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Friday, May 20, 2011

Popovers!

One of the items on my “Baking To Do” list this year is popovers.  A popover-loving friend came over this past weekend to help me make them.  I had recently ordered this popover pan and was excited to use it! 

I don’t know if you’ve been to Flour in the South End, but if you haven’t then you need to go.  Their entire menu is great, and I’ve yet to try something I don’t like!  So when I found this recipe for Joanne Chang’s brown sugar popovers, I knew I had to try it!

I was a bit nervous about these, as I once tried making a soufflé and it was a deflated disaster.  So, I was a bit touchy about trying something else that involved me being patient and not opening the oven door to check on progress!

The recipe itself is fairly straightforward.  I got out all my ingredients – the butter needs to be melted and cooled to room temperature, and the milk needs to be at room temperature as well.

I didn’t take many pictures as we were concentrating on not messing up the recipe!  In a small bowl we whisked together flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside.  In a separate, larger bowl we whisked together the milk, eggs and butter.

We then gradually added the flour mixture to the milk mixture until just combined.  My arm was tired!

We poured the batter into the popover pan (you can also use a large muffin pan), put into the oven and waited.  Halfway through, I turned the temperature down to 350.

I took these out after 40 minutes and they were puffy!  And even better, they didn’t deflate!

They were nice and airy inside as well.  We tried one with salted butter, and another brushed with melted  butter and dipped in brown sugar.  I preferred them with the extra sugar, of course!

Overall, I was pleased with my first attempt at popovers.  Next time I think I’d bake them for another 8-10 minutes as they were slightly doughy on the bottom.  I look forward to experimenting with more types of popovers in the future!

Brown Sugar Popovers (directly from Boston Magazine) 

2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ c. plus 2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 c. milk, at room temperature
4 eggs
¼ c. (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

·         Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a popover pan or standard muffin tin, and place it in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until it is hot.
·         In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
·         In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk (make sure it is at room temperature, or the butter will form lumps), eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
·         Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the milk-egg mixture until thoroughly combined. The batter will be loose and liquidy and not completely smooth.
·         Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the cups, filling the cups to the rim.
·         Bake for 20 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake for another 40 minutes, or until the popovers are completely browned and pouffy. Don’t open the oven door to look at the popovers until at least 40 minutes into baking. You want them to be golden brown all over and tall; if you open the oven door too soon, they will deflate once they are out of the oven.
·         Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
·         Place the cup brown sugar in a small bowl. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter on the tops of the popovers, and then remove the popovers from the pan. One at a time, toss them in the brown sugar, coating each popover completely. Serve immediately if possible (they are best when eaten warm) or within 2 to 3 hours.

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