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Originally published Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Baked in a ovenproof skillet, these desserts deserve applause

These desserts can be made in one pan: Warm Berries 'n' Dumplings; Dutch Baby Pancake; Fudgy Skillet Brownies and Pear Tart Tatin.

Everyday Food

Cozy desserts don't always need loads of utensils to prepare and hours to make. For these casual treats, just a pan will do to go from kitchen to table with ease.

WARM BERRIES 'N' DUMPLINGS

Makes 4 servings

1 pound frozen mixed berries

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

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1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a medium skillet, cook berries, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 11 minutes to 13 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar; add melted butter and buttermilk and stir until a moist dough forms. Dividing evenly, spoon 6 dollops of dough over fruit. Combine cinnamon and 1 teaspoon sugar and sprinkle over dough.

3. Cover pan tightly with foil and cook over medium-low heat until dumplings are set and tops are dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutritional information per serving: 311 calories; 6.8 grams fat (3.8 grams saturated fat); 5.1 grams protein; 59.2 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber

DUTCH BABY PANCAKE

Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

3 large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, set aside.

2. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar. Blend until foamy, about 1 minute. Pour batter into skillet; bake until pancake is puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

3. Working quickly, dot pancake with 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice. Slice into wedges and serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 276 calories; 13.9 grams fat (7.4 grams saturated fat); 7.9 grams protein; 30.3 grams carbohydrates; 0.4 grams fiber

FUDGY SKILLET BROWNIES

Makes 10 servings

For a different take on these brownies, add pecans, walnuts or whole chocolate chips to the batter. If serving the brownies warm, vanilla ice cream is the ideal companion.

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.

2. In a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet, bring butter and cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add chocolate; reduce to medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.

3. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended (reserve skillet). Fold in flour mixture. Pour batter into skillet.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Serve from skillet, warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information per serving: 343 calories; 18.4 grams fat (9.8 grams saturated fat); 5.4 grams protein; 47.3 grams carbohydrates; 2.7 grams fiber

PEAR TART TATIN

Makes 8 servings

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package), thawed

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 firm, ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears, each peeled, halved, cored and cut into 6 wedges

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll puff pastry to an 11 1/2-inch square; using a plate as a guide, cut out an 11-inch round. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, combine sugar, vinegar and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until golden, about 12 minutes to 15 minutes. Stir in butter. Arrange pear wedges in a circle along the edge of skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until pears are crisp- tender, about 10 minutes to 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

3. Drape chilled pastry round over pears, tucking edge under. Place a small oven-safe plate or pot lid on top of pastry; bake 15 minutes. Remove plate; continue to bake until pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let tart cool in skillet, 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of skillet and carefully invert tart onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

Nutritional information per serving: 475 calories; 22.3 grams fat (8.1 grams saturated fat); 5 grams protein; 65.3 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber

Everyday Food magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals — from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. For more recipes and additional tips, visit www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood. Questions or comments about the column should be sent to: everydayfood(at)marthastewart.com.

c.2009 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia LLC. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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