breads

Popovers

Guess what? The recipe for Popovers won the most votes from my Instagram story of birthday food to share. Or maybe there was a tie, but I dearly love my friend who requested this recipe… can’t tell you who. Top secret. Because she’s a celebrity. In my eyes.

So, popovers… have you had them? When our family went to Acadia National Park a few years ago, friends who frequent Bar Harbor insisted we must go to Jordan Pond House and get their popovers. We did, and they were delicious. But we weren’t wowed because of this recipe. That friend also insisted we hike the Beehive Trail. I thought it sounded cute and was excited for it. Most of us cried. I was sure one of our kids would go over the edge and fall off the cliff. Our youngest was 6. You can’t turn around and go back. I was not happy. Two years later, I think *maybe* I would do it again. I imagine it would have been beautiful looking at the fall foliage if I had not been envisioning my kids dying and wondering how I would forgive my husband or said friend should that happen.

Why does this photo not adequately capture that my babies are crawling along the side of a cliff?!

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Now to baking popovers… do I use a popover pan? No. Just a muffin pan. And they pop enormously.

Do I open the oven to check on them? NEVER!!! Whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!

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I remember as I kid, I loved it when my mom would make popovers. But I also remember her getting upset when they didn’t rise so high and truly pop into the light and airy bread that they are. I’m pretty sure I was fine to eat them either way.

This recipe has been faithful to me. No problems, apart from them rising maybe too much! But I follow it exactly. No cold eggs. Put them in warm-ish water for a few minutes if you forget to take them out of the refrigerator. Once you put the muffin pan in the oven with the butter to melt, you have to be ready to move. Batter made and ready to pour. Or at least liquids blended and dry ingredients measured, then put it all together while the butter melts in the pan in the oven.

You don’t want the pan to lose much heat as you pour the batter in. Don’t even think about melting the butter, pulling the pan out and then making the batter. The pan must be hot when the batter goes in. Also, do keep an eye on your butter as it melts. I keep it in the oven for 4-5 minutes. If I leave it in for the full five minutes, it’s browned butter in my oven, which is delicious. But it will quickly go from browned to burned, and that’s no so good.

Serve them with some jam (homemade is so good). And do eat them all up because they’re not as good the next day. Though you can rewarm them for breakfast if you absolutely can’t finish them. We have a family of six (and a teen boy who eats enough for three people), so it’s easy peasy for us.

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Popovers

Popovers

Course Dinner
Yield 12 popovers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) milk
  • 3 tbsp (1.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • 4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter, for the pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C). In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, and 3 tbsp melted butter and blend until smooth. Add the flour mixture and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber scraper as needed. 

  2. [Alternatively, whisk together the wet ingredients in a large bowl, and then whisk in the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms. Pour into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup with a spout.]

  3. Place a nonstick 12-cup muffin pan or popover pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut the 4 tablespoons of butter into 12 equal pieces, and place 1 pice in the bottom of each cup. Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts and starts to sizzle and pop, about 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly pour the batter into the muffin/popover cups, filling them three-fourths full (a bit more for the muffin pans). Return the baking sheet to the oven and don't even think about opening the over door, or the popovers won't rise. 

  5. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 F (190 C) and continue to baking until crisp and golden 15-20 minutes longer. Turn the popovers out and serve right away. Fresh jam is highly recommended.

  6. *I'm serious about not opening the oven, so you may need to plan ahead if you are making these alongside a meal that also needs the oven. Hopefully you have a double oven in that case. Or use a neighbor's. Or make something that doesn't need the oven.

Notes

Source: Williams-Sonoma's Family Meals Cookbook by Maria Helm Sinskey

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