By Kathy Nida
I was in middle school when I officially learned to cook, in a big home ec classroom with 30 other terrified 12-year-olds. Our homework the first week was to take the small handful of typed recipes we had collected in class and cook something for the family at home. We had tried every recipe in class, mixing up salt and sugar by accident, using the baking powder instead of baking soda. The real test, as you all know, is the people you love.
So I made popovers for my parents and my brother. Because they smelled like heaven coming out of the oven. My family loved them hot and buttery, steaming as you broke them open.
Nowadays, I mostly cook for myself, but popovers still smell delicious. And you know what? You can freeze them and then heat them up in the oven at 325° for about 5-10 minutes. They crisp up nicely and you can have just one for breakfast (my favorite) or make a lunch for you and a friend with some chicken salad inside.
Popovers aren’t hard to make. My mother’s popover recipe takes time, but not a lot of work. It doesn’t even take a particularly well-stocked kitchen. I could make some right now without running to the store.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- A nonstick biscuit pan or a regular biscuit pan with plenty of butter on hand
Preheat the oven to 450°, in plenty of time for it to fully heat. If you’re using a biscuit pan without a nonstick surface, butter it liberally. Butter really does work better than margarine here, plus it tastes so much better.
Place the eggs in a blender and mix on “high” until lemon-yellow. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches of about 1/3 cup at a time. Toss in the salt while you’re doing this. Immediately pour this batter into the biscuit cups, filling about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Do not overfill! Quickly place the pan or pans in the oven, without holding the door open any longer than absolutely necessary. You don’t want to lose all that heat you just built up!
The trick to nice popovers is to refrain from opening the door until they have fully risen. You need to let them bake at 450° for about 20 minutes. Then you can turn the oven down to 375° and continue to bake for another 20 minutes, until they’re nicely browned and puffy.
That smell should bring any human in the house on the run. All you really need is some soft butter, a plate to catch all the melty goodness, and a napkin for wiping your face. If there are any left (and really, you can just eat one), freeze them once they’re cool. Then you can reheat one every morning until they’re gone. Way to make the popover joy last!
If you like this recipe, it’s part of 30 Pounds/4 Months, the natural foods diet and cookbook par excellence. Order the Kindle version from Amazon, or if you prefer a print copy for your kitchen, come on over to our Contact page and leave a message.
Popover image: Shutterstock. © 2016 matka Wariatka