Yelling. Lots of yelling. Sometimes a positive “YES!!!!!” Sometimes a negative “no. no. No. NO!! NOOOOO!!!!” This is how I remember popovers being made when I was growing up. Getting ingredients to work together to pop-up in a beautiful, fluffy way can be completely magical and, often times, a complete disappointment. No matter how they turn out…to me at least…popovers are my mom’s thing.
Definitely her dad’s daughter, my mom inherited his chef skills. She has little patience for the precision of baking. She does it, and whatever she makes is usually delicious, but the craft of it is not necessarily front and center. It’s always about taste, which is why she is definitely a better cook. A great one at that. Popovers need to be pretty precise….hence the excessive yelling. But even with the yelling…popovers are my mom’s thing. They have always been as long as I can remember. They bring a sense of comfort to me, a sense of home. Even when they fall, become eggy lumps (which I secretly hope that AT LEAST one does as I prefer them this way), and the disappointed yelling ensues, the finished product represents her love. Popovers are something special that my mom would do by request. Even now, I will ask what she is making for Easter and she will list the usual suspects and then pause and say, “….and popovers.” Like it is a secret key that unlocks a hidden room. My heart (and stomach) still jumps. Even though I am grown and have made my own popovers on many occasions, it’s different. I’ve tried my own popover recipes and experimented with different techniques. Hers are still the best for many reasons but more so that they are just…hers.
For my wedding, my mom gave me a popover pan, knowing full well that it meant more than just an additional auxiliary kitchen accessory. It meant she knew. She knew that I loved popovers (probably more than I should have). She knew my heart would explode when she told me she was making them for dinner. She knew how special it was to me when she made them. She knew that I loved the fallen ones. She knew to set aside the most flat one for me, not just to save the pretty ones for the guests, but because I loved them that way. She knew I would want to try my hand at making popovers for my family and sharing my love for them when it was time. She knew all along.
I am my mother’s daughter. I show love by cooking. I can only hope that Elliot will request his favorite dish from me and I will make it, secretly knowing all that my mom knew…and be equally full of love by doing so.
1.5 C milk (I used 1%..but whole is better)
1.5 C flour
1.25 tsp salt
Preheat over to 450. In a bowl stir together milk, flour and salt until combined. Do not over stir. Using a whisk, beat in one egg at a time until combined. Again, do not over stir. Once combined (and it is ok if there are a few small lumps), fill popover pan cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower heat to 350 for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN! Opening the oven lets out steam, leading them to be clumps of eggy goodness, but not big beautiful popovers. Serve immediately (with butter please) or roll in melted butter and cinnamon sugar for a morning treat.
*If you are having trouble getting big, fluffy popovers, here are some tricks that people have come up with and I recommend trying.
1. Preheat popover pan in the oven before filling
2. pop-overs do not cool well in the pan. Cool them on a baking rack. Remove immediately and slit a hole in the side to let the steam escape.
3. Use room temperature eggs and luke warm milk.