Pop-up, Popover

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to write about my obsession with popovers. The idea that this simple and delicious, light and delicate roll can be made quickly, with few ingredients, does more to lift my spirits these days than just about anything else.

The only special equipment you’ll need is a popover pan, but if you don’t want to commit to another pan to crowd your kitchen, you can use a muffin tin. That said, once you taste these pillowy puffs of goodness and experience how effortless they are to make, you may want to buy the appropriate pan immediately to experience the tallest popovers possible. I love the mini popover pan, which I’ve used here (yields about 11 to 12, depending on how much batter you pour into each cup), but the larger popover pan, which yields 6, is more traditional. The only difference is that you may have to bake the larger popovers for a few more minutes.

I should also mention that Yorkshire Pudding is almost the same as popovers, the difference being that they’re usually made in muffin-like tins, which are greased with beef drippings.

Here’s the recipe.

Popovers

Makes 11 to 12 mini popovers or 6 large popovers

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated on medium holes of a box grater), about 2-1/4 oz., optional
  • Cooking spray

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425°F. Put the pan on a large rimmed baking sheet and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the milk and eggs and pulse to combine. Add the flour and salt, and puree until well combined, about 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the oven, generously spray the mold’s insides and tops with the cooking spray.

Divide the batter between the cups, filling each 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Divide the cheese between the cups, if using, sprinkling directly on top of the batter (see the image for the cheesy version in the tips and tricks section below). Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350°F and continue to bake until the popovers are a deep golden brown and puffed well above the cups, about 12 minutes more for minis, 14 minutes more for large.

Tips and tricks for the best success:

  • Resist opening the oven while the popovers are baking. The heat will escape and may affect the puff of the roll.
  • I use cooking spray to coat the popover pan because I don’t want the pan cooling down too much once out of the oven. I find that spraying the pan is a lot quicker than greasing with butter, allowing me to get the still-hot pan back into the oven sooner.
  • You’ll notice that my ingredient image shows cheese, which is optional. I didn’t use it for this recipe, but I’m including an image from another day of making popovers.

  • The cheesy version is delicious but rises a bit less due to the weight of the cheese. Refer to the recipe if you want to try the cheese version.
  • Don’t rush baking time. Popovers should be a very dark golden brown. If they’re underbaked, they might deflate when removed from the oven.
  • The batter will be thin, about the density of heavy cream, which is perfect. The leavening agent is steam instead of the usual baking powder, baking soda, or yeast for popovers. We’re depending on the liquid to produce enough steam to puff the popover.
  • Be certain to preheat your oven to the temperature indicated. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is ready since we need to rely on the heat (in addition to liquid in the batter) to make them pop.
  • If you’re like me, you’ll turn the oven light on and pull up a step stool to watch the popping process happen. It still makes me shriek with joy!
  • Popovers are best served immediately, but if you need to bake them a couple of hours in advance, do it. The crust might not be as crispy, but they’ll still be delicious.

Serve these magnificent hollow towers with butter, cheese, jam, crème fraiche, or clotted cream.

Let me know how they turned out or if I can answer any questions.

–Chef Diana

One thought on “Pop-up, Popover

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