Popovers are sadly becoming a thing of the past, so to speak. Once prevalent at “Old School” restaurants which are famous for classics such as New England Clam Chowder, Chicken Pot Pie and, of course, Prime Rib, the popover, much like that genre of restaurant, is a dying breed.
I really can’t get my head around it. What a shame.
For years, I dined with my dear dad at Anthony’s Pier Four in Boston. The highlight of each evening, other than his company? Yup. The popovers
Whenever we have a family party, I am sure to whip up a whole bunch. My Godfather loves them, and I hate to disappoint. We have our fill, and I send him home with the rest in sealed zipper bag. They are super reheated in a hot oven.
What does one do with a popover? Many things! Shmear some butter on them, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with powdered sugar or plop a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and drizzle some hot chocolate sauce.
I caught my Andrew making a “tenderloin-hot-pocket-popover” last night. You can envision it. I am sure of it.
Making popovers is serious business. It may seem easy, but it is a bit tricky. Everything must be JUST SO or else it is quite possible that your recipe fails.
You have to measure precisely your ingredients. And those ingredients, for the most part, must be at room temperature. The oven must be at an exact 425 degrees. You need to preheat your pans and most difficult of all?
You. Must. Not. Peek!
That’s right. There is no peeking or hammering or doing the cha-cha in the kitchen during the baking process, or all shall fail. Literally.
I will let you in on another great trick- buy yourself a great popover pan or three! (I have four, myself. That way I can cook up 24 popovers at a go (using a double oven.)
When you fill your pan, be generous. I filler up three-quarters of the way. Look at these babies.
HINT- Williams Sonoma has awesome popover pans, just in case you were wondering where mine came from.
Make sure you set your rack at the lowest setting leaving enough room for them to rise.
I tried many different popover recipes over the years; Not on of which has produced one as light, airy or heavenly as Ina Garten’s. The Barefoot Contessa has this dialed in.
So, when it comes popovers, I am a firm believer of the adage. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!”
Sparkle On, Friends.
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus softened butter for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Three extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Generously grease aluminum popover pans or Pyrex custard cups with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.