Lemon Puff Pancake with Fresh Berries

This is one of those magical recipes that's much easier than it appears at first glance. A rather unprepossessing flour, milk, and egg batter is poured into a pan, and 20 minutes later emerges as a giant golden puff, awaiting a final anointing of lemon juice and sugar. It's delicious; it's easy; and who cares if it settles back a bit from its glorious oven-fresh heights as it cools? Part popover, part crêpe, part pancake, it combines the best aspects of all three. Our thanks to The New York Times, whose recipe for David Eyre's Pancake, printed over 50 years ago, inspired this one.

Prep
5 mins
Bake
15 to 20 mins
Total
20 mins
Yield
one 9" pancake
Lemon Puff Pancake with Fresh Berries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 9" cast iron skillet, or 8" round cake pan. The size of the pan matters here, so measure carefully. Too small, it'll overflow. Too large, it won't puff as high.

  2. Melt the butter in the skillet, or melt the butter and pour it into the cake pan.

  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and eggs.

  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until fairly smooth; a few small lumps are OK. Stir in the melted butter, and pour the batter into the pan.

  6. Bake the pancake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it's puffed and golden, with deeper brown patches.

  7. Remove it from the oven, and sprinkle with the lemon juice, then the sugar.

  8. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh berries.

  9. Yield: 1 or 2 servings.

Tips from our Bakers

  • This recipe is easily doubled. If you don't have more than one skillet, use a combination of skillet and cake pan; or simply use two 8" round cake pans.
  • If you're using a cast iron skillet, it should measure 9" across the top; its bottom diameter will be smaller.