The above will make about 9 popovers in a “regular” size popover pan, or 12 in a “small” popover pan. You can see the difference in the pans on the below. You can easily double this recipe. The first few times I made popovers they turned out fine. THEN, the next several times they were crummy (dense little pitiful things) so I stopped trying. A friend, who was fortunate enough to have them when they were good, was coming to visit and really, really wanted popovers, so I practiced on him the whole time he was here. I also did a fair amount of reading from different cookbooks and online. The funny thing is, the above recipe didn’t change, but how you made them did.
Ideally, let your eggs come to room temperature by sitting out overnight or for several hours. Your milk should be about room temp also. If you don’t have time to let your milk come to room temp, put the 1 cup of milk in the microwave for about a minute, or less, and test with a thermometer to get it around 70 degrees or slightly warm when you stick your finger in it. Beat your eggs together and then add the milk and beat just until mixed.
Melt the butter. Add about 1-½ tablespoons of the unsalted butter in the batter along with ½ teaspoon of salt, and sift in 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Beat with beaters then let set out on the counter for at least 30 minutes or up until 3 hours!
Put your empty popover pan in the oven and preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Take the pan out of the oven fast and shut the oven door. Spray 9 cups of a 12-cup popover pan with nonstick cooking spray and measure ½ tsp of the reserved melted butter into each cup. It should sizzle on the bottom. (Any left over butter, dump in the batter and mix it in.) Divide batter between 9 cups and bake for 15 minute. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 7 more minutes. Under no circumstances open the oven door while they are baking. When the timer goes off remove them from the oven and immediately poke with a sharp knife to allow the steam to come out and then invert to a wire rack. Serve immediately with butter, jam, apple, pumpkin or honey butter etc.
When poking them with the knife, to release the steam, you are keeping them from collapsing in on them selves. Some people at that point would put them back into the oven for a couple of minutes, I don’t.
I’ve made them both with eggs sitting out for several hours, and not, and usually by putting them in the warm butter and milk and letting the batter set out for a while they’ll get to the temp you want. One book really got into discussing different types of flour and I made two batches once, one with better-for-bread flour and one with all-purpose flour. Everything was exactly the same. Filled six cups with all-purpose flour batter and six with better-for-bread flour batter and I could not tell the difference, so I wouldn’t bother buying the special flour unless you already have it on hand, and if so feel free to use it. You are letting the batter set to stretch the gluten. Many books say don’t over beat the batter, use a whisk and stop just when combined. Again, one book talked about stretching the gluten and made a good argument for mixing up that batter well. I use electric beaters and mix until it is well mixed and don’t worry about over beating.
One morning I decided to use my convention oven and set it to 425 degrees. When I put the melted butter in the cup before the batter it didn’t sizzle. They took forever to rise, but the last 10 minutes they did what they were supposed to do. So in a pinch I’d use the convention oven again, but if you don’t have to, save yourself the agony of watching them and just use the regular oven.
So what do I think is key? Having the milk and maybe eggs at room temp and then letting the batter sit for a while. It is also important to have your pan very hot before pouring the batter in, and don’t open the oven door while baking or you will let all the steam out and that is what pops them up. I like honey butter the best. Mix a half a stick of soft butter and a half a cup of honey together. Mmmm.
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