The popover is the American version of Yorkshire pudding, a batter pudding originating in England. It’s a light, hollow type of roll made from a very liquidy egg batter. They’re best baked in popover pans which have angled sides to help give them their shape. The tapered cups are set apart to promote air circulation and help promote a solid oven spring or “pop”.
For all of my events I always begin with a bread tasting. That being a wheat bread, a European style white or sourdough, and a popover. I believe that all courses of a meal are important but the bread tasting sets the tone as to what’s to come. When the guests arrive to the table they are there to eat. A warm basket of artisanal baked breads paired with playful accompaniments never lets down. The contrast of the three with a dense hearty wheat, a crusty white bread, and the popover work perfectly together. A popover is creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside and when prepared right, it will release a billow of steam when cut into.
I have read every popover recipe known to man. There’s always a debate about whether or not to preheat the pans before adding the batter. I find that pre-heating the tins doesn’t make any difference to the final product and find it to be a complete waste of time. What does make a difference is not using room temperature ingredients, not allowing the batter to rest after mixing, and opening the oven door while the popovers are baking. Popovers are very simple to make but you must follow the formula or they won’t “pop” to their true potential.
Popovers are a very special and unique item. You can switch up the recipe with basically any liquid or fat ingredient for different flavor profiles. They can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. I have cut a warm popover in half and served a banana split in it. Another great way is when the popover comes out of the oven, brush melted butter on it, and roll it in cinnamon sugar.
By adding herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, or bacon you can elevate the popovers with different tastes and textures. They can be served either sweet or savory. Accompaniments are up to your imagination. Pate’s, jams, jellies, flavored olive oils, or my favorite, butter and sea salt.
Yields: 6 servings
1 1/2 cups liquid, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 whole eggs, room teperature
2 tbsp fat, room temperature
1 tsp salt
1.Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 1 minute.
2. Allow mixture to rest a minimum of thirty minutes.
3. Grease popover tins and pour in popover batter about 3/4 full.
4. Place popovers into preheated 500 degree F oven.
5. Cook for 30-45 minutes until popovers are golden brown and have “popped”.