Stuck in the house, looking for something to do that is out of the ordinary? Most of us cook in the kitchen, that’s “usual,” but how about a recipe you may not have tried before, one that at first looks very simple, but does require a few extra “twists & turns” in order to yield something very special that those cooped up with you will devour!
It’s intriguing! It is fun, and I’m sharing our secret Annville Inn Popover Recipe with everyone! The first recorded popover recipe was published in 1867. The recipe/procedure I use was shared with me by a French chef in Washington, DC.
Here it is. POPOVERS! This baked treat is part bread, part “Yorkshire Pudding” (in a sense…not really, ours contains no beef or other meat), and VERY REWARDING!
This is a specialty recipe; one we’ve tested among friends and family for ease of creating. We’d love to have your feedback, AND ESPECIALLY PICTURES of your creation. Only send photos, please, that we have permission from you to publish in a future blog post!
Enjoy with strawberries or slather on the honey or homemade strawberry jam.
Once you are comfortable with our main recipe, consider these versions:
- Guerre cheese and bacon
- Rosemary and shallots for a savory popover
- Cinnamon & Sugar
- Parmesan herb
Planning ahead: We expect to publish at least one more recipe for quarantined cooks and will most likely publish it in May. Hint: To be ready, if you can get to the store, and IF THEY HAVE IT, pick up a jar of tahini. (Not commonly thought of as a staple, so they will hopefully have it.) Better chances of finding tahini than tissue!
Q&A Tips Helpful to Know:
Q: Once I tried to make them, and they fell right away. Not tall and puffy.
A: If underbanked, steam stays in the bread, and after pulling from the oven, the moisture droplets forces collapse. Also, too much flour (measure accurately!) will cause the popover to be “heavy.” You don’t want that! Rosalie’s tip: Leave in oven a tad bit longer, that often helps “de-steam” and firms up the popover.
Q: What if I don’t have a popover tray?
A: Popover cooking cups are usually welded onto a metal frame, such as one shown. Don’t have one? NO PROBLEM! Make mini popovers in your muffin tin, the principle is the same, they just won’t be as big.
Q: Do silicone muffin pans work for making popovers?
A: We do not recommend as they won’t firm up and brown the sides, and the wells are usually shallower.
Q: What is the difference between a popover and Yorkshire Pudding?
A: America’s popover, the answer to British Yorkshire Pudding, differs in that the batter is not poured into the pan used to cook a beef roast (or other meat)…the pan still containing drippings from the roasting process. The Yorkshire pudding is usually a “loaf” type of preparation, cooked all together in one container. Our popovers are instead cooked in very clean (containing no prior cooking results) popover or muffin metal cups, they are individual, not one large “loaf.”
Rosalie’s other tips for popovers:
- You can make the batter the night before, just be certain it sits out to get to room temperature a minimum of 30 minutes. (I prefer to make it just before baking.)
- I fill the cups a bit fuller than ¾ way for a taller popover, but that won’t work as well in muffin tins, so you might want to stick with the ¾ fill idea if using muffin tins. Do not use cupcake liners or anything that could crush and fall over…you will have a huge mess!
- One way to help ensure your popovers rise and do not fall down is to use room temperature milk. Use ingredients too cold and you won’t get the popovers to steam internally quickly enough. But also, be aware that you shouldn’t make it too hot. If your milk is hot enough to cook the eggs while mixing, the batter won’t rise. Best to use all warm ingredients in the 100-120 Fahrenheit range. Not too cold, not too hot! We find using ingredients around 100 degrees is optimum for us. A side note: heating the milk also helps the popover tops to get crispier. You might have to experiment a bit considering your elevation and the source of your ingredients. Popovers are worth it!!!
- CAUTION: Do not over-mix the batter. We fold ingredients in carefully. A few small lumps are okay. Overmixing can release glutton, which toughens the final product. Ever eat a “tough” pancake in a restaurant? That is because they just let the batter mixer run and run and run. We catch this oversight in baked goods at even the finest restaurants. Don’t get the batter all “worked up.”
- Baking the popovers for a few extra minutes will keep the tops from deflating once the popovers are removed from the oven.
- A trick I learned from my mother and have used over 50 years: If any of your popover pan or muffin pan wells are empty (not enough batter to fill them all), put A LITTLE AMOUNT of water in those empty wells. That is cheap insurance against the pan warping. Others say it helps the neighboring muffins or popovers to cook evenly but that theory has been disproved in kitchen tests.
- Be certain that you bake with your muffin pan or popover rack resting on a cookie sheet to catch spill overs—or you’ll have a smoking oven. I go a step further and line that cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. If you don’t have that, you can use foil…it just helps protect the cooking tray from baked on ingredients.
- Another tip: Don’t spray your pan with cooking spray—that causes permanent browning of the surface and prevents the popover from properly browning on the sides. So, spraying equals browning where you don’t want and no browning where you do want it! 😊
- Preheating of the pan and oil is ESSENTIAL!
- The French chef’s recipe I mentioned earlier called for 1-Tbs of oil in each well. TOO MUCH OIL! I cut that in half in the recipe below.
Two REAL SECRETS TO POPOVER SUCCESS:
(1) No Matter How Tempting It Is: Once the pan enters the oven, do not even think about opening your oven again until you’re ready to remove the golden-brown puffs of light, airy decadence. The batter’s ability to pop up (hence its name) comes down to two secrets: A consistent temperature in your oven. Opening the door causes an oven to lose some of its heat, and worse: Cool drafts come in from opening and closing the door. Popovers hate that…just ask one. To a popover, that’s akin to someone dumping cold water on you while you are in the shower…so don’t!
(2) Notice the recipe doesn’t use baking soda and baking power? These two cause gasses which “rise” the dough. In popovers, the rise happens through the release of steam. For that reason, the batter must be THIN. The hydration ratio of water to solids has to be just right so the heated liquid creates steam, which in turn rises the dough and makes the “Popover” …” Pop”! The recipe we give here creates the proper hydration ratio. Bottom line, don’t be surprised at the thin batter, it is on purpose.
Read On for Our SECRET RECIPE!
With all that in mind, are you ready to start? Okay, here goes!
Rosalie’s Annville Inn Secret Popover Recipe Revealed to All!
In honor of everyone staying home and baking, no longer a secret!
Note: For just the two of us, I cut this recipe in half.
- 8-whole eggs
- 2-cups of milk (see milk temp note above)
- 1-tsp salt
- 1-tsp sugar
- 3-cups all-purpose flour
- ½ Tbs cooking oil for each well in your muffin tin or popover rack
Term of reference: Instead of saying “muffin pan or tin” and “popover rack” in procedures, we’ll just say “well”.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix eggs, milk, salt and sugar. Fold in flour and mix for one minute. Do not over mix! (See Rosalie’s Tip #4 above)
- Lightly coat the interior of each well to ensure the popover doesn’t stick. Remember: lightly!
- Add into each well ½ tablespoon of cooking oil (vegetable oil, for example)
- Heat the pan (with oil in the well) for 10 minutes in your 400-degree oven
- When pan is hot, fill each well ¾ full (see Q&A above for muffin tins)
- Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees
- Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 30 minutes
- Before removing from oven, be sure popovers are cooked on inside to prevent collapsing (See Rosalie’s Tip #3)