Baking, Blog, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Entertaining, Partnerships, Recipes, Snacks & Treats, Tomato-Free, Vegetarian

Baby Dutch Babies With Fruit Cocktail, from 35p

Fancy getting a little bit fruity? Whether spoiling a special someone, or simply showing yourself some love, you won’t regret whipping up this quick, gorgeous, and deliciously luxurious treat for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert. I topped mine with caramelised pears, canned peaches, and fruit cocktail in the testing phases, and fruit cocktail just about pipped the others to the post, but mostly because of that cheeky little cherry on top. Let me know what you would have on yours in the comments below, or by commenting on Facebook or Instagram! And if you make it, I always love to see your photos on social media – tag me with #jackmonroe on Instagram or @bootstrapcook on Twitter – it’s nice to be nice! <3

AD : This post is part of a long-term commercial collaboration between me and Del Monte Europe. Other links in this post may be affiliate links and may earn a small commission on purchases made. This does not affect the integrity of the recommendation, as I truly only recommend products I use myself rigorously and genuinely love with unfettered enthusiasm. Or you know, actually wrote myself, like the books. 🙂 

It’s helpful to have:

Either a muffin tin , or yorkshire pudding tin, or a 20cm round cake tin or thereabouts, or a 20cm approx cast iron or otherwise ovenproof nonstick shallow pan. I made mine in a yorkshire pudding tin, which is a very useful thing to have, but if you don’t have one, any of the above will do just fine.

Ingredients:  (I am working on a vegan version of these too, watch this space, but for where I’m at with substitutions so far, see below the recipe!)

Makes four, from 35p each

2 eggs, 26p  (79p/6 free range eggs, Asda)

2 tbsp finely ground sugar, <1p (65p/1kg, Asda)

150ml semi skimmed or whole milk, 8p (51p/l, Asda)

100g plain flour, 3p (45p/1.5kg, Asda)

A pinch of of nutmeg or cinnamon, <1p (84p/42g, Asda)

4 tsp light cooking oil, 2p (£1.09/1l, Asda)

415g can of fruit cocktail in juice, £1 (£1, Del Monte at Asda)

First drain your fruit cocktail, reserving the juice from the can, and set it to one side. I like to pop mine in the fridge in a fridge-safe container or bowl; the contrast between the cold juicy fruit and the hot fluffy base is a particularly enjoyable thing – although you may disagree, of course, in which case you’re welcome to just leave it on the side until needed.

Make your batter – on lazy days or sore-joints days I simply fling the eggs, sugar, milk, flour and nutmeg into my small bullet blender – and whizz it to a super smooth consistency, but you can crack the eggs into a bowl, beat together with the sugar, and slowly add the milk and flour instead for the same end result. And the nutmeg, for good measure.

Pop your batter in the fridge to chill out for a while; around half an hour is fine. The theory here is similar to that of yorkshire puddings – and the best and lightest of those happen when cold cold batter meets hot hot oil, a process I once described to my son as ‘it kind of jumps out of its skin’ and well, that’s certainly made it memorable in our house!

While the batter chills out, make your syrup by pouring the juice into a small saucepan and bringing it to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. I usually get around 150ml-175ml of juice out of a can of fruit cocktail if I’m patient with the draining, letting it sit in a sieve atop a jug or mixing bowl for a good while, but however much you end up with, you want to reduce it by around half. It will thicken up by itself, but if you want a particularly thick and sticky syrup, you can add another 2 tbsp of sugar to the mix to help it along. Remember it will thicken as it cools, and more importantly, remember not to taste it from the pan! The roof of my mouth still hasn’t forgiven me for that absent-minded moment last week, so don’t make the same mistake!

When the juice has reduced down to a syrup (that always tastes pleasantly melon-y to me!) remove it from the heat and transfer to a jug or mug to cool. Then get some washing up liquid and hot water in that pan fast and clean it, because once the syrup starts to set on the bottom of the pan it’s an absolute blighter to get back off again.

When your batter is chilled, turn your oven on to 200C and ensure there is a shelf set in the middle of it. Divide your oil evenly between your yorkshire pudding trays, if using them, or pour it into your cake tin. Place the tin – not the batter, not yet – into the oven for 5-6 minutes to get it super hot. Remove it carefully with a thick oven glove (or several clean dry teatowels folded over to create a thick barrier between your hand and the hot tin). Pour the batter in and immediately return it to the oven for 14 minutes. Do not be tempted to open the door until those 14 minutes are up!

When ready, carefully remove from the tin (or tray) and top with your homemade syrup and the fruit. Serve immediately, dredged with extra sugar if you really can’t help yourself. (My perpetually sore tooth should not endorse this message, but I don’t think my dentist follows my blog. And if she does, I’ll know about it next time I see her!)

Leftover dutch babies can be frozen, plain, and defrosted overnight in the fridge and refreshed in a hot oven for a few minutes to serve. Leftover fruit and syrup can be transferred to the fridge in an airtight bag or container and should be enjoyed within three days.

SUBS AND ALTERNATIVES:

VEGAN: I’m still working on a failsafe vegan version of these, as I know I have a large number of vegan readers and I want to make as many of my recipes available to as many people as possible. I’m working on using the yorkshire pudding base from Veganish but it’s not quite right for this recipe, and usual vegan subs, like banana, applesauce, and flaxseed ‘egg’ isn’t giving great results either. As soon as I’ve nailed it down, I’ll share it! 

DAIRYFREE: I have tested this recipe with a number of non-dairy milks and can confirm it works well with rice milk, cashew milk and oat milk. I don’t use almond milk as a member of my household has a severe almond allergy, so can’t vouch for that, and soya milk works but I found it needed a tablespoon of light cooking oil in the mix with it, whereas none of the others seemed to.

GLUTENFREE: Still looking for the elusive best gluten free flour blend for light batters and bakes – if you know of one, or ratios for combining any that are almond-free, do please let me know as I’d love to make more of my recipes more accessible to my GF readers too. The easiest way to let me know is to comment below, or on my Facebook page.

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Filed under: Baking, Blog, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Entertaining, Partnerships, Recipes, Snacks & Treats, Tomato-Free, Vegetarian

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Jack Monroe is an award winning food writer and bestselling author. Books include A Girl Called Jack, A Year In 120 Recipes and Cooking On A Bootstrap. She has won the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink award (ironically), the Observer Food Monthly Best Food Blog, Marie Claire 'Woman At The Top', Red Magazine's 'Red Hot Women', the YMCA Courage & Inspiration Award, the Woman Of The Year Entrepreneur award, the Women Of The Future media award and many more. She works with Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, Child Poverty Action Group, Plan Zheroes, the Food Chain and many food banks, schools and childrens centres to teach people to cook and eat well on a low income, and campaigns against the causes of poverty and austerity in Britain and abroad.