The Popover Experiment – Recipe No. 1 – Fanny Farmer Cookbook’s Popovers – Brown ‘n Crusty Outside and Creamy Inside.
++ UPDATE – – ‘Joy the Baker’ has posted a recipe for popover ‘bites’ with cinnamon & sugar. They look delightful and delicious – http://joythebaker.com/2014/10/weekend-casual-cinnamon-sugar-popovers/
I’ve made so many popovers during the past week that my head is spinning with different recipes and methods! I really enjoyed the experience – popovers are always easy to make and delicious, which made choosing just three recipes a tad difficult. My top three recipes vary a bit in ingredients, temperature and results – but each produces wonderful popovers. I eliminated several somewhat complicated popover recipes once I realized all that fuss wasn’t necessary as the results were about the same as the easier recipes.
Recipe No. 1 of ‘The Popover Experiment’ – Fanny Farmer Cookbook’s Popovers Makes 6 Popovers
Recipe attributed to Julia Child but, as far as I know, the recipe was prepared by Marion Cunningham, editor at the time of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook, when she appeared on Julia Child’s cooking program. Hence, I’m giving credit to the Fanny Farmer Cookbook.
++ These popovers are not as large as more modern recipes, but the insides are delicate & creamy.
Tip !! If using older popover pans without nonstick coating, butter each section.
Tip !! If using muffin tins or ramekins, butter each section. You’re going to have too much batter for a six-cup muffin pan, so use a 12-cup pan. Fill each section 1/3 full, and fill any empty sections with water. The popovers won’t be as big as those made in the new style popover pans but they’ll be wonderful. Yield – 8 to 10 popovers (if using ramekins/muffin tins).
Oven at 425F for 15 minutes Then, lower to 350F for an additional 20 minutes
Ingredients & Method
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups milk (whole or 2%) I used full-fat milk.
- 1 Tbs. melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, whisk (or beat) 2 eggs, 1 Tbs. melted butter & 1 1/4 cups milk.
Add 1 cup flour & 1/2 tsp. salt.
Whisk or beat until just combined. If there’s a few lumps, that’s OK. Also, don’t be alarmed if the milk has turned the melted butter into teeny lumps. It makes absolutely no difference.
Pour batter equally into your popover pan compartments.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Then lower heat to 350F – bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Pierce popovers with a sharp knife once you remove them from the oven so the steam can vent, then remove them from the pan. (I like to lay the popovers on their side to cool.)
These are excellent at room temperature but, of course, they’re always best eaten right out of the oven. However, if you wish to save some for later, I recommend laying each popover on its side on a cooling rack until cooled, then covering each with plastic wrap. Enjoy !!
‘The Popover Experiment’ – Recipe No 2 – Julia Child’s Recipe – Popovers are slightly higher than the 1st recipe & the insides are slightly drier. (Of course they’re delicious – it’s from Julia Child !) https://myyellowfarmhouse.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/the-popover-experiment-recipe-no-2-popovers-are-a-bit-higher-insides-are-slightly-drier/
‘The Popover Experiment’ – Recipe No. 3 – ‘My Yellow Farmhouse Popovers’ – Chewy on the Outside, Fluffy & Moist Inside https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2013/11/12/the-popover-experiment-recipe-no-3-chewy-outside-fluffy-inside/
HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED ….. WHILE EXPERIMENTING !
- Popovers are one of the easiest things to prepare – ever!
- Most recipes are nearly identical, with only slight differences.
- Basic ingredients are; flour, eggs, whole milk (or 2%) & salt.
- Most recipes include melted butter.
- ++ Stick a knife in each cooked popover to release the steam
- ++ It’s recommended you do NOT open the oven… but I did a few times, towards the end of the cooking process… and it didn’t seem to make any difference at that point.
- Popovers are very similar to British Yorkshire Pudding.
- Older popover recipes seem to result in a smaller popover with creamier insides.
- More modern recipes seem to result in larger popovers with drier insides. I recommend both types – they’re both delicious.
- No need to butter the pan, as recommended in most recipes, unless you have an older pan which is not nonstick.
- I used a whisk and, at other times, an electric beater – both worked equally well.
- And, finally, don’t bother to preheat the popover pan. It didn’t seem to make any difference.
- Beating the eggs longer before adding the flour, salt and milk did NOT make the popovers any nicer.
25 thoughts on “The Popover Experiment – Recipe No. 1 – Brown ‘n Crusty on the Outside, Soft & Creamy on the Inside”
My Mom was like Martha Stewart and popovers were an occasional treat and close to my heart. I make them for guests and they just rave and have no idea how simple they are.
Thank you Cecile for your extensive popover research. You are not messing around! I made them for my husband and I tonight (your “Recipe #2) and they were fantastic. Lisa
*P.S. I always wondered about the milk and appreciate the tip on “whole milk.”
I’m catching up, so I get to see all the experiments at once, lucky me!
I’ve got a lot of catching up to do as well with some of the blogs I follow… it sure can “get away from us”! I’m going to post my 3rd & final popover recipe tonight.
But I want to double-check I few things first, which means making them again once or twice because I changed one of the original recipes AND ended up with HUGE, HUGE, HUGE popovers, which are great for filling with things such as chicken salad or any type of “pot pie” filling or… stew. And those are just savory ideas.
Actually, I’m going to make a nice, simple yet delicious stew when my family celebrates our (early) Christmas Dec. 14th. (That’s the only way we can all be together.) I’m planning to serve popovers – and French Canadian Meat Pie -and not too much else ’cause I want to “get out of the kitchen” & have fun that night!!
Meat pies sound awesome!
Like spaghetti & meatballs – each French Canadian Family (including those who are descended from French Canadians) have their own recipes for meat pie. My mother’s family – the Brouillette’s – make their meat pie with pork alone (no beef) and potatoes…plus some chopped onions. If you want to try our family recipe – here you go… https://myyellowfarmhouse.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/grammy-brouillettes-french-canadian-meat-pie/. It’s very simple to make, as are most French Canadian recipes! My children love Meat Pie, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it!
Like you, I was never introduced to The Wonder of Popovers when I was young.. And I don’t really know when I ate my first popover. Some restaurants serve them…but those are few and far between.
I plan to post one more popover recipe – then my “experimenting” shall be finished. I hope I’ve helped to make a better, happier & more “popover filled” world, where people can go forth, spreading popovers – and the love of popovers – throughout the universe… Or, at least decide that popovers are delicious and easy to make….
And, my dear friend, you asked an excellent question. What DID I do with all those popovers.. I ate them… I ate them for breakfast, I ate them for lunch and I ate them for dinner. And, I gave some away. I didn’t get sick of eating popovers…. but I did get a bit tired of making them!
Oh, Cecile! A few years ago, I was bound and determined to make a Black Forest Cake one Fall. Finally, that 4th cake was good enough to share. Let me tell you, 3 Black Forest cake rejects is an awful lot of cake to eat. And “awful” definitely described that first cake. 🙂
John – “How do I love you? Let me count the ways!” You just made me laugh – as you often do!!
I give you sooo much credit for not giving up!! I wonder who had more fun – you eating all those Black Forest Cake Rejects – or me – eating all those popovers!!
I bet you did. I haven’t made another or tasted a piece of Black Forest cake since. 🙂
You made me laugh – again !!!!!!!
Popovers weren’t ever served when I was a boy and I’ve never tried one now, as an adult. I always thought them a waste to make for myself alone and too complicated to make when I’ve guests waiting for me to get dinner on the table. I still don’t know if I’ll make them for myself but I will definitely give them a shot when I’ve got friends over. And your tests have showed me the way. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put these posts together. I’ve just one question, Cecile. What ever did you do with all of those popovers? 🙂
The original recipe in Fanny Farmer calls for a cold oven, then turn heat to 450 at 15 min turn down to 350
That’s interesting Jennifer. The first Fanny Farmer Cookbook – from The Boston Cooking School – was printed in 1896. I have two very old version which I treasure. They date from the mid-1900s.
The interesting thing about the Fanny Fanny Farmer Cookbook is that it’s constantly updated and something the recipes are changed slightly.
I’ve never seen that version for popovers from Fanny Farmer that calls for putting them in a cold oven. As I said above – that’s very interesting!
Do you happen to know the date of the publication of that version of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook? And thanks for taking the time to comment. I want to look into that!! ; o )
Just looked into the ‘cold oven’ and found this info. from ‘Growing Up Julia’ (here on WordPress), The very first Fanny Farmer cookbook – and many, many others after – were done by Marion Cunningham – AND – as you mentioned, she started them in a cold oven. How about THAT!!
I can’t get at the old editions I have because I moved not long ago and they’re still in a box. I copied the recipe from one of them. Again – thanks for taking the time to comment!
[…] ++ For the Dos & Don’ts of making popovers – plus information I discovered while researching popover recipes AND the first recipe in ‘The Popover Experiment” – go to https://myyellowfarmhouse.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/the-popover-experiment-recipe-no-1-brown-n-crusty-… […]
I think it’s time to make popovers even if I have to use muffin tins. 🙂
I agree – muffin tins result in smaller & denser popovers – which are equally as yummy!!
Thanks – I tell you, my head certainly was spinning with all the subtle changes! And, I’ve gotta say, I enjoyed ALL of the recipes I tested!
Such a research! All looks great and very tempting. Thanks for all the tips and recipe!
HI there (again : ) )
Ok I checked out the Yorkshire Pudding recipe – I always refer to Delia Smith for staple dishes, she uses 3oz plain flour, 1 egg, 3floz milk, 2floz water, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of dripping or lard and heats the oven to 425Fcooks them on the highest shelf in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. In fact I blogged a recipe called Toad in the Hole that uses the same batter (minus the meat dripping/lard), but there are no finished photos (oops!) just lots of photos of Toads 🙂
I must say your popovers look delicious and perfect – whether creamy and soft on the inside or crunchy on the outside, delicious! And I’m so pleased to learn a new word – popover !
Thanks for that information!!! You know, I ended up looking up “Yorkshire Pudding versus Popovers” – and found what I suspected, they’re very much alike. I’m actually going to do a small post about that today!
I’ve made Toad in the Hole & got lots of comments about Yorkshire Pudding, Popovers & Toad in the Hole recently on one of my Reddit post!
And,, not to possibly gross you out, but this “Yank” used to make Toad in the Hole with hot dogs when my sons were young!!
I don’t know why popovers are not part of my childhood. Or adulthood, if I’ve reached that.
So, I don’t even know what to do with them when they’re done. They’re a substrate, right?
Not to be just gobbled down unadorned. In your next chapter, would you tell us how to use
My Dear ‘Popover Deprived Bumplet’ – Here are my recommendations – They’re for perfect for filling with chicken salad, or pudding & cream – or enjoying with butter – and maybe some jam. And, I too had a life “Sans Popovers” until I was around 30…. and I’ve never gotten over it!
Thank you so much! It does seem that popovers are having a sort-of resurgence, not that they ever went away. They’re so easy – and yet rather impressive. One of my sister-in-laws said she thought they were hard to make. She was so surprised when I told her how easy they actually are. You know, she’s having a bunch of us over for a fabulous Spoon Roast dinner & I just this second decided I’ll bring my popover pans and make popovers… yummy !!
I don’t think I have ever had popovers but your post makes me want to try them! Beautiful photos 🙂