Don’t Settle For A Biscuit. Try Popovers Instead!

 

 

A popover recipe from Javabird.com.

 
Going out for dinner at a friend’s house is always fun, but even more so when they serve up something new or something I haven’t had in years. Recently, one of our friends treated us to a beef stew, which was an excellent choice with the temperatures outdoors stuck in the lower thirties. The stew was a perfect balm for our bone-chilling weather, but what really stood out were her popovers.

 

A popover still in the pan.

If you’ve never had popovers before, think fluffy, air filled biscuit with a soft and doughy inner texture and a flaky exterior. Yum!

Now, if you never had a popover before, think fancy biscuit or cream puff without the cream filling. Shaped a lot like a puffed up mushroom, they’re usually cooked in a special popover pan, which allows more air to circulate around each popover as its cooking. Yes, you can probably get by using a muffin pan if you don’t have or can’t find a popover pan, but don’t expect the popovers to puff the way they would otherwise.

 

popover-pan

This is a popover pan. I’m letting my eggs sit in it while they warm to room temperature.

I love popovers for their warm bread, doughy inner consistency, their dramatic rise in the oven, and the soft flaky crust. And best of all, with a little butter, jam or some filling of your making, they taste amazingly delicious.

 

Our friend was kind enough to share the special popover mix she’d received from a family member overseas, but it turns out the recipe for basic popovers is about as easy as it gets. Here, let me show you…

 

Gather The Ingredients

 

popover-ingredients

Popovers are really quite simple as there are only a few ingredients.

1 cup white flour

2 eggs (room temp)

½ teaspoon salt (heaping not flat)

1 cup whole milk (room temp)

1 tablespoon butter

 

Preparation

 

Center your popover pan in the oven.

The cookie sheet helps deflect some of the direct heat of the oven. That way the popovers don’t get over-browned on the bottom.

Place a cookie sheet in the oven on the lower rack. Adjust the other rack so it ends up in the center of the oven. Then preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

At least 5 minutes before you’re ready to bake place your popover pan (empty) in the oven to warm up.

 

Adding the salt to the flour.

Mix the flour and the salt. Use a “rounded” half teaspoon of salt.

While the pan is warming mix the flour and salt together in a 4 cup glass measuring pitcher or other bowl or container that’s easy to pour from.

 

Get a big enough bowl to hold the milk, too.

Use a separate bowl to crack your eggs.

Crack and beat the eggs together using a fork in a small separate bowl. You’re not whipping these, just breaking the yolks and gently mixing them together. I always like to crack my eggs in a separate dish in case I get a bad one and to make it easier to pick out any eggshell pieces that might accidently fall in.

 

I'm mixing my milk and eggs here.

Mix the milk and eggs together with a fork. You don’t need to use a mixer.

Once the eggs are ready add the room temperature milk to them. If you forgot to warm it beforehand, pop it into the microwave for about 30 seconds to half a minute. Check the temperature and then heat more if needed. Remember to do this in a glass container if you are using the microwave. Mix the eggs and milk together and then pour the mix into the container holding the flour.

 

Time to prepare the popover pan.

Use a fork or whisk to get the lumps out of the batter.

Mix well to insure the lumps get out. You can mix by hand with a fork or small whisk.

 

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on the stove or in a dish in the microwave.

 

We're almost ready to bake.

After melting the butter, coat the inside of each cup with it. Then add the batter.

Take the popover pan out of the oven. Careful it’s hot! Set it on a surface that won’t scorch. Using a pastry brush, butter the inside edges and bottom of each popover “cup”. Now, fill each cup about half full with your popover batter. Once all the cups are full, pop the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

 

Let's bake.

Fill each cup half full with the batter. Don’t overfill.

DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN while the popovers are baking. They’ll flop. Once the timer goes off, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake an additional 12-13 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Again, do not open the oven to prevent the popovers from falling. You can check them in the last minute or so of cooking, but don’t open or crack the oven until then.

 

The interior has a doughy consistency.

These are great all on their own or with a little butter or jam.

Once done, remove from the oven and serve hot.

 

Now, as many of you already know, I’m all about promoting whole grains whenever I can substitute them into a recipe. Whole grains take longer for the body to process so they don’t spike blood sugar and they have higher fiber. That’s good.

 

Naturally, I was curious what would happen to this recipe if I substituted whole grain flour. I checked around and it appears a typical “whole-grain” recipe for popovers includes about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour and 3/4 to 2/3 cup of white flour. In my book a whole grain recipe doesn’t really qualify as whole grain if it’s got more white flour than otherwise, but these are apparently the proportions that tend to work best for popovers.

 

Whole wheat popovers.

Here’s my all whole-grain attempt. I think I’ll call these “flopovers”.

Incidentally, I did try a batch of popovers using half whole-wheat flour and half whole-wheat pastry flour. I didn’t really expect it to work (that is pop up the same way), but I still hoped it might. You can see the result in the picture to the left. These tasted just fine to me, but they look more like regular biscuits. I guess I’ll need to experiment some more. If I come up with something better, I’ll let you know.

 

Finally, once you have the basic process down, don’t be afraid to spice up your popovers. You could add cinnamon and sugar to the dough or perhaps a savory mix of spices like rosemary or Italian seasoning.

 

For a print copy of today’s recipe click here.

 

Enjoy!

 

Want a dish to go with these popovers? Check out our:

Homemade Chicken Barley Soup or our
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

 

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