Delicious and easy, this Caramel Apple Dutch Baby is a great dessert, with ice cream or skip the ice cream and enjoy it for brunch.
The last time I made a Dutch Baby, I made it with summer fruit. At the time, I wondered out loud about making a Fall version - maybe with apples and caramel sauce. I was sure that someone would pick up that ball and run with it. But it's been over a year now and, as far as I know, no one has.
Well ... I couldn't just let that great idea sit there un-baked. Someone had to do it!
I'm pleased to say that it is every thing I imagined. The caramel sauce tastes just like the coating on a caramel apple. The caramel recipe below makes a lot - more than you'll need for this dish, but I'm pretty sure you won't have any trouble finding other uses for it. In fact, I would go so far to say that even if you don't want to make a Dutch Baby, you should make this caramel sauce. Yes, it's that good. It's caramel in it's purest form, just caramelized sugar and cream. I suggest making the caramel ahead of time and storing it in the fridge until you bake up your Dutch Baby. You can spoon it on cold or warm it a bit.
I used Cortland apples, which are a great baking apple and hold their shape really well when cooked. That said, I don't think you can go wrong with any apple in this one. Just make sure they are tender before your skillet goes in to the oven, as they don't soften much while in the oven.
Caramel Apple Dutch Baby
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp water
- 7 oz whipping cream
Dutch Baby Batter:
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (DIVIDED)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar (DIVIDED)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt ((or pinch of table salt))
- 1 large apple (peeled, halved, cored, then cut into thin)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
- Walnuts or pecans, for garnish (optional)
- For the caramel sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and water with a wooden spoon. Meanwhile, gently warm the cream in a small saucepan. Place a medium bowl out to pour the caramel in to when cooked.
- (* The sugar will start off like wet sand. As you stir, it will actually become drier - like dry sand. Stir some more and it will become sugar nuggets. This is the last stage before it begins to melt. Keep stirring until the nuggets are mostly dissolved, then stop stirring. The liquid will already be amber at this point, so you probably won't need to cook much after it completely liquefies.)
- Heat the sugar, stirring almost constantly until the sugar melts. Once the sugar becomes liquid, quit stirring (but you can swirl the liquid in the pan). Continue cooking briefly until liquid is a medium amber colour. Remove from heat and carefully (it will spatter!), add one-third of the cream to the caramel and, once the bubbling has subsided, whisk in the remaining cream. Immediately pour the mixture into the bowl you set out earlier and set aside until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Melt 2 Tbsp. in the microwave and then pour into a blender or food processor. Add the eggs, milk, flour, 1 Tbsp. of the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend batter until smooth. Let sit in blender, while you prepare the apples.
- Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and melt. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced apples to the skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Briefly re-blend the batter, then pour evenly over apples. Transfer the skillet to the pre-heated oven.
- Bake pancake until puffed and golden brown all over, about 18-22 minutes. It will deflate as soon as it’s removed from the oven. Don’t despair. That’s what it is supposed to do.
- Dust pancake generously with powdered sugar and top with 3 or 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Top ice cream with some caramel sauce and garnish with nuts, if desired. Serve immediately.