Popping up!

I am sure that I am tempting the Fates by even writing this, but I think my December madness is finally under control. The Christmas cards are all sent. The presents are bought and wrapped. The baked goods-including special sugar cookies for Santa- are made and in the freezer. The gifts for neighbors are delivered. The gifts for loved ones who live far away are mailed. The Christmas Eve celebration is planned, shopped for, and ready to cook. The Christmas Day menu is planned, shopped for, and ready to cook. Phew! Now, I can breathe and relax. Now, I can even post again!

So, let’s talk food! One of my favorite holiday treats is a good popover. There is nothing quite as special, I think, as a warm, crunchy, playful- gotta love the shape that they form-popover straight from the oven. But, because they are completely a last minute and slightly intimidating event, they often do not get made. When I mention them to friends, I hear the same refrain: “Oh no, I never make them. They are too hard!” “What if they don’t pop?” “Too much trouble!” It feels to me that most people are afraid of the popover. Well, no more!

The truth is, popovers are easy-it’s the timing that’s hard. Popovers really do need to go straight from the oven to the plate. They do not sit well. As a result, I recommend serving them with a stew or a roast that can rest at room temperature while the popovers bake. If you plan your menu accordingly, dinner is ready to go as soon as the popovers are finished and you look like a superstar for making such a wonderful and impressive looking treat!

Note: The batter can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Make sure to mix it again in the blender/food processor right before using.

Note #2: A popover pan is helpful and recommended though not required. You can find one at Williams-Sonoma or any other good cookware store.

Makes 8-9 in a popover pan

2 T unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the pan
4 eggs
1 c flour
sea salt/pepper, to taste
½ c heavy cream
1 c whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter the popover or muffin pan
2. Melt 2 T butter and set aside.
3. Combine the eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and mix until well blended, about 15 seconds.
4. With the machine running, slowly pour the cream, milk and melted butter through the feed tube. Mix until smooth. (If making in advance, place batter still in the blender jar, in the fridge until ready to bake. Mix again before pouring into prepared pan.)
5. Fill the prepared pan cups two-thirds full with batter. Place the pan ion a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR WHILE BAKING. Serve immediately.

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