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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comfort Food for Fall: Popovers

Now that the weather has turned cool and the days are shorter, we find ourselves craving soup: mushroom, vegetable, barley, miso . . . any kind of soup works for us. But soup barely makes a dinner by itself, so to supplement it we often make cornbread or cheese toast (stale bread, grated cheese of any sort, and a broiler; nothing simpler or more frugal). Lately, though, we've been making popovers.

Do people still make popovers? They remind us of the June Cleaver 1950s, maybe because we use a recipe from the old New York Times Cookbook. Or maybe because our mothers made popovers. In any case, we like them so much we invested years ago in a popover pan, which has deeper wells than a muffin tin. (Nothing against muffin tins—that's what our moms used, and they still work just fine—but a popover pan gives you bigger popovers.)  

Here's our version of the Times Cookbook recipe:

1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk*
1/2 t. salt
1 T. vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil popover pan or muffin tin and set it aside.

2. Measure all the ingredients into a bowl and, using either a rotary mixer or a hand blender, mix until the batter is very smooth. Don't be afraid of overbeating; you want it very well mixed.

3. Fill the cups of the pan about half full and bake for 30 minutes. DO NOT PEEK before that, or you might make the popovers collapse. After the time is up, take a look: if the popovers are brown and rigid to the touch, they're done; if they're still a little pale and wobbly, give them another five minutes.

4. When you remove the pan from the oven, pierce each popover with a knife to let the air escape. This will prevent them from getting soggy, especially if there are leftovers.

Leftover cold popovers, dressed with butter and marmalade, make a fine breakfast.

* One day we were out of regular milk, so we apprehensively subbed soy milk, and the popovers came out lighter and crisper than ever before. If you have soy milk on hand, give it a try!


  1. We have a restaurant nearby that's famous for its popovers. They're as big as your head! I've always wanted to try them at home - maybe I will now that you've shared a tried-and-true recipe!

  2. LOVE popovers!!!!!!!!!! These look so warm and cuddly.

  3. We love popovers, however we frequently have "flopovers". I know I need to use an astonishing amount of fat in the pans, so they will come out intact, but any idea as to why sometimes they "pop" and other times they don't? Especially when some puff up beautifully, and others in the same pan just lie there and sulk.

  4. We actually don't use much fat in the pan, just a spraying of Pam (making sure, however, to cover every bit of surface). Popovers can be capricious - we've noticed that sometimes the whole popover pops, while other times there's a dent in them (see photo).

    Soy milk might give you better results. When we've used it instead of regular milk, the popovers have come out crispier and "higher." We have no idea why this works so well, but it does!