Use Gratin Dishes To Make Ina Garten's Easy Oven Pancakes

Gratin dishes are ovenproof, typically oval in shape, and shallow in depth, with handles on either side to grab onto. They are the perfect vessel for baking sliced potatoes covered in cheese and cream until they become golden and crusty, but that's not all these dishes are good for. Per a video posted on the Food Network's YouTube channel, Ina Garten recommends using them to make pancakes.

The Barefoot Contessa uses multiple gratin dishes to create several individual pancakes that may remind you of a Dutch baby pancake. Garten simply warms the dishes in the oven, placing a little butter in the bottom so that it melts and coats the surface and sides of the dish to prevent the batter from sticking as it bakes. The result is a pancake that puffs up and is soft and fluffy in the middle and crispy around the edges. Using store-bought pancake mix is fine too, or try making it from scratch. Once baked, the celebrity chef tops the pancakes with blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries and serves the treat straight from the gratin dish.

Experiment with your toppings

One of the advantages of baking your pancakes in a gratin dish is the delicious consistency you can achieve. The thick bite of baked pancake batter is just what your mouth craves. To get these results, you don't want the batter to be too thin or it might spread too much, failing to hold its shape and puff up as it should. Of course, a thicker batter is going to require a longer baking time, so plan accordingly. Garten's recipe takes about 15 minutes.

If berries aren't your favorite pancake topping, you can opt for sliced apples or even pears. However, if you want to stay away from fruit altogether, you can always add cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips, Nutella, or something nutty for extra texture. For a fun treat, add a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar to the golden cakes to make this dish your own. Just don't forget to drizzle maple syrup on top.