Nothing tastes better with a roast chicken on a cold night than hot, fresh popovers. In fact, they go great with just about any roasted meat dish: we love them with pot roast, chicken, and even Thanksgiving turkey. Tearing them apart and mopping up gravy makes dinner cleanup both simple and scrumptious! Years ago, I consulted my close personal friend Betty Crocker for an easy and reliable recipe. This is pretty much it, although I have reduced it by half. I think Betty must have cooked for a lot more people than I ever do.
Note: these are called Yorkshire Puddings in the UK, so I added that to the title of this post so the recipe can be found under either alias.
Perfect Popovers (British Yorkshire Puddings)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 C milk, at room temperature
1 C all-purpose flour
½ t salt
Heat oven to 450 F and place oven rack in the middle position. Generously spray muffin cups with cooking oil. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add milk and whisk well to combine. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until smooth. Do NOT over mix.
Pour the batter into the muffin cups, about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes at 450 F, and then lower the temperature to 350 F and continue baking 10-20 minutes until the popovers are a deep golden brown. Immediately remove from pan; serve hot.
Yield: 6-8 larger popovers; 8-10 smaller ones
Step by Step Details
These require only four ingredients! Having the milk and eggs at room temperature is important. I can’t remember why, but it’s true.
If you didn’t plan far enough ahead to make these to let the eggs and milk come to room temperature on their own, here are some quick shortcuts:
- Eggs: Fill a large bowl or measuring cup with hot, but not boiling, water. You don’t want soft-boiled eggs, just warmer ones. Place the eggs gently in the water. By the time the oven is preheated and all the other ingredients are measured out and ready to go, they will be warm enough to use.
- Milk: Pour the milk into a microwave safe measuring cup and heat it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, and using your finger to determine the temperature. You don’t want it hot, just warmer than it was in your refrigerator.
Measure out the dry ingredients, set aside, and grease the muffin cups or spray well with cooking oil. Don’t skimp on the this step – popovers really have a tendency to stick to the pan. Or at least, they tend to stick to my pan. Maybe it’s time I upgrade to a really, truly nonstick muffin tin. But I digress…
I spray six cups to start with, then spray more once I get an idea of how many I’ll actually use.
Whisk just until smooth. Do NOT over mix. Why? Simple math: liquid + flour = gluten. Gluten holds baked goods together, but too much gluten makes them tough. The more you mix the batter, the more gluten will form, and the more likely your popovers will be tough and won’t “pop” up. Blech.
Lift the whisk out of the batter. If it has big lumps, keep whisking. When the batter is mostly lump free, stop whisking.
Pour batter into muffin cups, half or two-thirds full. Decide now if you want smaller popovers, but more of them (fill cups half full); or larger popovers, but fewer of them (fill cups two-thirds full). Whatever you decide, make sure all the cups are filled the same amount.
Place the filled muffin tin in the oven, on a rack in the middle position, and bake for 25 minutes at 450 F. Do not open the oven during this time. Peek through the window, if you must, or just trust that the popover magic is really happening, and just wait.
After 25 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350 F. Continue baking at 350 F for 10-20 minutes until deep golden brown. It’s okay to peek once in a while now, to check the color.
Sometimes you get some really funny-shaped ones.
Remove from the pan right away and serve hot. Enjoy!