I’ve never been a fan of pancakes, not even as a kid (I wasn’t into breakfast, especially sweet breakfast, and usually opted for the previous night’s leftovers instead). As an adult, I still dislike traditional pancakes because not only am I terrible at flipping them, but they have a way of turning into syrup-soaked gut bombs. However, I do find delight in pancake-adjacent foods such as Dutch babies and crepes, so this buckwheat skillet pancake mostly takes its cues from those somewhat lighter, crispy-edged dishes. Like a Dutch baby, this brown-butter and buckwheat batter puffs and browns dramatically in the oven. The texture isn’t fluffy but rich and custardy, similar to the French clafoutis. My favorite part is the way the tart blueberries burst from the high heat and turn into a jammy topping; and because the pancake is only a tiny bit sweet, this is one breakfast where a drizzle of maple syrup is actually welcome.
Special Equipment: 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron), standard or handheld blender
*If you have a crowd to feed, double the recipe for the batter and bake the pancake in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish (preferably metal or ceramic). You won’t preheat the pan on the stove the way you do the skillet, but follow these baking instructions: Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of the dish, then pour in one-third of the batter and let it settle all the way into the sides and corners. Bake just until the surface is set and matte and the center springs back gently when pressed, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and pour in the remaining batter, then scatter 12 ounces (340g) blueberries over the batter. Return it to the oven and bake until the edges are puffed and browned and the center is risen and set but still jiggly, another 45 to 55 minutes. It won’t soufflé as dramatically as it does in a preheated skillet, but will be more clafoutis-like. Cut it into pieces and serve with maple syrup.
- Brown the butter: In a small saucepan, cook 4 tablespoons of the butter (2 oz / 57g) over medium-low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the butter sputters, foams, and eventually the solid bits turn a dark brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the butter and all the toasted bits into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
- Blend the batter and let it rest: In a blender, combine the milk, all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and cardamom and blend on high until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and you have a thin, smooth batter. (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and blend with a handheld blender until smooth.) With the motor running, stream in the cooled browned butter and blend until incorporated. Cover the batter and set aside at room temperature to rest for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven and reblend the batter: Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Briefly blend the batter again to recombine any ingredients that have settled.
- Heat a skillet and add the batter and blueberries: Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron), over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add about one-third of the batter to the skillet and cook until the top of the batter is set and goes from shiny to matte, about 2 minutes (this step creates a platform for the berries, so they don’t sink to the bottom of the skillet). Add the remaining batter to the skillet and scatter the blueberries on top (no need to thaw first if using frozen berries).
- Bake: Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the edges are super puffed, browned, and crisp, the center is golden and set, and the blueberries have burst, 15 to 18 minutes.Serve: Remove the skillet from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. The pancake will fall as soon as it comes out of the oven—that’s normal! Cut the pancake into quarters, drizzle with maple syrup, and serve.
- DO AHEAD The batter, covered and stored in the refrigerator, can be made 1 day ahead.
Reprinted from Dessert Person. Copyright © 2020 by Claire Saffitz. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Alex Lau. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House