Once the chill hits the air, it just feels like popover season to me. And yes, I make them for self-indulgent reasons, but also for the pure entertainment factor. When they rise gloriously beyond the walls of the pan to magnificent heights, it’s a show you want to experience front and center. Then, consume at once!
But, why do they rise like that? It’s actually the steam that is built up inside the popover, which creates a hollow pocket and rises, pushing the popover higher and higher .. oh my goodness! (Make sure you don’t have another oven rack above it). The steam also cooks the inside, creating the most supple, custard-like texture that deliciously contrasts with the crunchy exterior. It’s really a magical creation.
The popover is an American version of a Yorkshire pudding. It’s a light and hollow roll that is made from an egg batter. One of the secrets to making the perfect popover is using a popover pan. It looks like a muffin pan, but each individual well is actually separate from the others, which allows hot air to circulate evenly around each well.
Another tip is the make the pan very hot prior to adding the batter. This will ensure that you achieve the steam needed to push them up, up, up!
Ingredients to make 12 poppers (2 pans)
1 1/2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, + softened butter for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
Optional: One or two 1″ piece of Gruyere cheese.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Generously grease popover pans with softened butter. Place the pans in the hot oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be liquid thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and tall. If you have window in your oven, watch the show. Otherwise, don’t peek.
Serve immediately with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.