Ben Bebenroth Flips Mom’s Pfannkuchen

When Chef Ben Bebenroth’s children run into the kitchen in amazement at a gooey, circular structure rising from a skillet, that means it’s time for the P-word: Pfannkuchen.

It’s tough to pronounce, but you’ll have no issues indulging in this popover pancake.

Pfannkuchen is a like hybrid of a French cruller and croissant, often served with the condiments you’d put atop of a typical pancake. “I just remember eating it all the time as a child’, Ben says. “It just always stuck with me.” And so he made sure to get the recipe from his mother before he left home. Now Ben makes it for the family special Sundays or other glorious mornings. Its appearance is unmistakable — “this huge, blown-up thing that is just magical,” Ben says. It’s a crusty, cake-like ring, made for drizzles, dollops, and dashes of all your favorite morning delicacies. “It’s really just a vessel for syrup and butter,” Ben says.

Mom’s Pfannkuchen

6 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 stick of butter

First, put an empty cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Whisk eggs until foamy and frothy. (The air that you put in the eggs is the only leavener in the entire recipe.)

Mix in flour and salt until the gluten develops and the dough starts to stretch away from the bowl.

Slowly add milk as you continue to stir, so as to turn it back into a batter.

Add nutmeg.

Once the oven reaches 450, take out the skillet and add butter. Let it completely sizzle and turn brown, rolling it around until it covers every edge.

Pour batter into the skillet and put back into the oven. Lower heat to 425 degrees and bake for 35 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve with powdered sugar, maple syrup and chopped apples. Sprinkle some fresh ginger, if you like a little spice.