The other day I was working on something…can’t remember what…and had Diners, Drive Ins and Dives in the background for white noise. All of a sudden my taste buds started going in to overdrive. Featured was Foreign and Domestic, an Austin, Texas restaurant, and one of the owners was making her famous gruyere popovers. I LOVE popovers but have not had them in years for two reasons….I don’t have a popover pan AND I always thought they were majorly difficult to make. Not so!
As my taste buds had sent my work into a complete stop, I watched as she made it look so simple and shared her secrets on how she got amazingly HUGE popovers. Of course she didn’t share the amounts of anything so some research was needed…and a popover pan, of course. Step One was to b-line it to Bed, Bath and Beyond with 20% coupon in hand on a search for the much needed pan. Once secured, I began looking at various recipes online and from my mom, comparing it to what Foreign and Domestics used as ingredients and compiled ingredients and amounts that seemed to match up to what their recipes was. My test run came out fab-u-lous! The below recipe makes 6 large popovers. Since most popover pans hold six, I would recommend doing one batch at a time if you need more than six.
Ingredients and Supplies:
1 popover pan
large mixing bowl and measuring cups
4 large eggs
2 cups of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoons of ground black pepper (fresh is always better)
2 cups of all-purpose flour or baking flour Gruyere or Gouda cheese (I also tested Muenster cheese) – cubed in 1/2″ x 1/2″ squares w 5 to 7 per popover
- First, let you eggs come to room temperature. From Christopher Garren’s baking class, I learned room temperature eggs (and other ingredients) are smoother and incorporate better than cold and as they do, they trap air. They make baked goods cook so that they have a finer and evenly baked goodie and more importantly for a popover, room temperature eggs create a lighter, airy and less dense cake.
- Second, always use a popover pan. Okay, so I will admit, I do not know the science behind this but she said, and I have witnessed, muffin pans do not do the trick.
- Third, heat the popover pan in the oven while you preheat AND before you add the batter. Foreign and Domestic tip.
Making the Yumminess:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make sure to put your racks at a low enough height that the popovers will not hit the top of the oven – say third shelf. Put the popover pan on top of a cookie/baking sheet and place in the oven to heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, salt, and pepper and whisk them until smooth and well incorporated. Set aside.
- In a small sauté or sauce pan, heat milk until just boiling. Once heated, slowly incorporate into the egg, salt and pepper mixture, whisking as you add.
- Add flour to egg and milk mixture slowly. To do so, add one cup of flour and mix to incorporate and repeat until all the flour has been incorporated. Lumps ok and expected. It should look like pancake batter. Pour in to a pitcher for easy dispensing in to popover pan.
- Remove pans from oven and spray each popover cup with generous oil.
- Fill each popover cup to just at the top. If not, your popovers will not rise to beautiful heights, if at all.
- Take your cubes of cheese and add them to each popover. I used about 5 to 7 cubes. Add as many as you like without spilling the batter. Push down the cheese from the top. I forgot this step on mine. The Munster did fine but the Gruyere didn’t sink or melt well.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure you do not open the oven once the popovers are in or they will fall. If at the end of the 40 minutes your popovers are not golden brown, turn off heat and let them sit in the oven until they are. I highly suggest using your oven light for this step.
- The next part is the fun part. They easily “pop” out the pan. Set them on your serving ware or each person’s individual plate. You can garnish, if desired, with more cheese (grated) – either the cheese used in the popover or Parmesan. Serve warm.
I choose to pair my popovers with a cool tangy dill and chicken salad and a nice blend between the fresh cool crisp vegetables and fresh dill of the salad and the warm nutty comfort of the popover and cheese. I also was taste testing cheese. I used Munster in three and Gruyere in three. I personally prefer the nuttiness and hearty flavor of the Gruyere as compared to the mild flavor of the Munster. That said, I would opt for a Smoked Gouda next time as the Gruyere was a little powerful for me. All in all, I thought they turned out FABULOUS and based on how my family devoured them, I would say they agreed.