Popovers are so wonderful to eat and so simple to make that, if you were the eater, you’d wonder why the baker didn’t make them more often. The answer is that you need a few items that are uncommonly used in baking:
1. A popover tin, which has deeper wells than a muffin tin (although muffin tins can work). This is one of the few utensils in your kitchen that is preferably made with a non-stick coating.
2. Faith, hope and prayer. You have to follow the recipe exactly, and restrain yourself from opening the oven to check the baking progress of the popovers.
3. The ability to get everybody into the kitchen when they’re ready, because they’re at their best right out of the oven and go downhill quickly.
4. The persistence to keep trying this recipe until you finally get it perfect. As you will.
These may sound like great breakfast items, and they are. But they’re also marvelous at the beginning of dinner.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 generous tablespoon butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 prayer of your choice
Preheat the oven with a rack in the center to 450 degrees.
1. Remove and measure all the ingredients about a half-hour before you begin, so they can come to room temperature.
2. While waiting, coat the inside of the tins (one large tin or two small ones) with a thin film of shortening, then dust with flour.
3. Melt the butter. Combine the milk, butter, and flour in a bowl and whisk just until the flour is blended uniformly.
4. Whisk in half the beaten egg, then the other half after the first is blended in completely.
5. Pour the batter into the tins, filling each pocket about two-thirds full. Put the tins in the middle of the oven and reset the timer to 17 minutes. Say the prayer.
6. When the timer goes off, lower the heat to 325 degrees and set the timer to 18 minutes. Do not open the oven to check! When the timer goes off again, set it to two minutes and get everybody into the kitchen.
7. When the timer sounds a third time, open the oven, remove the tins, and poke a slit in the tops of all the popovers. Which, if all went well, popped over. Eat greedily and quickly.
Makes eight to twelve popovers.