Need something savory, cheesy, and perfect for spring? Brunch goals are realized with this gruyere and asparagus skillet dutch baby pancake!
This post was originally published on May 25, 2018. It has been updated with new pictures and additional content – enjoy!
Are you in love? Or better yet, are you in like? It’s spring, and even though Valentine’s day is well in the rear view mirror, I’m seeing more and more couples canoodling at the coffee house and going on what sound like (yes, I totally eavesdrop, don’t act like you don’t) adorably awkward first or second dates. I attribute this to the warmer weather. Temps have risen, along with hopes of romance and everyone is just dying to make their newly found like an al fresco affair. They’ve all got that twitterpated air about them.
And I’m happy for them (did that sound convincing?) no really I am. I am lucky enough to have a love/like of my own, and even if I didn’t, I hope I’d still find it in my heart to delight in remembering the butterflies you feel as you see them approach, or the way everything they say is either brilliant or hilarious or so thought provoking.
Aside from my very handsome husband, I sometimes experience this delight when a recipe turns out so well that you just want to hug it. But because hugging a cast iron skillet straight out of the oven is unwise on so many levels, instead I’ll show my love for this beautiful skillet dutch baby beauty by sharing it with you!
Gruyere and Asparagus Dutch Baby Pancake
This is brunch goals. It’s springy and light, but savory and comforting all at once. I love how the nutty gruyere cheese plays off of the bright, acidic asparagus salad, with the eggy pancake acting as a solid foundation. If I was going to have a love affair with a breakfast food, this would most definitely be the object of my desire. It’s got it all. It’s the Beyonce of brunch dishes.
But what is a dutch baby pancake?
Good question. As much as I love these things, I realize that they’re not as internationally known on the microphone as I would have thought – given how delicious they are. A dutch baby is a German style pancake that is part pancake, part popover. Similar to a yorkshire pudding, a light and eggy batter is prepared and then poured into a preheated skillet. Then the whole thing is baked until it puffs up gloriously. After the pancake is left to cool for a few minutes though, the puff collapses into a giant crater, which is the perfect place for toppings, both savory and sweet.
There are a lot of desserty versions of this pancake bopping around. Most commonly you’ll find it garnished with lemon juice and powdered sugar – which is phenomenal BTW. But because, in my opinion, the best brunch dishes should have a hint of savory in them (ie: cheese), this one breaks out of the sugary shell and embraces the “unch” side of brunch with open arms.
Some questions about this savory dutch baby
You got questions? I’ve got answers. Here are some common ones to consider. But if you have your own, always feel free to pop them in the comments or just reach out to me via social media. I loooooooove answering your best head scratchers.
- Do I have to make this in a cast iron skillet? No, of course not. Any oven proof skillet will do (or even a baking dish), but if you don’t have a cast iron skillet pop over here and let me convince you that for 12 dollars it’s an investment worth making
- Can I make this when it’s not asparagus season? Hm…well certainly if you can find asparagus you CAN make this. But I wouldn’t. Reason being is that the asparagus here is raw, barely dressed, and just plain *gasp* exposed. So if you’re buying the stuff out of season, and preparing it this simply, it’s probably not going to be the best it can be. Better to find a more seasonally appropriate recipe once the weather turns cooler – perhaps this apple and cheddar variety?
- Whoa, it’s raw? Is raw asparagus safe to eat? Short answer – yes! That said, I wouldn’t just go chomping on a stalk for an afternoon snack. Here we’re serving up delicate ribbons, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, which is a beautiful way to enjoy asparagus raw. However, if that’s just a little too precious for you, you can always slice the stalks thinly instead.
- What does gruyere taste like? Can I replace it with something else? Gruyere, if you’ve never had it, is like Swiss cheese on its very best day. Think glam squad, green smoothie, and confident AF. It’s savory and nutty, and just plain delicious. It’s strong enough to stand up to the eggy, buttery pancake but not so strong that it overpowers the tender, green asparagus. It’s basically the best. Buuuuuuut if you’re really looking for a gruyere cheese replacement here, I’d opt for some grated parm, a mild gouda, or maybe even some buttery brie.
- Do I really need to use a blender for this? No, but it’s really helpful. Reason being, the batter gets all of its lift from the air beaten into the eggs. Notice, there’s no chemical leavener anywhere in this recipe. So the blender does a great job at aerating the eggs without any real elbow grease on your part. If you don’t have a blender you can use an electric hand or stand mixer, an immersion blender, or a big metal whisk. It will just take a little longer, and your arm might (will) get tired.
So now that you’ve got all that knowledge in your noggin, grab a skillet, crack some eggs, and call some friends over for brunch. I guarantee people will be impressed, because what’s not to love?
If you make this dish, please snap a picture and let me know. I love seeing your beautiful creations! And if you’re looking for more springy goodness check these out.
- Spring Chicken and Drop Biscuits – this season’s answer to chicken pot pie
- Spring Asparagus and Ham Frittata – another brunch favorite
- Asparagus and Mushroom Stir Fry – seeing a theme here?
- Grapefruit and Mint Olive Oil Cake – because you’ve got to have a fun, sweet treat.
Gruyere and Asparagus Dutch Baby
Need something savory, cheesy, and perfect for brunch? Spring entertaining goals are realized with this gruyere and asparagus skillet dutch baby pancake!
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Brunch
- Cuisine: American
3 large eggs
¾ C milk
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground pepper (plus more for garnish)
¾ C all-purpose flour
3 T butter
¾ C gruyere cheese, grated
½ bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice (plus more for garnish)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
5–6 thin slices of prosciutto
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven while it preheats.
Break eggs into a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. The eggs will become bubbly and light yellow in color. Add milk, salt, and pepper and blend for another minute. Add flour and blend until it is fully incorporated and the batter is light and bubbly. It should be just a touch thicker than heavy cream, but not as thick as pancake batter.
When oven is preheated, carefully take the pan out and add the butter. Once it’s completely melted pour the batter into the pan. Working quickly, sprinkle the gruyere evenly over the batter, avoiding the edges, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until very puffed and golden brown.
While it bakes, use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons of asparagus. As you peel, transfer the asparagus ribbons to a bowl of ice water.
When your dutch baby is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. It will dramatically deflate which is totally OK.
While it cools, drain the asparagus ribbons and pat them dry with paper towels. Then toss with lemon juice and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drape the prosciutto in the center of the dutch baby and pile the asparagus ribbons on top. Garnish with more lemon juice and black pepper, then cut into wedges and serve.
Try to keep the cheese away from the very edges of the pan, this will keep the batter light enough to puff at the edges. Because of the cheese, this will never puff as dramatically as a sweet dutch baby would.
If you are shaving the asparagus, buy the fattest spears you can find. However, if this is too fussy, go ahead and just slice it thinly at an angle. If you do this, you will want to let the sliced asparagus marinate in the lemon juice and olive oil for about five minutes before serving.
Keywords: dutch baby, savory dutch baby pancake, gruyere cheese, raw asparagus, spring brunch recipe