To all you home cooks and bakers out there, how many of you own a cast iron skillet? And how many of you actually use it? It seems to be common in the cooking world that if you own a cast iron skillet, you either love it or you are afraid of it. It’s the main ‘hero’ in your kitchen or it sits there gathering dust because you don’t understand the ‘rules’ of cleaning or not cleaning it, how the seasoning process works and man, is it heavy!
I sit in the middle – as I love the idea of the cast iron skillet, it’s just that I don’t own one. A good pan can be expensive and I’ve never even thought about actually getting one. My parents have a skillet that I’ve used once to make Pretzel Pull-a-Part Bread with Beer Dip (which I had a blast making). And my Dad and I did a fun little workshop in Burlington on how to cook with a cast iron skillet. But I still didn’t own one, even after enjoying and learning many recipes using a skillet.
Well that all changed thanks to Dream Kitchen Solutions! They sent me a large 12-inch Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet to test and see how I liked it. And the best part is they are going to give two of you lucky readers an opportunity to win one!! How exciting is this guys?!
Since I love everything breakfast, I wanted to test out and try making a dutch pancake. I’ve never made one before (I’ve actually never had one before either) but they look so beautiful baked in a cast iron skillet so I thought this would be a perfect time to try it out.
And the verdict is… I loved baking in this skillet! The pancake didn’t puff up and collapse as it’s supposed to, but that was my fault on the baking front. Since I’m new to the dutch pancake, I didn’t know that I needed more batter for such a large skillet. But it tasted so so so, yummy!!! I loved how crisp the edges were and how dense and spongy the pancake was. Dutch pancakes will definitely become a staple recipe in my kitchen! I’ve adjusted the recipe to fit the larger skillet so you don’t run into the same problem as I did (even though the ‘problem’ still tasted delicious). As for the skillet, I loved how consistently the heat distributed throughout the entire pancake and frying the butter on the pre-heated skillet was probably my favourite part (yes, I’m a baking geek). Watching the butter dance on the hot skillet and the aromas of nutty burnt butter that filled the air had me in love with this pan. There’s no turning back now!! The skillet was super easy to clean and I had no problems handling its weight at all (you definitely need two hands though).
Whether you’re cooking or baking with a cast iron skillet it will give you wonderful results – golden-brown fried chicken, sizzling bacon, crisp golden corn bread and hot apple pies. There is no job too small or too big for the skillet, so I encourage you to pull it out, dust it off and learn how to use this powerful cooking tool. If you don’t own one, it’s your lucky day; sign up below for your chance to win this Calphalon skillet courtesy of Dream Kitchen Solutions. They have a great site filled with trustworthy product reviews, design tips and lifestyle solutions. I’m so excited for this giveaway; thanks for the kitchen love and inspiration Dream Kitchen Solutions!
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole or 2% milk
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- zest of 1 small lemon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar, maple syrup, jam, fresh berries for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
- Add flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and, lemon zest in a blender and blend all ingredients together (or food processor fitted with the blade attachment). The batter will be quite loose and liquidy.
- Leave the batter in the blender to rest and set aside for 20 to 25 minutes. This gives the flour time to absorb the liquid.
- Meanwhile, place the 12" skillet in the middle rack of the oven to warm up.
- After your batter has rested for 20-25 minutes remove the skillet from the oven using oven mitts and place it on top of the stove. Add the butter and swirl the pan to melt and coat the bottom and sides of the skillet, being very careful as the pan will be extremely hot.
- Pour the batter on top of the butter. Tilt the pan so that the batter runs evenly to all sides. Place the skillet back in the oven.
- Bake until puffed, lightly browned across the top, and darker brown on the sides and edges, approx.15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve hot. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve with whipping cream, maple syrup or jam.