Last night I was having dinner with some accomplished, double degree, articulate, well read, savvy, thoughtful, funny women who confessed to me that popovers, mere popovers, might be their undoing in the kitchen. “Too difficult. Aren’t they deep fried?” one said when I tried to describe how easy they are. “You must cook all the time.” (Okay – I do cook all the time – but that is so beside the point.)
I totally get it. How do you get them to puff up like that? Is it yeast? Are they deep fried? They must be terribly unhealthy. No, no and no.
I guess I should have covered popovers before I covered Dutch Babies and Toad-in-the-Hole. You see Popovers are basic. SO easy. They fill in the gap of an otherwise boring meal. Lentil soup becomes quite sophisticated with a popover cozied up alongside. Popovers are a quick and easy answer to a hot dinner roll. They give you an excuse, should you be looking for one, to use honey or jam as a condiment at the dinner table. When I tell you the recipe you won’t believe how easy they are. Everyone will think you’re a culinary genius.
Check it out:
5 minutes to mix up, 35 minutes in the oven.
- 1 1/4 c milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp melted butter (put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Spray a 12 muffin tin or a popover pan thoroughly with canola oil. You want your popovers to fall easily from the pan.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the milk and eggs together. Stir in the melted butter. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour and salt.
- Pour the milk, eggs and butter mixture into the flour and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated; allow a few lumps though. Don’t be too thorough.
- Using a ladle, divide the batter equally between the muffin cups. They will be about half full.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then turn down the heat to 350 F and bake for another 20 minutes. DO NOT PEEK until the last 5 minutes. The popovers should be nicely browned and crisp.
- When they are done, turn them out onto a wire rack and pierce them a little bit with a sharp knife to let the steam out. (so they stay crisp)
Even though I have made popovers many times, I am still irrationally surprised at how they puff. It’s a small miracle and I have no idea what the science is behind it. And that is just fine with me.