately. Bake until the pancake is "puffed" and browned around the edges.
When the pancake is done, remove from the oven and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Return the skillet to the oven until the sugar has melted slightly. Drizzle with juice from the zested orange and serve immediately!