By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern
Every year, my family makes brunch together after opening presents in the morning. We each help out to make fresh orange juice, scrambled or fried eggs, bacon, maybe fry up some ham from last night’s Christmas eve dinner, cut up some orange slices, and bake a Dutch baby in the oven. We pick fresh oranges and lemons from our trees to make to make the OJ and cut lemon wedges to squeeze on top of our Dutch baby slice with powdered sugar and maple syrup. It is one of my favorite family traditions. Here are some of my family’s recipes for Christmas brunch. I hope you enjoy them!
Dutch Baby (from “Mary Engelbreit’s Winter” book)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a half-stick of butter in a 10” cast-iron ovenproof skillet or heavy baking dish. Put the skillet in the oven while you prepare the batter. In the blender: blend 3 eggs until foamy. Add ¾ cup milk, ¾ cup flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Blend only to combine. When the butter is melted (but before it burns), remove the hot skillet and roll it so that the butter evenly greases the pan. Immediately pour the batter into the hot pan and return to the hot oven. Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve in wedges with slices of lemon, pats of butter, and powdered sugar that melt together to make a lemony syrup. Serves 2-4.
Grandma Hunt’s Fruit Salad
Peel an orange and dice the slices. Dice an even amount of banana and fresh pineapple as you have orange. Add desired amount of walnuts and shredded coconut. Mix together. Serve and enjoy. Optional: add diced apple slices, grapes, and/or diced strawberries.
Homemade Lemon Curd (Sally’s Baking Addiction)
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with 1-2 inches of water. (Or use the DIY double boiler method listed in the notes.) Place on high heat. Once the water begins to boil, reduce to low heat to keep the water at a simmer.
- Place egg yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt into the top pot of your double boiler. Using a silicone whisk, whisk until completely blended, then continue to whisk as the curd cooks. Constant whisking prevents the egg yolks from curdling. Whisk and cook until the mixture becomes thick, resembling the texture of hollandaise sauce, about 10 minutes. If curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk.
- Remove pan from heat. Cut the butter into 6 separate pieces, then whisk into the curd. The butter will melt from the heat of the curd. Pour curd into a jar or bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top so it is touching the top of the curd. (This prevents a skin from forming on top.) The curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Once cool, the plastic wrap can be removed.
Refrigerate the curd for up to about 10 days.
Homemade Crepes (put the lemon curd on this!)
3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, plus 3-4 more Tablespoons for the pan
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk, at room temperature*
1/2 cup (120ml) room temperature water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave or on the stove. Cool for about 5 minutes before using in the next step. The remaining butter is for the skillet.
- Combine the cooled melted butter, flour, sugar, salt, milk, water, eggs, and vanilla to a blender or large food processor. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, use a large mixing bowl and whisk by hand. Blend on medium-high speed for 20-30 seconds until everything is combined. The mixture will be silky smooth and the consistency of cream. Cover the blender tightly or pour into a medium bowl, cover tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes and up to 1 day.
- Cook the crepes: Use the remaining butter for greasing the pan between each crepe. Place an 8-inch skillet over medium heat and generously grease it with some of the reserved butter. If you don’t have a skillet this size, use a larger one but make sure you keep the crepes thin. Once the skillet is hot, pour 3-4 Tablespoons (closer to 3 is best) of batter into the center of the pan. Tilt/twirl the pan so the batter stretches as far as it will go. The thinner the crepe, the better the texture. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip as soon as the bottom is set. Don’t wait too long to flip crepes or else they will taste rubbery. Cook the other side for 30 seconds until set. Transfer the cooked crepe to a large plate and repeat with the remaining batter, making sure to butter the pan between each crepe. If desired, separate each crepe with parchment paper so they do not stick together. Though, if using enough butter in your pan, the crepes won’t stick.
- Fill the crepes. I love serving them warm, but they’re excellent at room temperature too. See my filling suggestions above this recipe or my recipe notes below. Place a few spoonfuls of your filling ingredient(s) in the center of the crepe. Fold both sides over the filling. Crepes are delicious with toppings, too, such as a drizzle of melted chocolate, melted peanut butter, or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Or a savory sauce like pesto or hollandaise.
- Leftover unfilled crepes remain fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day or in the freezer for 1 month. Freeze each between small sheets of parchment paper so they don’t stick. (I usually layer them with parchment and freeze in a large zipped-top bag.) Thaw at room temperature before filling/enjoying.