Sunday, December 23, 2012
From My Family to Yours: Popovers
Having popovers for Christmas breakfast is a tradition at my house. Well, it’s actually a favorite winter comfort food we have almost every Sunday as well as for the holidays.
Why you ask?
Because they remind me of my childhood and a contest my family used to have to see who could make the tallest popovers. As simple as the ingredients for popovers are, there are tons of different techniques for making them. My dad went for the power mixing technique. He was under the assumption that more air you could whip into the batter, the larger the holes in the center of the popovers would be, and thus taller popovers. My mom stressed the need for the freshest room temperature eggs in a belief that the salt/egg reaction caused the height. My sister thought the oven temperature controlled the popover’s size. Years later, I discovered that the true key was to let the white lumps of flour dissolve naturally and not over whisk—it produces extraordinarily large perfect popovers every time.
Not only are popovers a yummy food that reminds me of simpler times and my family, they also remind me that the real keys to being a better writer are simple: challenge yourself to learn new skills by reading and listening to other writers and people in general--and practice, the more you write the better you’ll become.
4 Eggs 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup flour
1 cup milk 2 tablespoons butter melted + butter for greasing pan
Iron popover/muffin pan or individual muffin-size ramkins
Position oven rack in lower oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pans very heavily with butter. In a medium sized bowl whisk eggs and milk. Add flour salt and melted butter and whisk lightly—will be lumpy. Let batter sit for 5 minutes and whisk again, lightly. Let sit for another 5 minutes and then whisk lightly. While batter is sitting for another 5 minutes put prepared pans in oven to preheat.
Fill hissing-hot muffin pans half way with batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes—do not open oven to check.
Serve immediately, popovers start to shrink the second they come out of oven. I’ve tried pricking them to let out the steam, but it doesn’t seem to keep them from shrinking. The ones in the photo were three times higher, but it took a couple of minutes for my husband to find the camera.
* Best served with homemade jam or marmalade and more butter—and tea. For an old time farm dinner they can be served with creamed chipped beef. Yup, lots of fat and salt.