Pro-Tips for Making Popovers
“I’m really into popovers these days,” a dear friend excitedly pronounced, a propos of nothing whatsoever. Her fervor was such that she wanted to share her new baking affinity with anyone and everyone. “Are you into them yet?” she eagerly inquired—as though a fever were striking the South, and it was only a matter of time before contagion infiltrated our kitchens. “They are foolproof and delicious!” Well, there you have it: We decidedly became “really into” popovers, too. Not only are they exactly as stated—both foolproof and delicious—they are also appealingly versatile.
Fresh-from-the-oven popovers are as appropriate with morning coffee, served with butter and honey or jam, as they are an elegant afternoon snack with tea. They also make a lovely alternative to dinner rolls on the evening table. While we normally do not advocate for special equipment in the kitchen, we will make an exception here. A popover pan is inexpensive and makes perfect puffs (but a muffin tin or ramekins are fine too—just be sure to butter whichever pan you choose very well).
While they are named because of how they “pop over” the side of the pan in which they are baked, we have found the name to fit another instance: They can be made in a jiffy with ingredients you already have in in your pantry, making them a perfect offering for when friends just “pop over.”
Softened butter for coating pan
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat the cups with room-temperature butter and then pour ½ teaspoon melted butter into each cup, reserving remaining butter. This helps release popovers from the cups after baking.
Whisk together flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture and whisk until combined. Finish the batter by whisking in remaining melted butter. For a savory variation, try adding ¼ cup shredded Gruyère to the batter or add 1 tablespoon chopped thyme or basil.
Divide the batter between 6 cups. Bake for 20 minutes on the bottom rack of oven. No peeking! Popovers will deflate if you open the oven door.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 10−15 minutes more, until a deep golden brown. The longer you bake them, the sturdier they will become, but be careful not to overbake. Continue to keep oven door closed while baking.
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