They Puffed

It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket season again.  Just like every year at this time, I am up to my eyeballs in coordinating this holiday charity project that provides the groceries that will make holiday dinners for needy families in my neighborhood, and Christmas presents for the children, too.  We helped 52 families at Thanksgiving.  And now we’re headed straight toward Christmas Basket delivery day like a runaway freight train with boxcars full of presents and turkeys and produce and volunteers and spreadsheets and…

You know that thing that happens when you have been working on something really difficult and time consuming and a deadline is looming, and you decide that you absolutely MUST clean the entire house from top to bottom, knit a sweater, and reorganize your spice cupboard?  Or in my remote past, assemble an entire Victorian dollhouse from a kit, when what I really needed to be doing was to finish my research so I could actually graduate from grad school.  I think you know what I’m talking about.

Well, something of that sort came over me a few weeks ago.  Out of the blue, I decided that it was time to master the art of the popover.  I have gone on record as saying that I’m not much of a baker.  And yet, it suddenly seemed of the utmost importance to not only make baked goods, but fussy, tricky baked goods of the sort that lead people to leave despairing pleas for advice in online forums.  I found a few recipes that looked good and promised to produce popovers that would reliably puff up into light, airy pastries.  I foolishly–if predictably—ruined the first batch by substituting cream for milk because I had cream and it sounded good.  I forced myself to comply with the next recipe, and still produced hockey pucks.

Then Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce came from the library.  I have heard many awed and reverent reviews of this book, and eagerly looked forward to seeing for myself.  I was leafing through the pages, reading bits here and there, admiring the beautiful pictures, when it occurred to me to look for a popover recipe.  There was indeed a recipe, one that looked wonderful and included helpful suggestions.  The recipe called for Boyce’s Multigrain Flour Mix, so I flipped to that page and saw that I already had three of the five flours, but a trip to the co-op would be needed for the other two.   Not that I minded more distractions from the Christmas Baskets!  Off to the co-op!

The Multigrain Flour Mix makes 4 cups, quite a bit more than is needed for the popovers.  I put the rest in the freezer, and I expect it will be perfect for making whole grain bread in the bread machine, or in muffins.

The popovers were ridiculously easy to make–a little bit like German Pancakes, but on a much smaller scale.  Just mix, pour into heavily buttered muffin cups, and bake.  And they puffed!  Oh, how gloriously they puffed.  They came out of the oven golden brown and as fluffy as cumulus clouds.

When pulled open, the popovers were hollow.  The outsides were crusty, and the insides a bit creamy.  More butter was hardly needed, but I slathered it on anyway, and a touch of blackberry jam.  Delicious.

These popovers are at their best fresh from the oven.  They would make an ideal Christmas morning breakfast, with a cup of coffee or cocoa after the presents and stockings have been opened.  And they are still quite edible if rewarmed in the oven later in the day, but will lose their light freshness quickly, so eat them all on day one.  That shouldn’t be too onerous of a task.

Multigrain Flour Mix

(from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup barley flour
  • ½ cup millet flour
  • ½ cup rye flour

Measure all the flours into a bowl and whisk together

Popovers

(slightly adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce)

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup Multigrain Flour Mix
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the muffin tins (unbuttered) in the oven to heat up.
  2. Measure the eggs, milk, flours, and salt into a bowl.  Measure half of the melted butter (2 tbsp) over the ingredients in the bowl.
  3. Using a hand mixer, mix the popover batter until combined, about 20 seconds.  Remove the muffin tins from the oven and brush every other cup liberally with butter.  Working quickly, fill each of the buttered cups three-quarters full with batter.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.  Then, rotate the tins and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake for 8-10 minutes more, or until golden brown.
  5. Take the tins from the oven, slide a sharp knife around the popovers to remove, and eat immediately.  Turn the oven temperature back up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and repeat with the remaining batter.

Makes one dozen popovers.


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7 thoughts on “They Puffed

  1. Cristina

    Mmmm. Outside crusty and inside creamy…these sound heavenly! I’m going to have popovers on the brain now. I’ve never had a popover – they look so elegant and the texture sounds so inviting. I must try them.

    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones! :)

    Reply
  2. Stella

    Hey Rowdy! Your second batch of popovers look really wonderful. That is a feat, as they are a very finicky baked good. The weather has a lot to do with how they puff or don’t puff too, etc. Though cream could definitely hinder the puffing. I would have done the same thing if I had some cream. It does sound good and one never knows. It might have worked;-)
    Either way, these look like a wicked awesome breakfast!

    Reply
  3. Monet

    Oh my. I want to make these right now. I’ve always been too intimidated to try these. I am going to have to try to check that book out from the library…I’m all about using tried and true recipes! Thank you for sharing with me..and I loved hearing about all the charity work you have been doing. Keep it up! I hope you have a relaxing Sunday.

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Monet, I have to laugh at the idea of you being intimidated by any baking project! But if I can make popovers, truly anyone can.

      Reply
  4. Victoria

    Man, these look good. You’re right, these would be perfect on Christmas morning with my latte. What time would you need to arrive at our house so they are ready by, say, 8:30?

    Reply

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