Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tara's Popovers

Popovers are a treat I cannot count on. Sometimes they are perfect - right out of a bakery shop window perfect, but with better taste. Sometimes they completely and literally flop. They don't rise and they are doughy inside; a treat only for the dogs who don't seem to mind a bit. Most often they are somewhere in between great and terrible - simply okay. Not too high and a little bit doughy. I've tried a lot of recipes over the years, and the one which has worked the most consistently is from The Joy of Cooking which I posted here.

The past couple times we made them, they weren't good, so when Tara left a comment saying she got a new popover pan, I asked her to let me know how they come out. She wrote back to say they turned out great, so I asked for and received the recipe. It turns out to be the same, except for 1/2 t. salt instead of 1/4 t. But there are some differences in preparation. And those little differences created some great popovers which we had with leek and potato soup last night. I'm calling them:

Tara's Popovers

First off, don't use a mixer.

Whisk together 1 cup milk and 2 eggs

Stir in 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk in 1 T. melted butter

Let batter sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450º F.
While it is preheating, put 1/2 t. vegetable oil (I used olive) into each popover cup. I don't have Tara's pan, so still am using the custard cups.
Put the cups in the oven to warm them.
Remove and put in the batter. We used 7 custard cups, filling them about half-full.
Put into oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Turn down heat to 350º F. and bake another 15-18 minutes.

The last part is where it gets a bit tricky. Your own oven and ingredients and who knows what else determines the time. I think we took ours out just a smidgen too soon because we feared them getting too dark.

Anyhow, they were absolutely delicious, and I thank you, Tara!


  1. Those look delicious, I'm going to try them tonight.

  2. Wonderful! I'm so glad they turned out for you - they look divine! By the way, it's 1/2 tsp (not 2) of oil into each cup before adding the batter. Just for your readers, I use canola oil and that works well too!

  3. P.S. I like them with honey butter!

  4. Beth, please be sure and see that I corrected the amt. of oil(just 1/2 t. NOT 2 t. in the cups) Thank you Tara. I just copied it wrong!! And honey butter sounds great!

  5. This recipe is, going by my memory, exactly the same as the one I've used for many years. The only difference is that I start my popovers in a cold oven, turn it way up, then halfway through turn it down somewhat.

    The finished product is identical to yours, Nan, and that's the important thing!

    We love popovers in wintertime. The perfect accompaniment to soup or salad.

    PS Stay warm! It's brutal out there and about to get so much worse!

  6. I must try these. Since I am alone the next few days. I am going to 1/2 the recipe and see what it does. One Woman does not need 7!!!

  7. Hi Nan: Thanks for posting Tara's recipe, these look so good, I think
    I will try them for our supper.

  8. Thanks for letting me know! I put a roast in the oven and will make the popovers in a couple of hours with 1/2 tsp, not 2 tsp of oil--I thought that was an awful lot but was going to take your word for it.

  9. Popovers with honey butter are the best!!

  10. These seem a little like Yorkshire Puddings as cooked in the UK ... yummy!

  11. I've never made popovers, so I may be on sticky ground here, BUT couldn't you use the lovely pan you have for the Finnish pancakes??? In the mean time I've been trying to think what I could use to make those pancake balls - I'd never heard of them until I read your post, and I long to make them, although I don't think I can justify buying a pan for them, even assuming I could find one ;)

    Happy New Year

  12. I've only made popovers once -- years ago. These look fabulous. If they wind up on my food blog, I'll call them Tara & Nan's Popovers. :)

  13. those look delicious!! I'm sure they tasted great with that hot soup!! Especially right now with the temps below zero!!!

  14. Nan I made the popovers this evening. Since I was by myself.
    I experimented and halfed the recipe.
    They came out fine. Only thing I did not grease the cups. Did put oil in the bottom. So 1 was picture perfect but the other 3 stuck in the cups but were tasty.
    I am making a post in the morning talking about the One Perfect Popover. Linking to your site
    Thank you.

  15. I've never made popovers, but they look so similar to Yorkshire puddings that I would have to love them.
    Of course, Yorkshire puddings have gravy on them which adds another whole dimensions of yum.
    We have YP and roast beef at my mom's for between Christmas and New Years dinner. She makes a huge batch, and I eat (if I dare to admit it outloud) about 9 or 10 of them.
    I'd really like to try these popovers. I'll prob eat them all myself!

  16. What you call 'popovers' looks very much like what we call over here in the UK 'Yorkshire Pudding'. I still can't make mine taste like my Grandmother's though. I'll try your receipe and see if they taste the same.

  17. ps. When I make this in the official popover pan it makes 6 - just fyi.

  18. Margaret, I think I recall us doing that before. I think they must be a magic food - so many ways to make them, and so utterly unpredictable. But there again, that's what makes good and real cooking. I ate them in a popover place once and though they looked perfect and high, they tasted like cardboard, literally. :<)
    Ernestine, I'll be interested to see how halving this recipe works. It should be fine. I maybe, just maybe, could eat all seven myself. :<)
    Donna, if you get a chance, I'd love to hear how they turn out.
    Beth, it's nice to be trusted, but whew that was a big difference! :<) Hope they are great.
    JoAnn, with both you and Tara recommending this, next time I'll put a little honey in with the butter!
    Raph, I looked up yorkshire pudding here:
    And you are so right! They do look like popovers, and it said you could even use popover pans. Who knew?! Thank you for stopping by and leaving that illuminating comment. I'm so pleased to know this.
    Joanna, that's an interesting thought. I don't think my pan could be used in the oven but a cast-iron one could. I also don't think the spaces are big enough but I suppose they could be small popovers. You've got me thinking here. Maybe my pan can go in the oven... maybe I'll have to try this... Thanks! I'm sure there's an aebleskiver pan somewhere. I'm in a very small area and my kitchen store had one. And then, there's always the internet. I'll bet amazonuk has one. Worth the cost, really and truly.
    Les, that's so great! We've been making these for as long as we've been together - a really long time. And as I said, sometimes they work and others they don't. I still ponder why the choc mousse recipe didn't work for you, but that is one of the many wonders of home, real, from scratch cooking. It's a mystery most days.
    Staci, we even make them in the summer! Very cold here these days. Real winter weather, just the way I like it!
    Ernestine, that's great! (You see that I am reading and commenting as the comments are lined up, don't you?!) We had a little trouble with sticking, too, and next time will grease AND add the 1/2 t oil. I'll come over to read your entry!
    Raidergirl and Jennifer, as I told Raph, the pics at wikipedia sure look the same as popovers. They are almost like someone might have biscuits and gravy in the US. (spoken by a vegetarian who really isn't sure what I'm talking about here!).

  19. Tara, we used to have a popover pan but gave it up. The black stuff started chipping off, and the pops came out just as well in custard cups so we tossed the official pan.

  20. Nan
    Now you've inspired me.. again!
    I made popovers once and an absolute failure so I vowed never again.
    I do love baking, so have to give it another try.

  21. Mim, they are so worth it when they work, that I try over and over again, over and over the years. There's some magic in why they work and why they don't. :<) They don't take much time or trouble so they're worth trying and hopefully succeeding in the venture!

  22. Sounds like batter puddings to me - or Yorkshire pudding if you cook it in a big slab rather than separate ones.

    You eat them hot with gravy before dinner to fill up so you eat less meat - and if there are any over, you eat them cold with strawberry jam.

    Have fun!

  23. Books do furnish a room, over here they are mostly eaten for breakfast or at supper with a soup - served with lots of butter and jam or honey. There are popover restaurants that offer other concoctions, but in my experience the home cook does them this way. As I mentioned in another comment, here it might be biscuits and gravy or maybe dumplings though I've never had the latter so can't be sure.

  24. We made these last night (in muffin tins -- dropped the oil to 1/4 tsp per cup) and I got a full dozen delicious popovers out of it. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  25. Oh, Sprite that is great!! Nice to know the actual pan doesn't matter. And I'm so pleased you made them!!


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