Easy Homemade Popovers

These are easily the easiest completely scratch recipe I’ve ever made. I’ve never made popovers before, but the hubster began a recent obsession with them. I’m not sure why…he just really wanted to make some. Bad. So, we bought a popover pan (you can use a muffin pan if you don’t have a popover pan), and started playing with recipes.

Popovers are super simple in their ingredients, as well as in the process of making them. Every recipe (for basic popovers) that we checked into basically had the same five ingredients: eggs, butter, milk, flour, and a little salt. Surprisingly, though, not all of the recipes were as successful as others.

For starters, popover batter needs to be put into a hot pan and baked immediately. This causes a couple of dilemmas with some recipes. One or two of them didn’t allow the pan time enough to get good and hot. The other major problem we kept running into was smoky, burnt butter (not delicious browned butter…burnt). You see, when you make popovers, you need to have a fat in the pan when you preheat, so that the popovers don’t stick. Putting the fat into the pan cold, then heating the pan and the fat together helps ensure that the batter is quickly going into the hot pan. However, since the oven is generally set at around 450 degrees, the butter kept burning by the time we could put the batter in. The few times it didn’t burn, the pan wasn’t hot enough.

Finally, we turned to my favorite baking cookbook, Baking Illustrated. Although, at times, this book’s instructions are a bit jumbled, this is, by far, the best baking cookbook I’ve bought. It’s just a rule of thumb for me now to always read the reipe and instructions all the way through before attempting anything, but it’s especially  important with this book, because sometimes the steps are just a little out of order. Don’t let this discourage you against this book, it’s truly a fantastic baking cookbook!

Anyway, the popover recipe that they offer was actually identical to two others that we had tried. Identical in every way except one: they use oil in the pan instead of butter. It made all the difference in the world, and the popovers were absolutely perfect! They mixed up in less than five minutes and were ready to eat, fresh from the oven in no time! These turned out light and airy, with a crisp shell and a soft, lightly eggy/buttery flavor. The fact that they were appallingly easy and delicious (not to mention gorgeous to look at) made for a superb breakfast that day!

Again, popovers only require a few very simple, very common ingredients: eggs, all-purpose flour, whole milk, salt, oil, and unsalted butter (melted). In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Whisk the flour and salt together in a small bowl then sprinkle the mixture over the egg/milk mixture. Stir with a spatula until the flour is just incorporated, the add the melted butter. Whisk the mixture together thoroughly until it is smooth with a few bubbles on top. Cover with a clean, dry dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes. While the batter is resting, preheat the oven and prepare the pan.

This is a popover pan. My pan can make 12 popovers at a time, but there are 6 cup pans (this recipe only makes six popovers, but is easily doubled). The shape is what helps popovers rise up and get so tall and puffy. If you don’t have one, though, you can use a standard muffin pan, they just won’t rise nearly as high (altered muffin pan instructions are below). Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place half a teaspoon of oil in the six center cups of the pan (leaving the three cups on each end of the pan empty).

Place the prepared pan in the warming oven and allow it to heat with the oven while the batter continues to rest.

Once the batter has rested, as quickly as you can, remove the popover pan from the oven and divide the batter evenly between the six prepared cups. In a standard popover pan, you fill the cup to the top. Immediately place the pan back into the preheated oven and bake the popovers for 20 minutes; do not open the oven door. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 18 minutes, or until the popovers are golden brown. Transfer the popovers to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for three to five minutes before serving. Serve hot.

Aren’t they beautiful?! This is what you want your popovers to do. You may peek through the oven window (don’t open the door!) at them and see them looking huge and scary, but it’s not scary at all…this is a good thing! The lovely thing about popovers are these big, gorgeous crowns that burst (or pop) over the top of the pan! The first three batches of popovers that we made (from other cookbooks) did not do this, so although we knew popovers were supposed to “pop over,”  we weren’t expecting this. You can imagine our excitement when we finally saw these beauties waiting for us!

These were fantastic plain, and equally great with butter, honey, jam, or cheese! They’re excellent for a quick, but hot and filling breakfast, and perfect for a lunch roll or dinner accompaniment. One morning, the hubster made them, then gently sliced the tops off and filled them with scrambled egg whites seasoned with a little chicken taco seasoning, and topped everything with white cheddar before putting the tops back on! They were seriously divine!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I like to sweeten my popovers up with a little (or not so little) dusting of confectioners’ sugar and some grape jam. The great thing about popovers is that they’re a blank canvas just waiting to be made spectacular. They’re also excellent brushed with a little extra melted butter and tossed in cinnamon-sugar. Lordy, my mouth is watering…these are just such a quick alternative to other baked goods, and just as tasty. Plus, including resting and baking times, they were ready (from start to finish) in just over an hour! And only about 7 minutes of that time was actually spent working! Whether you make these for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, everyone will love them and be super impressed when you present them! Only you will know just how easy and lazy they really are! Enjoy!

Popovers
Makes 6
Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoom unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon canola oil (1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons for making in a muffin pan)

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Whisk the flour and salt together in a small bowl then sprinkle the mixture over the egg/milk mixture. Stir with a spatula until the flour is just incorporated, the add the melted butter. Whisk the mixture together thoroughly until it is smooth with a few bubbles on top. Cover with a clean, dry dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the batter rests, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place half a teaspoon of oil in the 6 center cups of the pan (leaving the 3 cups on each end of the pan empty). Place the prepared pan in the warming oven and allow it to heat with the oven while the batter continues to rest. **To make these in a muffin pan, place 1/2 teaspoon of oil in the 10 cups on the outside of the pan (leaving the 2 center cups empty). Continue as normal.

Once the batter has rested, as quickly as you can, remove the popover pan from the oven and divide the batter evenly between the 6 prepared cups. In a standard popover pan, you fill the cup to the top. Immediately place the pan back into the preheated oven and bake the popovers for 20 minutes; do not open the oven door. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 15-18 minutes, or until the popovers are golden brown. Transfer the popovers to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve hot

Recipe barely adapted from Baking Illustrated

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Comments

  1. says

    Absolutely divine. And I love working with Baking Illustrated as well – it’s so comprehensive.

    Thanks so much for the step-by-step tutorial. Despite their short ingredient list, popovers have been somewhat daunting to me because of the complicated little tricks involved in the method, like the smoky butter issue that you mentioned. But you totally demysitifed popovers! I am planning a batch with fresh thyme soon. Thanks!!

  2. Becca says

    Mmm, you’ve put me in the mood for popovers! You can try the Fanny Farmer cookbook as well for a recipe – they suggest starting with a cold oven, and you turn it on right when you put in the popovers. This eliminates the need for preheating the pan, and the problem with burning any butter/oil. Just a suggestion :-).

    • says

      That’s so neat to hear! I was actually telling the hubster that I thought these were the same as Yorkshire Pudding, but I wasn’t 100% sure…it’s good to know they are. I’ve been wanting to try Toad-in-a-Hole, but was intimidated…now I feel much more confident with the idea! Thanks!

  3. April in CT says

    Those are gorgeous! After having popovers for the first time at Jordan Pond House restaurant at Acadia National Park in ME on our vacation my hubby started making them and has been trying to get them just right. I’ll be printing this one out for him to try, yum! Quick question, is it 1 cup of flour?

  4. Jennifer says

    It’s so interesting to see you serving them with sweet things, as i’m also from the uk and tend to eat them savoury. I think these will be really interesting to try as a sweet dish.

  5. Shay says

    I adore popovers, but here’s a trick Alton Brown suggested on Good Eats: don’t let the batter rest! Apparently the bubbles in the batter from mixing (he actually mixes the batter in a blender) help the popovers inflate even more. What do you think?

    I’ve only tried it with Yorkshire pudding, but it turns out so differently because you pour the batter right into the roasting pan instead of using the cups.

  6. says

    We eat an English themed dinner with prime rib and yorkshire puddings. My mom adds some of the prime rib drippings and they are absolutely divine. Until this year she didn’t have an oven with a window and she always had the hardest time not peeking! I would’ve never thought to make these as a sweet or breakfast item. Now I can’t wait to!

  7. Mary Anne says

    My husband made popovers last week, and I hadn’t had them in ages! I don’t know why we don’t make them more often, they really are pretty simple. We use the blender, too, as suggested by Shay above. It is the way my mom always did it, and if Alton Brown says it is the way to go, then my husband listens!

  8. Sheri C. says

    I just tried these this morning, they were SO GOOD! I think my oven runs hot though, I did it at the min. time recommended, several turned out a bit darker then i wanted. I think I need to shave a minute or two off cook time, in my oven at least.

  9. Anna says

    Delish, thanks Darla!
    Just wondering, if you add something extra into the batter (dried cranberries, nuts, chocolate, garlic cloves, meat drippings, syrup, honey) will the cooking time change (can you list the times for liquid and solids if you add a half cup of each?) Thank you!

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