Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mmmmm....Popovers

Popovers are one of my husband's favorite foods. He likes them so much that he bought his mother a professional-grade popover pan for a gift years ago. She no longer uses that pan these days, so she gave it to me. That was earlier this year, and I am now hooked on popovers, too.

I've tried a couple of different recipes, one from a King Arthur Flour cookbook, and one from Better Homes & Gardens. The BH&G version is by far the best. It's both easy and fairly fool-proof. I say "fairly," because I was a bit foolish when I made them today. I foolishly thought that I could use up some heavy cream that I had on hand as a substitute for half the milk in this recipe. Since we always use skim milk here and the original recipe calls for "milk," I thought that using half skim milk and half heavy cream might make a suitable substitute, perhaps giving me a consistency close to whole milk, and maybe even producing a more tender, rich popover...I was wrong, and my popovers today flopped.

Instead of being light, crisp, and tender, they had a crust like hard rolls, and it didn't even taste as good as they did with the skim milk version. Needless to say, this is going to be something that we're going to do again next weekend, because today's popovers didn't do justice to the recipe.

That said, I'm going to type the original recipe below, with just a couple of small modifications, which I have used successfully several times now. The original recipe called for vegetable oil, but I have found that the equal amount of melted butter works really well. The consistency is the same as with the oil, but the flavor is much richer. Also, since I have found that my attempt at substituting something other than skim milk was a failure, I'm adding that level of specificity to my recipe. I'm only going to use skim milk with this popover recipe from now on.


Oh, and one more point bears mentioning here...I've never made this recipe without a professional-grade popover pan. What I mean by professional grade is that this is a very heavy pan that heats very evenly so the popovers all "pop" at the same time and don't burn before they're completely done in the inside. If you don't have a restaurant supply store in your area, you could order a professional grade pan from a website like
King Arthur Flour. It might seem a bit much to buy a pan just for popovers, but you can also use these pans for muffins and cupcakes.

Ingredients:
Shortening (to grease your popover cups)
4 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Grease your popover cups well. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a blender, combine remaining ingredients until smooth, and pour into 12 popover cups, filling them each half full. Bake popovers for 40 minutes or until very firm. Immediately after removing them from the oven, poke each popover with a fork to let the steam escape. Serve immediately with butter, jam or jelly, honey, or just enjoy them plain. They're crisp on the outside and very tender on the inside. (Makes 12 popovers.)

14 comments:

Andrea said...

We learn from our mistakes.....sometimes the hard way. Your popovers recipe does sound good. I am interested in this pan you are talking about. You need to take a picture of it and maybe one of your popovers and post to share with us.

Karen said...

Thank you, Andrea, for the encouraging comments. And you're definitely correct in saying that we learn from our mistakes. As my husband keeps telling me, "don't mess with success." Regarding the pan and the popovers...Oh, I wish I had a digital camera so that it wouldn't take so much time and effort. That's definitely on my wish list, but we've had so many other (more important) expenses. So, for now, I'm taking photos the "old fashioned way" with a regular camera, then getting the film developed, and then borrowing a scanner from the office. I do intend to scan a few soon, but I'm at the beginning of a roll again now, so it will be a while before any new projects are on a film ready for developing...You have such lovely photos on your blog. What type of digital camera do you use? I'm always interested in hearing recommendations so that I can make a good choice when we finally have the funds available to make a purchase.

USAincognito said...

These sound fascinating. I have never heard of popovers before - maybe someday I will have to try it. :)

USAincognito said...

Heh, Karen, I am trying to save up money for a new digital camera that has a telephoto lens on it. When that day comes and you are still needing a digital camera, I can send you mine! :) It cost me $800 when I first bought it so it is a really nice one. I will keep you in mind when I go to buy a new one. :)

Karen said...

Hi, Shorty! I hope that you do have a chance to try a popover sometime. They are really fun to make and to eat. I love watching them "pop up" in the oven. It starts out just looking like pancake batter in the cups of the popover pan, but as it bakes it rises up, first on the edges and then in the center too. They're really light and almost hollow inside except for a really tender, almost cream-puff light center. I had them at a restaurant in Minneapolis one time, but I wasn't very impressed with them there because they were overdone until they were too dark in color. When I make them at home, using this recipe, they come out perfect every time...provided I don't try to experiment like I did this time with different ingredients.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Thank you, Shorty, for the thought of possibly offering me your current camera after you have enough money to buy a new, improved one. How much would you want for your old camera if you were to sell it sometime? I've thought about buying a low-end version just to have one, but I always think that I would be disappointed by the limitations if I went that route. But then our budget doesn't allow for something higher end. There's always a more important household expense waiting in the wings--like getting the timing belt changed on the car I drive. In any case, it's okay for me to wait for a while. I'm just thrilled to have a laptop at home with DSL...God always gives us more than we ever need. :-)

USAincognito said...

No charge - the camera would be free. I have had it for about 3 years but it is still a top of the line digital camera.
I will let you know whenever I decide to get a new one. :)

Karen said...

Oh, Shorty! What a generous person you are! Thank you again for the thought. If it works out, that would be a tremendous blessing, but you'd have to let me do something for you as well. I wonder if there's something I could make for you...like a shawl similar to the one I made for myself? Is that something you would enjoy wearing? Or a hat, scarf, and mittens, perhaps? If do decide to get a better camera and then decide to share it with me, I'd love to be able to send you a gift as well.

Karen said...

Just to clarify...I know that you wouldn't share the new camera with me...I just realized that my "it" refers back to the new camera, when I meant it to refer back to the older one...The copyeditor in me sometimes cringes when I see what I've written and posted without enough attention to detail.

USAincognito said...

lol. I totally understood what you were trying to say. ;)
Oh, you don't have to do anything for me at all. It is my pleasure to send it to you whenever I get a new camera. :) It is enough that you will be able to enjoy taking pictures and being able to share them with friends/family via email or the internet.

Karen said...

Thank you, Shorty! You are such a generous person...Well, I hope that there will be some opportunity sometime to do something nice for you, too. May the Lord bless you for your kind and giving heart.

USAincognito said...

Heh, Karen, how are things going for you?

Karen said...

Hi, Shorty! Thank you for the email! And I apologize for the gap between posts this time. My husband and I were busy two weekends ago with a painting project, and then last weekend we went up north to visit my father. So I haven't had as much time as I would like to post on my blog...I've thought of things to post, but I need to make the time soon to post again. I've been glad to see your posts, Shorty. Did your furnace get fixed, I hope? And how are things going these days with Kira? One of these days we need to figure out how to enable email so that we can email each other as well as post comments. I'd love to ask you more questions (provided they wouldn't put you at any risk, of course...I understand about your need for more anonymity than most of us out here in the blogosphere). Thanks for the greeting today. It's good to hear from you! :-)