There are certain luxuries in life that are worth the splurge. Natural linen bath towels, Maldon sea salt, face cream, and a 1920s Griswold 12-inch cast iron skillet. Because I do not have that perfectly well-seasoned skillet handed down through generations, I cheated and bought one on eBay.
Instantly, it became part of the family. Saturday mornings now look a little like this.
6 am (if I’m lucky): wake-up call from two hungry boys. “Mommy, are you going to make The Pancake?” the four-year-old asks. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, make coffee. In a medium bowl, I mix together 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole milk, two lightly beaten eggs, and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
6:35 am: Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet while giving baby a bottle.
6:40am: When butter is very hot, pour in batter and bake in oven until golden and puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
7am: Sprinkle with powdered sugar, squeeze with lemon and serve to a hungry four-year-old and his daddy.
I discovered this recipe for David Eyre’s Pancake in The Essential New York Times Cookbook, and it originally appeared in the paper in 1966. Some of you might know this pancake by another name, a Dutch Baby, which I’d describe as a cross between a crepe and a popover. A well-seasoned skillet with sides high enough for the pancake to puff up against is essential—as is starting the weekend with a happy family.