Pancake failure

1/4 C flour
1/4 C milk
1 egg

is the ratio of ingredients in the so-called "crowdstopper pancake" (aka Dutch baby, Germna pancake but really a Yorkshire pudding or popover) which is a favorite when I visit Santa Barbara. (Use a blender to beat the eggs for a while, then add milk while blending. Finally add flour, blending 30 more seconds.)

Placed in a cast iron skillet with a knob of melted butter at 425F oven for 20-25 minutes this recipe usually results in the most phenomenal pancake the world has ever seen. It fountains up the sides of the pan in a gravity-defying leap to the top of the oven before it gets crisp and brown at the edges. The center stays soft and moist. It's a delight to eat with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon.

That's when other people make it.

When I made two the other night for dinner, they resembled cornbread in the way they rose and they had a cake-like / bready texture which wasn't offensive but didn't reach the peak of deliciousness that it ought to. The first was a four egg recipe and I thought that perhaps it was that my pan wasn't hot enough when I put the batter in, so I addressed that question with my second effort, making the 3 egg recipe the second time through. I ended up with the same result. I suspect that my substitution of a food processor for the prescribed blender is what did me in. Fortunately others have this problem too and I can learn from them.

The food processor did it in the kitchen, I believe. What I mean is that I suspect that the food processor blade cut the egg proteins and flour gluten so that the whole thing didn't have enough stickiness to scale the heights of the pan. On the other hand, perhaps I didn't run the food processor enough to cross-link the egg proteins and gluten sufficiently and whip in enough air to get it to rise. I guess there's a Goldilocks effect where the mechanical action of the blending is just right. Maybe a beater would work better.

My flour wasn't in question, since I used the ever-reliable King Arthur flour, which is a high-gluten four. A little salt in the recipe might have helped.

Here's the recipe straight from the source:

The recipe I use is from a very old Sunset Mag. (Jan. 1977)
It is very basic.
I am sure that you can find similar recipes online.
I have a James Beard recipe that has more ingredients. I have never
used it.

You can use a Paella pan, cast iron skillet, or any oven proof pan that
can with stand 425o. Probably best not to use teflon coated pans.

You can use a mixer, beater, etc. I have always used a blender. It has
always worked.

Pan Size Butter Eggs Milk and Flour

2-3 qts. 1/4 cup 3 3/4 cup each
3-4 qts. 1/3 cup 4 1 cup each
4-41/2 qts. 1/2 cup 5 1 1/4 cup each
4 1/2 - 5 qts. 1/2 cup 6 1 1/2 cups each

Put butter in pan. Place in over at 425o
Mix batter while butter melts.
Put eggs in blender.
Whirl for 1 minute.
With motor running at high, gradually add milk.
Then slowly add flour.
Mix for another 30 seconds.

Pour batter into hot pan with melted butter.
Return to oven.
Bake until puffy and well browned,
about 20-25 minutes.
Serve immediately.

I'm aware of the irony of bracketing a complaint about school nutritional guidelines with recipes for baked goodies. I'll add an amusing tag and pretend it was all planned.

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