Popovers are the soufflé of bread rolls. They’re crunchy/flaky on the outside and warm, soft and buttery on the inside…and they’re TOTAL DIVAS because they’re so delicate and need their beauty transformation – undisturbed. BUT, they’re also SUPER easy to make!
I was introduced to these delicate delectables back when I was a little boy and my Uncle Howard would make them in his fancy convection oven during Thanksgiving. It was well worth the 3-hour drive stuck in traffic on the New Joisey Turnpike from Long Island to Cherry Hill just to eat these things of buttered beauty.
And now I get to make them and share them with all of you! They are absolutely wonderful, SO EASY to make and, chances are, you already have all of the ingredients right in your kitchen!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Start by pre-heating your oven.
Then take some softened butter and divide it into a larger chunk and a smaller sliver.
Take the larger chunk…
…and melt it.
…spoon or brush the melted butter into each muffin slot (including the sides)…
…and pop it into the oven to heat up.
…pour in some milk…
…spoon in some kosher salt…
…a little sugar…
…that small, softened sliver of butter…
…and some flour.
Add on the whisk attachment…
…lower the mixer and blend for a few.
…When done, remove the mixing bowl.
Everything should be nicely blended into a batter and it is perfectly normal for there to be a few lumps in it – so leave it that way.
Now take the heated tins out of the oven. The butter will have darkened some and this is a good thing! It will provide lovely color when our popover batter hits it. Speaking of which…
…it’s time to pour the batter into muffin slots! Pour the batter ONLY HALFWAY in each slot. These will RISE significantly when cooked (plus, there’s only enough batter if each of the 12 slots are filled halfway).
See? All pretty.
Now if you’re using some cheese (like I did), sprinkle some into each slot right on top of the batter.
And doesn’t that just look purdy?
Okay, let’s pop them in the oven ON THE CENTER RACK (do NOT put it on the top rack or it will burn). And once they’re in the oven, we SHALL NOT OPEN THAT OVEN DOOR AGAIN UNTIL THEY ARE TOTALLY DONE COOKING. If we do, they will DEFLATE and look like VERY, VERY SAD popovers and we most certainly don’t want that now, do we?
Halfway through cooking in the oven, lower the temperature for the remainder of the cooking time (but don’t you dare open that oven!)
Again, it is crucial to employ a little patience here. Just look at this image. THAT’S what it’s going to look like when it’s done. Yeah, so…some things are worth complying for!
Okay, once the cooking time’s done, remove it from the oven.
…and look at those adorable popovers! The middle has sunken nice and softly and the edges are nice and crunchy! Spread on a little more butter if you wish and then eat them immediately!
They are best devoured within 5 minutes of cooking to really get the full experience – which shouldn’t be any problem whatsoever because they’re so wonderfully addicting! Enjoy!
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) of softened, salted butter, divided into 3 tbsp and 1 tbsp (plus extra for schmearing on the finished popovers)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 tsp of kosher salt (or any salt will do)
- 1 tsp of white sugar
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take 3 tbsp of the butter and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Spoon or brush it into a regular-sized muffin tin comprised of 12 muffin slots (or a popover tin if you want 6 larger, more traditional popovers) and pop it in the heated oven as you make the batter (A word to the wise: do NOT skip this step as the batter needs to be poured into a HOT tin to cook properly)
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, salt, sugar, flour and remaining 1 tbsp of butter in a bowl (so everything except for the cheddar cheese) and stir on speed 4 (if using a stand mixer) for about 2 minutes until well blended. There will likely be a few lumps in the batter when done, but that is 100% fine
- Remove the heated muffin tin or popover tin from the oven and the butter will likely have darkened. This is good! It’ll provide some beautiful color to our popovers. Now pour the batter into each muffin or popover slot filling each only halfway (no higher for two reasons: 1. popovers rise when baked and 2. there’s only enough batter for each muffin or popover slot to be filled halfway). If using the cheddar cheese, sprinkle a little onto the top of the batter in each muffin or popover slot
- Pop it into the oven, uncovered, ON THE CENTER RACK (do NOT put it on the top rack or it will burn) for a total of 25-30 minutes, but in two temperature phases: The first 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then after the first 15 minutes are up, decrease the temperature to 350 degrees for the second 10-15 minutes. All ovens vary so keep an eye on the popovers to make sure they don’t over cook or get TOO browned. BUT WHATEVER YOU DO – NEVER, EVER OPEN THE OVEN FROM THE TIME YOU PUT THEM IN UNTIL THE TIME THEY ARE DONE COOKING. Like disturbing a soufflé while it cooks, this will RUIN and DEFLATE your popovers (I told you they’re divas). This is where a window in your oven door and oven light comes in super handy so you can easily check on them without disturbing them. If you don’t have that luxury (like me), go for 10 minutes to be safe
- When done, they’ll pop right out of the muffin tin or popover tin and serve them IMMEDIATELY. These are super delicate rolls and they are best eaten right away when nice, warm and toasty. Serve by spreading on some additional butter if you wish!
I wasn’t kidding. DO NOT open that oven door even once while they’re cooking unless you wanted deflated, sad popovers!
Don’t want to add the cheese? No problem! I just think they add a bit of a flavor kick and make it extra orgasmic.
Want them with some chocolate? Don’t cook with the cheese and fill with a little chocolate hazelnut spread at the end!
If you want to use a popover tin that you may already have instead of a muffin tin, nothing in the recipes changes. Just fill each one up halfway and you’ll have 6 large ones instead of 12 smaller ones.