Introduction: German Pancake With Strawberries and Bananas

Some call this Dutch Babies, but I do think it is German. Personally, I think this is what a nice hostess makes to impress brunch guests. Prepare to make more than one batches; before you know it, it's gone and your guests will ask for more.

This is one simple version. You can always use fruits in season, add coulis to top, pipe fresh-whipped cream to crown, and dust with your favorite flavored sugar. Or, you can have a savory version with your chosen vegetables - steamed or stir-fried but just not too much liquid and add your family version of marsala or madeira reduction.

Your oven must be able to hold the temperature. Note that most ovens vary between the indicated and the actual temperature. I use a gas oven with a big stone tile that I add to its base to stabilize the distribution of heat.

Depending on how you would like the presentation to be, deflated or crown-shaped, baking time is either 20 or 25 minutes, consecutively.

For this version, you will need:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cold whole milk
3 eggs
a pinch coarse kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold butter
one pint strawberries, rinsed and pat dry
3 bananas
some confectioner's sugar for dusting

The pan that I used is a 9-inch pyrex pie pan.

Step 1: Ingredients: It's Elementary

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. The temperature must reach this number to achieve the result as pictured. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, put together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup milk, 3 eggs, and a pinch coarse salt.

Step 2: Work on the Batter

Whisk until well blended.

Step 3: The Start Is Half of the Result Already

Make sure to have your working oven rack on the top one-third. Slice 3 tablespoons cold butter onto a heat proof pyrex pie pan. Do not cut on the amount of butter, please.

Step 4: The Vessel Is Ready

The pan is ready when all the butter melts. It takes about five minutes in a well heated 425-degree oven.

Step 5: Handle With Care

Now, do this step with caution. With your one hand in an oven mitt, pull out the rack slowly so that the rack will not slip out, the pan will be in your reach for pouring the batter, but not tilting, and the butter will not splatter. Pour in the batter using your other hand to hold the mixing bowl. Remember, no splatter, no blister later. With your oven-mitt hand, push back the rack slowly. Now you may close the oven. Set your timer for 20 minutes' baking time. Give yourself a pat on your shoulder. Your work is almost done.

Step 6: This Will Keep You From Peeking

During the 20 minutes of baking, you will need a productive distraction: start preparing your toppings: hull and slice the strawberries to your preference and peel and slice the bananas.

Step 7: The Crowning Moment

Yes, when it looks like this, it really is the crown to your efforts. Keep it in the oven for five more minutes so it will not 'exhale' and collapse on the dining table.

Step 8: Serving Portion ... the First

Slice to serve while still hot. Dust with a bit of confectioner's sugar. Get ready to eat your slice, too. When your guests are done, they will want more and you should not go back to the kitchen hungry.