in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The English get a bum wrap in my opinion. They have a long, rich cultural food heritage yet often get less respect in food circles than the French or Italians. Many dishes from England are tasty, convenient and fun. Popovers are so easy to put together with ingredients that are nearly always on hand. They are a super fun side dish for a dinner party, but I love them as a breakfast food. In this photo, they are just ready to come out of the oven.
1 1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon gluten
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grease and flour 6 popover cups. Pour milk into a microwavable bowl, preferably one with a pour spout. Heat in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until warm. Crack eggs into milk and whisk until foamy and well blended. Add melted butter and whisk again. Add flours, gluten and salt. Blend just until flour is incorporated. Batter will be a bit lumpy. Fill cups 2/3 to 3/4 full. Place im a cold oven and turn heat to 450 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Take out of oven and remove from cups. Serve hot if possible.

Hints: A popover pan is not necessary but it makes them a bit taller and some pans taper at the bottom so that the tops appear even fuller. You can also use ramekins or muffin tins. The gluten helps with raising when using whole wheat flour. It is available on the baking aisle of most grocery stores. The oven will just have reached 450 when you turn it down after 20 minutes. You can preheat the oven if you want, if you do, bake for about 15 minutes then reduce heat and bake another 15 to 20 minutes as above.

The hollow insides are tender and a bit eggy. The outsides will be crisp and chewy. Popovers can be made with white flour only (omit gluten), I am trying to use more whole grains thus my version has whole wheat. I haven't tried all whole wheat yet, I'll let you know if they turn out ok. Popovers can be made sweeter by adding a tablespoon or two of sugar. They can also be changed with the addition of a hard grated cheese (Romano) to the batter or lining the cups. They are great plain or with jam for breakfast and are a traditional accompaniment for some meat dishes.

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