Breakfast for Dinner
It’s the thing we turn to when we’re tired, cranky, need some comfort, feel like low-key celebrating, or sometimes just because. But breakfast for dinner and plain old breakfast are distinct and unique creatures. For instance, cold bowl of cereal? Not breakfast for dinner. Waffles and bacon? Totally breakfast for dinner, also totally what I’m craving right now (meatless January is going real well btw…). Pop tarts? No. Omelets? For sure.
So why can some items make the jump from morning to night? Well for me it’s about satisfaction. Dinner is the last proper meal of the day (that is if you don’t include the popcorn, string cheese, dark chocolate portion of the evening which occurs sometime between 9 and 9:30 PM, eastern standard). And so it stands to reason that it should be somewhat of an event. Not to say I’ve never eaten a bowl of cold cereal for dinner, or even a pop-tart or two, but those occasions happened out of necessity, lack of time, lack of money, sadness, etc. Not because those were the choices that ultimately fed my body and/or soul.
Are you a sweet or savory breakfast person?
So now that we’ve talked criteria, we’ll make some decisions. Breakfast, or breakfast for dinner, are both excellent occasions to ride the line between sweet and savory – because why should you have to choose? Let your bacon mingle with your maple syrup I say! Of course if you’re staunchly in one camp or the other, well then perhaps this one isn’t for you. Not to worry – there are plenty of all sweet or all savory options right over heeeyah. But if you don’t mind a little honey with your cheese well then hold tight for a hot second.
Have I got a dutch baby pancake for you!
Apple cheddar dutch baby pancakes are in my opinion the ultimate breakfast for dinner, sweet yet savory, blow your mind, delicious dish that you need to make, like now. I know I’ve talked about dutch baby pancakes before (btw you can find that recipe here), and I’m gonna do it again. Why? Because they’re a criminally underrated golden, puffy, beauty of a thing that you make in your BLENDER but are still impressive enough to serve for a fancy brunch. They are also crazy customizeable – once you have a good dutch baby pancake recipe under your belt you can mix up the toppings to no end, which means any number of breakfast or breakfast for dinner menus are at your fingertips (clearly the power of it all has gone to my head, but I cannot be stopped)!
Apple cheddar dutch baby pancakes
Apple and cheddar is already a time-honored flavor combination – usually via pie. Guess what? A dutch baby is waaaaaaay easier and faster to make than a pie, plus while I’d definitely rally to support a “pie for dinner” movement, I think it’d be a stretch. So while I got no beef with pie, I went the dutch baby route this time.
This one is as straight forward as can be. In five minutes flat buzz up your dutch baby batter. Melt some butter in a ripping hot cast iron skillet, in goes the batter, sprinkle with cheese, and pop that baby in the oven to do its magic. Then leisurely sauté some apples in a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and fresh thyme (because we fancy). Dutch baby comes out, apples get piled into the middle, optional (but really not optional) maple syrup is copiously drizzled and the whole thing gets eaten straight out of the pan (or on plates, if you must) along with a chilled glass of white because it’s dinner time, remember? Or breakfast…either way, no judgment here.
Some tips for dutch baby success.
Dutch babies are pretty simple. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Preheat your oven (and your pan) before making the batter for your dutch baby. Cast iron needs a while to heat up, and this step takes a little time so plan accordingly.
- Blend those eggs. A minute seems short, but if you’ve ever done sprints on a treadmill you know it ain’t. Make sure you’re giving those eggs enough time to get light and frothy (and always go by visual cues rather than strictly time – my blender might be more powerful than yours, so a minute might not be sufficient). This is important because the eggs are the only source of leavening in the whole dish, and you want that baby to puff!
- When sprinkling the cheese, avoid the edges. The cheese can inhibit the batter from rising in the oven, which can give you a wonky looking dutch baby. It will still taste phenomenal, but if you’re going for puffed edges with a cavernous center then mind your cheese placement.
- Try not to eat the entire thing by yourself (harder than you might think).
Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby Pancake
This apple cheddar dutch baby pancake is a real stunner that rides the line between sweet and savory like a champ, making it perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner.
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Brunch
- Cuisine: American
3 large eggs
¾ C milk
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ C all-purpose flour
5 T unsalted butter, divided
¾ C grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 pink lady apples, cored and cut into ¼ inch slices*
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp cornstarch
¼ C water
Optional: Maple syrup for serving
Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet on the middle rack of your oven and preheat to 425° F.
In a blender (or in a large bowl using a mixer), mix the eggs on high speed for 1 minute, or until frothy and light yellow in color.
Pour in the milk, salt, and pepper and blend for another minute.
Add the flour and blend for another minute, or until it’s fully incorporated. The batter should be light, bubbly, and just a little thicker than heavy cream.
Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the oven and add three tablespoons of the butter, swirling the pan until it’s completely melted and just beginning to brown.
Pour the batter into the pan and working quickly, sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, avoiding the edges. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
While the dutch baby cooks, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, thyme, and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until apples are tender but with a little bite left in them – about 10 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined and add to the apples. Simmer for one minute and turn off heat. The mixture will continue to thicken a bit as it cools.
When your dutch baby is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. It will deflate a bit, which is fine. Pile the apples into the center of the dutch baby and serve with maple syrup.
*Instead of coring my apples the traditional way, I just cut around the core which will give you two larger cheeks, and two smaller ones. It’s faster and easier IMO.
*As you can see I also made mini versions. Same as the big one but only cooked for about 16 minutes.
Keywords: breakfast for dinner, brunch recipe, apple cheddar recipe