I have a serious relationship with popovers. Like, happily-ever-after
serious. So serious, in fact, that every other dinnertime starch seems like a fling in comparison. Quinoa and rice? We’re always on-again-off-again. But popovers? Popovers are forever.
But I’ve always thought of the eggy puffs as a P.M. kind of thing,
something reserved only for dinner. The A.M. hours are the realm of Dutch babies, basically a sweeter, bigger version of popovers. Almost every Sunday morning I pull a billowy Dutch baby from the oven. It comes out dramatically puffed and golden brown, before gently
deflating into something akin to a sliceable custard.
But one weekend morning I thought it might be fun to make baby Dutch babies — something similarly sweet and eggy, but sturdy enough to tear into and slather … preferably with Nutella.
The result was a revelation. Why did it take so long to discover this? Now my popover pan never makes it back in the cupboard.
Popovers (with a sweet variation)
Just as you can doll up the savory version with shredded cheeses, chopped fresh herbs or spices, you can tinker with the sweet version by adding citrus zest or baking spices.
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place two popover pans in the oven to heat. (You can use muffin tins in a pinch, but the result won’t be as impressively puffed, and that’s the whole point. So pick up two popover pans. We promise you’ll use them.)
In a large mixing bowl or blender, whisk or blend eggs and milk together until well-combined and frothy. Add flour and salt and whisk or blend just until combined.
Place a piece of butter (about the size of a dime) in the bottom of each hot popover cup. It will immediately start to melt. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the cup with the melted butter. Use a ladle to fill each cup 2/3 full with batter.
Bake for 30 minutes, without opening the oven door, until popovers are puffed and deep golden brown. Pull each popover from its cup and poke the side with a knife to allow steam to escape so they keep their shape. Serve immediately.
Sweet variation: Reduce salt to ¼ teaspoon. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Sprinkle the batter with cinnamon-sugar before baking.