A Yummy, Easy Mother's Day Brunch

erika recipe 2RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today.

This is the second in a RED Hearts series of spring-into-summer recipes -- things you can cook or bake, usually healthy things, always easy things -- for the people you heart. Served up by Erika Kwee, 23, “the baker, photographer and typo-maker” behind vegetarian food blog The Pancake Princess.

With Mother’s Day this Sunday, special brunch dishes have been on my mind; my family has always served my mom breakfast in bed for the occasion. In recent years, my siblings and I have put together ambitious spreads of crepes and -- at least we like to think so -- perfected some experiments with eggs.

I’m a firm believer that if there’s anything mom deserves on her special day, it’s something from you, made with love. If you too see the merit of presenting this beautiful gift so it’s the first thing she sees when she wakes up -- and agree that eating is always a more exciting act than unwrapping -- may I suggest for the morning of May 11, 2014, delivering a Dutch Baby to her bed?

A Dutch baby is a type of oven-baked pancake, and it happens to be my favorite show-stopping but stress-free breakfast dish. It can easily be served hot for multiple people (unlike traditional pancakes that keep you in the kitchen, flipping each one individually). The batter is so simple to make and then the oven does all the work!

In just under half an hour, it’ll puff up into a restaurant-status breakfast star. And it’ll puff you up as a star in the eyes of your mom as she enjoys a very special soufflé-esque pancake that’s crisp on the outside and custardy on the inside, studded with caramelized fruit.

I used grapefruit in this week’s test run, but customize yours with whatever fruit you have on hand or your mom likes best: strawberries, mango, cherries or apricots are great seasonal options. (If yours is a more savory-than-sweet household, you can omit the fruit, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar and add 4-6 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese to the batter, or replace the fruit with sautéed peas or finely chopped kale or spinach.)

2 tablespoons butter, divided 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented, or about 1 cup your fruit of choice 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided 3 large eggs ½ cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (You’ll be reducing the heat later! A brief, initial blast adds volume, desirable in a Dutch Baby.) Place an oven-proof skillet (anywhere from 9-12 inches) on the stove and melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.

Toss grapefruit in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and add to the pan; cook for 2-3 minutes on one side before sprinkling with the remaining brown sugar. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla very vigorously -- this is where you are incorporating air to help the pancake rise.

Add the flour, salt and cinnamon, and mix only until the ingredients are combined: Don’t overmix or your pancake will be tough. Melt the second tablespoon of butter and gently whisk into the batter.

Pour batter into the skillet over the grapefruit and immediately move the entire skillet to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 10 minutes until puffed and brown. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve to sleepy mother immediately!

RED Hearts guest poster Erika Kwee is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.