Popovers for breakfast

Today’s Sunday insert to the Chicago Tribune contained a recipe for popovers, which reminded me I hadn’t made them in quite a while. Since their recipe was a bit different than the one I had used in the past, I gave it a whirl for breakfast this morning. Verdict: success. The hubby and I inhaled 3 popovers each accompanied by raspberry jam in a blink of an eye.

I first encountered popovers at David Burke’s Primehouse where they were served as a starter in place of bread. As someone who can made a meal out of just the bread, I was fascinated by these airy concoctions which reminded me of my favorite desert made by my Sicilian grandmother, sfingi (more on that here). With their crisp exterior and air pocket interior, they seemed like something reserved for the world of the professional chef. But a serendipidous episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats a few weeks after that first introduction, yielded the secret that not only are popovers easy to make, but they only require pantry staples.

Below is a recipe for popovers with the variations I’ve had success with. If you have a fancy popover pan, great, but if like me, you don’t, custard cups work nicely as does a large muffin tin (a regular muffin tin is supposed to also work, but I haven’t tried that. I suppose the popovers would just be a bit smaller). The biggest challenge? The ingredients should be at room temperature, so be sure to pull out the eggs first while you’re pre-heating the oven.

Popovers

(makes about 6)

  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk or milk substitute*, room temperature
  • Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour [or 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp, either seems to work okay]

Directions: Option A

  1. Place six 6-ounce custard cups with a dab of butter in the bottom of each on a cookie sheet (or rimmed baking sheet) and place in the oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl beat eggs slightly. Beat in milk, flour and salt until just smooth; being careful not to overbeat. Fill custard cups halfway full.
  3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove popovers from cups and serve hot.

Directions: Option B

  1. Place a large muffin tin in the oven, and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp butter. Whisk milk, flour, salt and butter together. Add eggs, whisk until smooth.
  3. Melt 2 more Tbsp butter. Remove heated muffin tin from the oven, and using a silicone pastry brush, coat the cups with butter.
  4. Pour the batter into the cups, about 1/2 full.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove popovers from cups and serve hot.

*As I am lactose-sensitive all my experimentations have replaced the cup of whole milk traditionally used in the recipe with rice, almond or soy alternatives. For breakfast popovers, I recommend using vanilla soy milk.

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