Mary Anne here. So here at last is my final installment to our Sunday dinner of Roast Beef and Horseradish Cream with Haricots Vert and Roasted Shallots. One Christmas, when I was still the proud mother of two (number three was my post-New year’s surprise!), we hosted a lovely family from London for the holidays. I was determined to show them that this colonist could whip up a Christmas feast worthy of King George himself, so I prepared a Prime Rib of Beef with the requisite Yorkshire Puddings – a.k.a Popovers.
At the time I was thirty-something and immune to pesky dietary details such as weight gain, and so I made my puddings with hot beef fat, as is the British tradition. I have mentioned many times that I love to indulge in all things caloric, but I am reasonably sane and do refrain from lard these days. Besides being ever-mindful of my arterial flow, I must confess that I’ve become increasingly concerned about my post-menopausal waistline (or what WAS my waistline!). But I digress.
This rendition of one of the motherland’s finest culinary offerings is simple, elegant, and it isn’t totally terrible for you. The popover’s batter is actually more liquid than dough and it’s the liquid that steams and puffs the batter into comely cone-like biscuits. These are perfect for sopping up the au jus of your Sunday roast, or delicious as a brunch alternative to English muffins.
My eldest son and I occasionally have brunch together at a restaurant named…what else? Popover! They dish up these puffed puppies topped with poached eggs and lox, Eggs Benedict, and other decadently delicious delights. Added bonus – my boy took home the leftover Popovers and told me he nuked them, one at a time, for 30 seconds on high and they were almost as good as they were fresh out of the oven. Must be all that liquid and air that kept ’em moist!
Note: You will need popover tins to prepare these. They are different than muffin tins in that they’re deep and are narrow at the bottom, widening towards the top. Available at Williams Sonoma, they cost about $20 for a 6-cuppie rack. I don’t think you can use custard cups or traditional muffin tins, as the prerequisite for a proper popover is that the cup is deeper than it is wide.
2 cups flour – stock
1 Teaspoon salt – stock
4 eggs, lightly beaten – stock
2 cups milk (I used 1%) – stock
2 Tablespoons Canola oil or melted butter – stock
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $0.00!
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Lightly spray or butter the cups of the popover pan.
3. Whisk together the eggs, oil, and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and salt. Using a hand mixer set on low beat until quite smooth.
5. Divide equally between the 12 prepared popover cups (a little less than half-full).
6. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 325 and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until puffed and golden and their sides are rigid. Note: It is critical that you don’t open the oven during the baking or the popovers will collapse. Use the oven light as your guide in the browning process and allow to bake for 30 minutes before opening the oven door.