I don't really do a lot of baking because honestly, it scares me. Cooking is easy, it's just combining flavors to make a great dish. If you added a little too much spicy heat, just add a little sugar and you're good to go. But baking? That involves chemistry and specifically measured ingredients... There's just way too much possibility for error. I'm not comfortable with that kind of rate of failure!
But when I finally looked up the recipe for basic popovers, I was floored. 4 ingredients. No fancy things that make things rise (yeast, baking powder/soda, etc). Just four ingredients.
Pinch of salt.
That's it! Even I can't screw that up!
So I gave it a shot.
Original Popovers Recipe
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly wisk the two eggs, then add the milk and flour. Make sure you mix the ingredients, but don't beat them. The least amount of whipping as possible. Stir until it is just fully mixed. Add the pinch of salt, and stir in.
Pour into a greased custard tin, filling each cup about halfway up with batter. Put in oven at 450 for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 for another 20 minutes. Makes 6 popovers.
Do I have a custard tin? No. But I figured muffin tins would work ok, and I would then just end up with a few more popovers. And of course since they were smaller, I would have to do about 12 minutes at 450 and 6 or 7 minutes at 350. And how did they turn out?
Hot, fluffy, crispy on the outside, and absolutely delicious!
This is suddenly my new favorite hot breakfast item! I even make them in the morning when I'm getting ready for work since it takes little-to-no time to make the batter.
Personally, I love putting a little raspberry jam on them.
The funny thing about muffin tins versus custard tins is that my muffin tins are not quite half the size of custard tins. So while the original version made 6 popovers in the custard tins, the very same recipe in muffin tins makes exactly 11 popovers. No more, no less. 11.
Once I felt I had sufficiently mastered the oh so difficult popover, I decided to start experimenting a little. I had once seen a recipe that involved some asiago cheese, which sounded fantastic. Since I eat these for breakfast, I decided to stay away from the cheese though, and focus more on a hint of sweet.
So on Wednesday morning of this week, I got up and decided to do just a half batch of popovers, using only 1 egg, and experimenting with three different preparations. I figured I could probably stretch the batter to make a full 6, since I was now adding something other than just the four basic ingredients.
First, I decided to make two with a little bit of raspberry jam in them. I did this by pouring a little bit of batter into the cups, plopping a little bit of jam in the center...
...and then pouring in the rest of the batter.
This was my idea of how to incorporate the raspberry jam.
Chris thought my idea wouldn't work, but that instead I should try to stir a little bit of the jam in with the batter so it was all mixed in, like so:
Finally, I did a slightly more basic popover, mostly so that if the other two failed miserably, we'd still have something to eat that morning! I poured the original batter into the cups, and then drizzled just a hint of honey on top.
I popped them all then into the 450 degree oven for 14 minutes, then turned it down to 350 for 7 more minutes.
The ones with the jam on the inside of the batter got the biggest, like regular popovers do.
Unfortunately, all the jam had spilled out the bottom in the cooking process and created a hard candy crust on the bottom.
Not bad, certainly edible, but probably not going to make a repeat performance.
The ones with the jam mixed into the batter looked awesome on the outside, although they were definitely the smallest of the three.
But, upon tearing into them, we found the center was very mushy.
Definitely not enjoyable, definitely not very edible. If we were to try this again, I think we would need to use a little less milk and cook them for less time at the high heat and more time at the low heat. But I'm not really chomping at the bit to try this type again anyway.
And finally, the least tampered of them all, the original popovers with just a little honey drizzled on.
These turned out beautifully. Slightly crunchy on the top from the caramelized sugar, and perfectly fluffy inside.
I will definitely make this variation again!
And hey, at least two of the popovers were a success! Just enough for breakfast for the two of us!