Friday, July 4, 2008

Giant Popovers with Strawberry Butter

My mother-in-law has been nostalgic for her mom's popovers lately, so I broke out the popover pan for the first time in twelve years. I remember the approximate date because the circumstances were, um... memorable, involving a batch of popovers and a raucous band of hungry Buddhist monks (don't ask!)
Anyway, the first batch for Gloria turned out dreamy. I was pretty thrilled.
There are many different camps of opinion when it comes to popover methodology, and bakers get so shrill and pushy when the topic comes up, that I probably wouldn't be able to do the debate justice in just a few words: cold oven, hot oven, etc, etc. As a result of all the wildly differing opinions, I actually have no idea what the science of the dish actually demands; but since this particular method worked so well for me, I'm going to record it.
The strawberry butter couldn't have been simpler (sweet butter whipped with some pureed fresh strawberries and a dollop of honey), and it pushes the flavors completely over the top. This recipe is designed for the Chicago brand 4 cup popover pan

1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 even pieces
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Oil or spray popover pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set rack in middle of oven. Preheat popover pan in oven for 2 minutes. Blend flour, salt, eggs, milk and melted butter until mixture is the consistency of heavy cream, about 1 to 2 minutes. (A hand mixer is great for this.) The batter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, but the batter must be at room temperature before baking.

Place 1 small piece of butter in each cup, and return pan to heated oven for one minute.
Fill each cup half full with batter and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking for 20 minutes.
Serve HOT. Popovers are best straight from the oven.
Makes 4 giant popovers

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