Friday, August 16, 2013

Summertime is a-Popping at Elvy’s

I wish I had a photo I could use of how beautiful these are. I took some. I’d made a lovely spinach salad, and chive/parmesan popovers, but somehow I saved my photos as videos (don’t ask me how), and I can’t paste them anywhere.
Still, when you see how easy these are, and try any of the variations I’ve included, you will find people asking, “Will you make those great popovers again?” a lot.
These can be baked in regular muffin pans, or custard cups on a cookie sheet, or, if you’re like me, you’ll invest in a popover pan, which I took a photo of, and cannot show you.
Here’s the basic recipe:
  • 1 stick  (1/2 cup) of butter (real butter – do not substitute) 
  • 4 egg
  •  1 ¼ cup milk (whole, skim, anywhere in-between) 
  • 1 ¼ cup regular, all-purpose flou
  •  1 tsp. salt
Begin early in the day. The success of popovers is due to two factors: temperature (room temp) and consistency (heavy whipping cream like you get in a carton, not yet whipped).
Make sure your batter sits out at least four hours, or all the ingredients are room temperature by the time you’re a half hour from dinner being ready (or brunch, I’ve made them then too). Often I’ll make the batter the night before. Put everything in a pitcher and refrigerate overnight, then pull it out and let it sit all day.
How to make the batter:
  • Melt ¼ cup of your real butter (that’s one- half of one stick). 
  • Preheat oven to 400° 
  • In a food processor, or with a mixer, or whisk, beat eggs, add milk, then flour and salt until there are no lumps. You don’t have to overkill this, just until smooth. 
  • Add melted butter and mix in. 
That’s it. That’s the whole shebang. If for ANY reason the batter isn’t the consistency of heavy cream, add milk by tablespoons until it is.
Take the last half, of your half stick of butter (get that?), and divide it between your muffin tins, cups, or whatever you are using. Just throw it in the bottom of each cup, and feel free to get more butter if you don’t end up with a good size pat in each. Put the pan, sheet, whatever, in your hot oven for five minutes. The butter should be sizzling when you take it out.

Pour your batter into the center of each cup until ¾ full, the melted butter will go up around the batter, do not go over ¾ full or there will be a mess in your oven. You can fill them ½ full if you want. Throw away any unused batter.
Pop popovers (yes, I wrote that on purpose) into oven, and bake. DO NOT OPEN OVEN!!!!
Eyeball your results THROUGH THE OVEN WINDOW. The popovers will POP, and turn a nice golden brown in about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how much batter is in each cup, how large the cups are, etc., etc.  Just keep an eye on it. They are done when they look done.
In theory, if you want, when they are popped and golden, you could pull out the pan, cut a slit in the side of each popover, turn off oven, and put them back in the oven for five minutes to let them crisp up, and keep their shape. (If only it was that easy for me to keep like this make it a challenge.)
This is theoretical as I have never done it, mainly because everyone is already drooling (including me), and we can’t wait that long.  Besides, we like them popped-over, which means they sort-of collapse on themselves.
 Sometimes popovers are tricky to get out of their pans. Don’t worry, run a knife around the edges, and POP them out. (Another on-purpose way to use the term ‘pop.' Aren’t you impressed?)
Serve hot, with another stick of real butter on the table. You won’t believe how good they are.
And, as promised, variations to this recipe:
Variation #1
Add ½ cup finely grated (I took a photo of this too, but you know what happened) parmesan reggiano and ¼ cup of fresh, or dried chives. NOTE: when adding cheese, and especially dried herbs, make batter early and give batter time to set. Check and make sure consistency is not too thick, add more milk if needed, a little cold milk at this point won’t ruin anything.
Variation #2
Add ½ cup finely grated, extra sharp cheddar, ¼ cup parsley, a quarter teaspoon of Franks hot sauce (you won’t taste it, it boosts cheddar’s flavor) and a teaspoon, or so, of onion powder.  Read NOTE above.
These are the only two I’ve come up with so far, so experiment! Have fun! If making popovers for a brunch, serve with butter and strawberry jam. As my daughter’s two-year-old twins would say, Yum!
Elvy Howard shares more of her love of cooking in her debut novel, Love on a Half Shell.  It is available in print and e-book at Amazon, Barnes&, and other online retailers . 

Love on a Half Shell
Three parts love, two parts grit...the perfect recipe to save a family.


  1. I can attest to the poppin' goodness of Elvy's popovers. Guess what I'm gonna try to make tomorrow!

  2. Yeah, me too...without the baking tomorrow part. :-)

  3. Sofie - I hope they were great.
    Leah - I can't figure out how that's gonna happen.

  4. I LOVE popovers, especially with butter and jam. But I also love them with potroast and gravy... :-)