Library Cards and Popovers

08 Feb 2011 2 comments Bracha Shor Categories Cooking Group

Hooray!  Nava and I just got our library cards last Sunday and we celebrated by each getting lots of books.  First of all, the library made it very easy to get the library cards – the woman who helped us was very nice (even though they ran out of backpacks that Shari has – apparently we missed the window on those).  Nava got a few Winnie the Pooh books, Bob the Builder and Clever Rachel.  And I treated myself to a whole bunch of cookbooks!  Hooray!  I’ve started going through Julia Child’s Master Bakers.  She’s amazing, and now I want to make a whole bunch of recipes.  The first of which is the popover.  It’s a roll llike thing (really it seems like it is similar to the dough of a cream puff) in a muffin tin  that rises up really high.  And Martha Stewart had a popover in her magazine (which  my Mother-in-Law very kindly forwards to us – which, as a side note, who has the energy to do all the fun things around the house she suggests?? What, you say you do?  Oh good, then come to my house and help me make silhouettes that I can frame and put on a wall….).

Thus, we’re going to have a contest!  We have 2 recipes for popovers and we’re going to make both and see which one comes out ahead.  Julia’s recipe (from Marion Cunningham) makes 9 large or 10 medium popovers (can be eaten with delight with butter and honey).

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (or unsweetened non dairy milk – I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 lg eggs at room temerature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or oil)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray 9 “3/4 cup” custard cups (see picture above from Martha Stewart) or 10 “1/2 cup” muffin tins.  If you are using custard cups place them on a cookie sheet leaving space between each cup.  If muffin tins – use two 12 hole muffin tins so you can use every other hole.

Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth (or use a food processor) -Strain the batter if it is lumpy.

For the custard cups pour 1/3 cup of batter into each cup.  Dividing any extra batter among the cups.  For the muffin tins use 1/4 cu batter for each cup, filling alternate cups in each tin so that ever popover has puffing space.  Bake, without opening the oven door for 25 minutes.  The popovers should be puffed andn icely browned and crispo n the exterior.  Turn the temperature down to 350  and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes to help dry out the interior, which will still be doughy in the center (Some people love this part and others pull it out).  Serve immediately.

Martha’s Recipe: – makes 1 dozen

  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 lg eggs

1. Preheat oven to 425.  Whisk together milk, flour and salt, then whisk in eggs.  Mixture will be lumpy.  Ha! – using Julia’s trick I used the immersion blender and it worked out great – mostly no lumps.  If you have a lump – it means your end result will have a lump of flour – so I think less lumps the better.

2.  Heat 2 6 cup popover pans (I don’t have these – you can use muffin tins or ramekins.  If using the muffin tins fill every other hole to give the popovers air to circulate).  Then coat with oil after heating the tins.  Fill each cup a little more than halfway with batter  Bake for 20 minutes.

NOTE: I heated the muffin tins on one batch and I didn’t heat them on the other, and it seemed to come out the same.  So if you forget to heat them, I don’t think it’s a big deal.  Also, clearly my muffin tins are vastly smaller than the popover pans, because I got double the amount of popovers – I ended up with 24.

3.  Reduce oven temperature to 350.  Bake until golden brown about 25 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes and serve warm.

NOTE: Because the muffin tins were so much smaller I only needed to bake at 350 for about 7 minutes.

Ok, both recipes take about 5 minutes to put together (or less).  Much shorter than the time it took to preheat the oven to 425.  The popovers popped very nicely and was great fun for me and the little ones to watch them in the oven rise.  Except for the fact my fire alarm kept going off.  Why?  I think because only half my muffin tins had batter in them.  And I was careful not to spray the whole muffin tin with cooking spray (which might have caused the fire alarm to go off).  Nava now, whenever the timer goes off on our oven says, it’s done.  And will continue to say it until I take the food out of the oven.  She’s not so keen on the fire alarm going off. We had the exhaust on and windows open and still our fire alarm kept going off.  I have no idea what our neighbors think, that fire alarm goes off a lot.  I suspect it might be faulty. I’m sure it’s not the chef.

So the results: my husband thought Martha’s recipe was better.  I thought both popovers were delicious (we put honey and margarine on them – and then for Martha’s I made a citrus margarine – I took the zest of a lemon and the zest of an orange and 1/4 cup sugar and  mixed it into a stick of margarine.  And well, that might have tipped the scales for Martha’s side (because we didn’t have the fun margarine for Julia’s).  Both recipes are very similar (Martha’s just makes double the batter).  If you try these, let me know.  Take care.