What is a Popover
A popover is a simple quick bread with minimal ingredients, fast cooking time, and with a tasty (and fun for the kids) result. Popovers are a distinctly American food derived from a recipe for Yorkshire pudding. The first recipe was from a book called Practical Cooking by M. N. Henderson published in 1876. Practical Cooking was written by E. E. Stuart.
- 1 Cup Bleached Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted (unsalted is best)
- 1 Cup milk
- 3 Large eggs (room temperature is best)
- 2 Tablespoons butter divided into six (6) pats
To get the desired results be sure to follow these directions as closely as possible. Since popovers use no leavening (yeast or baking powder/soda) the heat of the pan and the presence of eggs causes the rise. And wow, do they ever rise.
Blend flour, eggs, salt, milk, and melted butter until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream. This can be mixed in a food processor, blender, with an electric hand mixer, or (as I always do) with a wire whisk. Your aim is to produce a very smooth batter.
Spray the inside of each popover cup* with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven (at least ten minutes) to 400 degrees F. Set the pan in the middle rack of the oven and allow the pan to heat for at least 2 minutes. Remove the pan and place one pat (of the six) of butter in the bottom of each cup and return the pan to the oven for about 1 minute. The butter in the bottom of each cup should just be starting to bubble.
Remove the pan and add the batter to each cup to the half way mark. Bake at 400° F for twenty (20) minutes. At the end of twenty (20) minutes reduce the heat to 300° F and continue baking for twenty minutes.
At the end of the full forty minutes immediately remove the pan from the oven and turn it over onto a dish. The popovers will simply slide out of the pan...piping hot, hollow on the inside, ready for butter, jam, or any of your favorite condiments.
* See notes for a substitute for a popover pan.
A popover pan is not really necessary for this recipe. A muffin pan will work almost as well, though you won't get the same grand rise and size out of your popovers. Still, if you preheat, butter, and bake as above you'll still end up with some nice (though shorter) popovers.
The batter can be made up to three (3) days ahead of time and slightly remixed just prior to use. Be sure the batter is at room temperature before use.
As with any baked item popovers can be frozen for up to three weeks. To reheat the popover "pop" (cough) it into the microwave and reheat for thirty (30) seconds at half power. You want thirty (30) seconds per popover.
A proper popover should be hollow inside (this is the result of a hot buttered pan wall), slightly doughy inside, with a golden to deep brown crust on the outside.
Despite the fact that there are so few ingredients and no leavening these things are very tasty.
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