I have fond memories of my Mom’s popovers on weekend mornings–the aroma of the batter while it was baking was enough to get us kids out of bed. I remember the first time my Mom made them; we had never heard of popovers before, but she found a recipe for them in an old home magazine (maybe from the 50s?) and decided to try it out. I remember the funny shapes they made when they “popped-over” the containers in which they were baked. Despite how odd they looked, they tasted delicious with a little butter and maple syrup, and quickly became a weekend staple in our house. I’m sure my mom loved how easy they are to make, just mix the ingredients in one bowl and pop them in the oven to cook.
While popovers make a great addition to a weekend brunch, they are also a great little snack to have, if you can wait the 40 minutes they take to bake. But in my opinion, they are worth the time, especially since they require so few ingredients…The recipe I used for this batch consisted of: 1 cup of flour (you can substitute up to 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour), 1 cup of milk at room temperature, 2 eggs at room temp., 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Gently whisk the ingredients together (be careful not to over-beat the batter), and pour into greased ramekins–only half full. Some recipes recommend special pop-over pans, which look like muffin tins but are narrower and deeper to allow for a greater rise/pop-over. I don’t have one (and am not sure that I’d ever buy one since I don’t tend to like single-use kitchen tools), and I find that the ramekins do the job. Bake popovers in a 400˚F oven for 40 minutes. No peeking or opening the oven during that time! If you open the oven, the heat and steam will escape, causing the popovers to fall.
I’ve seen a lot of variations in popover recipes, from the amounts of each ingredient to the techniques. For instance, I’ve seen recipes that call for pre-heating the ramekins for a few minutes in the hot oven, as the heat will help create the steam necessary for the popovers to rise. Since popovers require so few ingredients, you can test out variations by making a few batches at once and comparing the results until you are happy with the result.