Nothing elevates a simple meal like the perfect popover: crisp, brown crust on the outside with a hollow, moist, comforting middle. Popovers with jam for breakfast, popovers stuffed with Maine shrimp salad for lunch, popovers and beef stew for supper. The popover combinations are endless.
Popovers, named most likely because the top “pops over” the side of the pan, pop because the high proportion of liquid in the ingredients and a very hot oven create steam that leavens the bread. The batter is simple and nutritious: a mixture of milk, eggs and flour with a bit of butter and salt. When made with the fat and drippings from meat instead of butter, popovers become Yorkshire pudding.
The key to perfect popovers is in the oven. Start with a hot oven and bake until the popovers start to pop, then reduce the heat and bake until they are nicely done. A popover pan is a great tool to own (hint to Santa), as the long straight sides of the pan encourage the batter to go up and the tops to pop. Popovers can also be made in muffin tins and custard cups.
Once you have mastered the art of popovers, try some creative variations with the batter. The addition of grated Parmesan cheese makes a delicious popover to enjoy with hearty bean soups. Finely chopped herbs like dill or rosemary are a savory addition to popovers that accompany seafood salads.
There are health benefits to popovers, and they are a quick and easy source of protein. Popovers are our favorite treat to enjoy with my family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Grampy’s lobster stew and Grammie’s apple pie.
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup or so all purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- Set the oven on 450 degrees. In each of the six cups of your popover pan, dot about ¼ tablespoon of butter. Slip the pan in the oven for 30 seconds to melt the butter. Once melted, generously grease the cups of the popover pan with the melted butter.
- In the jar of your blender, beat the eggs with the milk briefly. Add the flour and salt and blend at high speed until just blended, about 15 seconds. Be careful not to over mix. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.
- Pour the batter into the greased popover pan. Bake in the 450 degree oven for 18 – 20 minutes, until the popovers have “popped”. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, about 18 – 20 minutes longer. Remove from pan and serve at once. Popovers keep for a day or two and may be reheated in a 350 degree oven.