I think of popovers as the Rice Krispie treats of savory baking - they taste and look like they took hours of careful work but are surprisingly easy to make. There are just five ingredients - flour, milk, salt, butter and eggs - and three rules to follow.
The Rules for Perfect Popovers
1. Get the greased muffin tin hot before you fill it with batter.
2. Don't fill the muffin tins too full - half-way is perfect.
3. Don't open the oven while they're baking - you can glance through the glass to watch them puffing up and turning a lovely, golden brown.
I made a batch of them to accompany the potato leek soup I'll be writing about very soon. It took all of 15 minutes (including a few child-related interruptions) to get all the ingredients mixed and ready.
Since I had a jar of bacon drippings in my fridge, I used the fat instead of butter to grease the muffin tin.
When my older son, the picky eater, saw me pull the tin out of the oven half an hour later, he said, "What are those?!" Then he scarfed one down and promptly asked for another (he only ate half of it but I was still thrilled :))
I love the look of them, like gloriously toasted, edible chef's hats. And there's something irresistible about the way they're equal parts airy and eggy.
Popovers are the perfect sidekick for soup. They're also delicious with butter and jam for breakfast. And I like to make little melts with them - I cut them in half, smear a little apricot or fig jam inside, top with a piece of ham (skip that part if you don't eat the meats, of course) and a thin slice of sharp cheddar - put in the toaster for a minute or two, remove, blow on them to cool them down enough to handle, then DEVOUR.
* 1 1/2 Tbsps organic, unsalted butter, melted, plus additional softened butter or bacon grease for greasing the muffin tin
* 1 1/2 cups organic flour (we're talking the regular white stuff here)
* 3/4 tsp sea salt
* 1 1/2 cups organic milk, at room temperature
* 3 large eggs, at room temperature (try to find pasture-raised eggs from a local farm)
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Generously grease a 12-muffin tin with butter or try my trick and use bacon drippings for the task (but make sure to remove any solids as those will burn and stick).
2. While you're waiting for the oven to heat up, whisk the flour, salt, eggs, milk and melted butter together until smooth. It will be a thin, runny batter. Once the oven has reached 425°, put the greased muffin tin in for 2 minutes to heat up.
3. Fill each muffin halfway and bake for 28-30 minutes, until the popovers have "popped" all the way up and are golden brown. Do not open the oven while you're baking. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes then remove the popovers to a rack to cool more fully.
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