If you are one of those people who make a frightened face when someone mentions baking or bread making, have I got a recipe for you. Hot, eggy, steamy, luscious popovers are one of my favorite things to eat. But until recently I assumed that one actually needed to possess some crazy-high level of skill to create them. When the fact is, if you can make pancakes then you can make popovers. In fact, I would say that they are even easier than pancakes because you do not have to execute any flipping in tight quarters.
All you need is a popover pan, butter, flour, salt, eggs, milk and more butter…and perhaps some raspberry jam. But it is highly likely that you have everything you need to make these in your kitchen right now. About the pan…You can use a muffin tin if you want to try this out before making an investment. They will not be as spectacular and tall and poofy, but you will see how easy they are to make and then you can buy the pan. Forget it, just go buy the pan. You will make these over and over. My pan is a Chicago Metallic and I purchased it at Williams-Sonoma a while back. I think it was approximately twenty dollars.
Some of the very few rules for popovers are…and you will still have great popovers if you ignore all of them…
1) Preheat the pan.
2) Don’t open the oven during baking.
3) Eat them immediately…10 minutes of stalling will yield 50% less amazing popovers. However they are still better cool than most things you will eat in a day so you might not even notice.
Make ahead potential: I made 6 popovers immediately. Then, I put half the batter in the refrigerator. The next morning, I allowed it to warm to room temperature. I then baked them, and they turned out equally as lovely as the night before. So, know that there is potential for making this ahead a bit. It will increase the likelihood of you pulling them out of the oven right as your guests sit down. Of course my guests, Lily and Ford, sit on the kitchen island with butter knives poised and ready to attack. I’m working under the assumption that your guests might be a tad more civilized than mine. This particular recipe is my best re-creation of the recipe that actually came with my pan. It is a great one.
Remove the eggs and milk from the refrigerator and allow them to warm up a bit on the counter. Also remove the butter, some of which you will be melting, some of which you will be putting in the tin, and some of which you will be mashing up with the raspberry jam of your choice to make raspberry butter.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2-½ cups all purpose flour
2-½ cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus a pat for each popover cup and more for raspberry butter
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt with a whisk. In a small bowl, briefly whisk the eggs. Add the milk and then the eggs and then the butter to the flour, stirring with the whisk after each addition.
Place a small pat of butter (perhaps a little less than a teaspoon) in each cup of your popover pan and place the pan in the oven until the butter melts and the pan is hot, about 2 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and fill each cup about ⅔ full.
Return the pan to the oven and bake the popovers for 20 minutes at 400. Then reduce the heat to 300 and allow them to bake for another 20 minutes. Do not open the door in between.
Remove them from the oven and serve immediately with raspberry butter or the condiment of your choice. To make the butter, take softened butter and cream in raspberry jam at a ratio of about 3 parts butter to 1 part jam.
This is only my second batch of popovers. And they are stunning. I can’t wait to experiment and add a little cheese and rosemary, or try a bit of sugar and cinnamon. I’m on a kick. Let me know if you ever make them and if so, what variations you have tried. I would really like to hear what your tips are if any of you make popovers frequently.