At the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we try to use fresh seasonal ingredients for our legendary breakfast whenever possible. German pancakes are traditionally made with apples and this time of year apples are plentiful, but so are pears so this past week we picked up some freshly picked pears at the farmers market and substituted pears for apples in this recipe. The directions below will make one large German pancake in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or three pancakes in 5-6 inch cast iron skillets. We prefer to plate our food in the kitchen which is why we use the smaller cast-iron skillets but if you are making this for your family I would use the larger skillet and serve it family style at the table. The large skillet serves 4-5. These pancakes are light and fluffy as they come out of the oven and will deflate a little by the time you cut it. Make sure you have pot holders to remove the skillet from the oven and place the hot pan on an appropriate cutting board or trivet.
- 1 large firm-ripe pear, pealed, cored and cut into 1/8 inch slices
- 1 large lemon, finely grated to yield 1/2 Tablespoon of zest and squeezed to yield 2 Tablespoons of juice
- 4 room temperature large eggs
- 3/4 cup room temperature whole milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into three equal slices
- Confectioners’ sugar for garnish (optional)
Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees
In a medium bowl toss the pear slices with the lemon juice and set aside.
In a large bowl beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer on high speed until the eggs are frothy (3-4 minutes) Next add the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon zest and mix on low until combined. Finally, sift the flour into the bowl and mix on low until combined (no need to mix out the lumps or you may be over working the flour).
Heat your skillet(s) on the stove on medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the skillet HOT. You could also place the skillet in the oven while it is preheating instead of heating it on the stove. Add the butter to the skillet(s) then add the pear slices and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Turn the pears over and layer on the bottom of the skillet(s). Next pour the batter over the pears (equal amounts if using the smaller skillets) and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.
Note the cast-iron skillet must be well seasoned to avoid the fruit and pancake from sticking. A cast-iron skillet holds the heat better and will give you a more even brown bottom color on the pancake. Finding a cast-iron skillet at a yard sale or thrift store usually means it has been well seasoned. Again, feel free to use apples (the more traditional version) instead of pears. Enjoy!
Peaches are in season and we try to use fresh and local ingredients when we prepare our legendary breakfasts. This year peaches the peaches are especially good. To make a peach pancake you need to remove the pit from the peach. To do this, take a paring knife and cut from the top of the peach to the bottom and continue around the pit until you are back where you started. The pit should be the only thing holding the peach together. Next take the peach in both hands and twist the sides in opposite directions until one half of the peach has separated from the pit. Carefully cut the pit out of the other half, using a spoon to get under the pit.
After you have separated the peach from the pit, you need to peel the skin off the peach, then slice the peach into 1/4 inch slices. You could peel the skin off before removing the pit, but it is easier to separate the halves before the skin is removed.
Next make the pancake batter. I use a buttermilk recipe that is easy and quick.
- Three large ripe peaches
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar (white)
- 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3 Cups of buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1/3 cup of melted unsalted butter
Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). In a second bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, whole milk and melted butter). Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. Put a little butter on the griddle/fry pan and place a peach slice on the griddle. This step is important. If you don’t butter the griddle/fry pan the peach will stick when you go to flip the pancake.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix using a fork or wooden spoon. Mix until just blended together (it will be lumpy). Do NOT over blend the mixture. Using a scoop (I use an ice cream scoop) pour the batter over the peach. Brown on both sides and serve with butter and maple syrup. This recipe should serve twelve people. If you are making them in batches you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees and store the pancakes in the oven until you have cooked all of them and are ready to serve them.
The warm juicy peach adds sweetness to the pancake. I’m sure you will enjoy these as much as our guests do.
Have a great breakfast recipe? We are always looking for something special to serve our guests. Send us an email with your recipe and we may publish it on our blog. If you will be visiting the Lynchburg area, consider staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. We were recently named as one of the Top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in the United States by BedandBreakfast.com.
Summer is here and what would summer be without watermelon? We serve this as a fruit course during the month of July. It is the perfect fruit, juicy and refreshing on a hot summer day. The sauce is a tangy, gingery sauce. The chopped pistachios give the dish great contrast in both tastes and textures. It is sweet and salty, juicy and crunchy. It couldn’t be easier to make!
Start by cubing one-inch squares of fresh seedless watermelon that has been chilled, pour the sauce over the cubes and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios and serve!
- Stir together:
- 6 oz of Greek yogurt (can use plain yogurt as a substitute)
- 2 Tablespoons of honey
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Serving suggestions: This can be served on a plate or in a bowl. If you are having a large gathering you can hollow out the watermelon and serve from the hollowed watermelon rind.
This dish is very versatile. Serve it as a breakfast fruit, a refreshing dessert or as a fruit salad. It has been a hit with our guests and I’m confident you will love it too.
On Saturday we got some great fresh peaches from the farmer’s market and in about a week our black berries will be ready to pick. This is the time of year to enjoy all the fresh fruit that is available locally! We will be posting other recipes using fresh fruits and vegetables so keep checking our blog.
Blueberries are in abundance during the month of June, so our signature dish this month at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is Blueberry Pecan Scones. Easy to make, delicious to eat, and good for you this recipe is one you will enjoy. We are growing blueberry bushes in our organic garden and hope to be able to harvest our own blueberries next summer. This month, as we did last month, we visited a farm near Lynchburg, Virginia to pick them fresh.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold butter, unsalted
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
In a large bowl combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl whisk the egg, milk and vanilla; add to crumb mixture. Stir in blueberries, pecans and lemon peel just until moistened.
Turn onto a floured surface, knead 6-8 times. Pat into an 8-inch circle; cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.
Makes 8 large scones.
At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we bake these scones in a mini-scone pan, found in kitchen specialty stores or at kingarthurflour.com, and serve them as our Amuse-Bouche course at the beginning of our legendary four-course breakfast. The smaller pan makes 16 2″x3″ mini-scones. We have used white sugar crystals or sprinkling sugar, found at kitchen specialty stores or wherever cake baking supplies are sold, as the final step, adjusting the amount of granulated sugar used in the recipe accordingly. You may use frozen blueberries. If using frozen blueberries do not thaw to avoid discoloring the batter. To toast the pecans, place them on a baking sheet in a 350 oven for 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant and a medium-brown color. Watch them carefully as they burn easily. Chop them after they are toasted. These scones are great served alone or when accompanied by Lemon Curd, found in the baking isle at most grocery stores, for a taste balance of sweet and citrus-tart.
Strawberries are at their peak during the month of May. Our signature dish this month takes advantage of the fresh strawberry crops found near Lynchburg, VA. Several local farms have “pick your own” fields, which we have taken advantage of (just picking over 33 pounds!), in order to have fresh strawberries for this soup and to make strawberry jam. Visit with us during May, mention you read this blog post and you’ll be treated to a jar of homemade strawberry jam to enjoy when you get home.
At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we serve this soup as our fruit course during breakfast. It would be equally good at lunch or as a dinner appetizer.
Here’s the recipe for our soup: Process 3 cups of sliced fresh strawberries, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup Reisling, and 1/3 cup sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and sliced fresh strawberries. No matter what time of day you eat this soup, enjoy!
PS: if you don’t want to “pick your own” strawberries visit the Lynchburg Community Market on either Wednesday or Saturday to buy fresh strawberries from one of the vendors.
The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast‘s signature recipe for the month of April is this delicious, custardy dish made with spring’s fresh asparagus and tangy sourdough bread cubes. Ideal when feeding a crowd this brunch dish is sure to delight your family and friends. Just remember, you need to make it the night before you will serve it! Visit us in Lynchburg, VA and you too will have a chance to enjoy our spring garden dish.
- 1 loaf of sourdough bread, cubed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 9 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into sections
- 8 ounces diced ham
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheese
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
Toss bread cubes with the melted butter and spread evenly onto baking sheet. Toast in oven about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp.
Cook asparagus sections in rapidly boiling water for about 4 minutes, just until tender (they will continue cooking in the oven.)
Toss onion, asparagus, ham and 1 1/2 cups cheese with the bread cubes. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
Mix together the eggs, half and half and salt; pour over bread mixture, pressing the bread gently into the liquid to cover. Add more half and half if there isn’t enough to come within 1/2 inch of the top of the bread cubes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Remove strata from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake the strata uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. A knife blade inserted in the center will come out clean. Remove the strata from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.
Notes–We plate our food rather than serving family style so we bake them in muffin pans. Cooking time is about 10 minutes less this way. Also make sure pan is sprayed with a cooking spray before adding ingredients. This made 12 individual stratas.
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