Puff Piece: Mama D’s Popovers
Mama D’s Popovers
Popovers look a little bit like bread rolls or muffins, except they’re much lighter and puffier. They have a pretty, golden brown crust and a hollow, nicely chewy center. They’re fantastic and very addictive on their own, but you can spread butter and jam on them, too.
There isn’t much to the recipe; the batter is a simple blend of eggs, milk and flour. But for best results, you need a special popover pan (get nonstick for easy release and cleanup), which typically has six or 12 deep cups. The cups are set apart, so the popovers can rise and expand freely during baking without spreading and fusing into each other.
I got this foolproof recipe from Diane Phillips (aka Mama D), a very good cook and popular cooking instructor. Her instructions were simple but strict:
1. Make sure you’re baking at the right temperature—a cheap oven thermometer will take care of that.
2. Make sure the butter in the popover pan is really hot.
3. Make sure the batter is very cold.
4. DO NOT, under any circumstances, open the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking.
- Makes 12
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Place the flour in a medium mixing bowl. Beat the eggs lightly in a separate medium bowl, pour in the milk, add the salt, and mix together. Pour the egg mixture, while whisking continuously, into the bowl with the flour. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide the butter into 12 equal pieces (about 1½ teaspoons each) and place on the bottom of each cup of a 12-cup-popover pan. Place the pan in the oven to let the butter melt and the pan preheat, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and, working quickly, distribute the cold batter evenly among the 12 cups, filling them almost to the top. (To avoid dripping the batter outside the popover pan, transfer the batter into a container with a spout). Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet to ease handling and avoid spillage.
- Transfer the baking sheet and the popover pan to the oven and bake for 45–50 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Important: Do not open the oven for the first 30 minutes of baking time—otherwise the popovers might deflate.
- Remove from the oven, and serve warm. Popovers taste their best straight from the oven, but you can reheat them in an oven or toaster oven.