Going-for-the-guarantee popovers

I don’t know the secret to never-fail popovers. Do you?

If so—if you’re happy with your popovers—read no further. Who am I to mess with your good thing? If you can reliably produce towering, golden, buttery popovers, leaking steam from their eggy (but mostly naked) interior, then you don’t need any help from King Arthur.

But if your popovers are more akin to a wet sponge—you know, squishy and sodden—or if they capriciously blow up like a balloon one day, and lie sullenly in their pan the next—then read on.

I used to have a “never-fail” popover recipe that made pretty good popovers. These weren’t the overblown, softball-sized beauties you get in fancy steakhouses, but they also didn’t require a special popover pan, and they popped reliably.

One problem: they started out in a cold oven. Which was fine when I had my old cast- iron Garland gas range. But many modern ovens preheat by getting the upper element white-hot, which effectively scorches anything sitting beneath them. I learned the hard way not to start anything in my cold electric oven here at King Arthur, courtesy of a delightful ebony-crusted loaf of oatmeal bread.

So, back to square one. I needed a new never-fail popover recipe. So, how hard could it be? Flour, milk, salt, eggs, and butter. Mix ’em up, bake… POP. Or not.

First, I tried the old reliable “whirl ingredients in a blender” method. Which resulted in the aforementioned sodden, heavy, doughy blobs. Then I thought, Ah-HA! I’ll combine cream puff methodology with popover ingredients: cook the flour and butter together, then add the eggs, then milk at the end to make a liquid batter. Well… better than the blender; still lumpish.

img_8367.JPG

Left to right: blender method; whisk by hand (middle front); cream puff method.

Next, I figured I’d go back to the good old days and beat the ingredients by hand, with a wire whisk. Wouldn’t you know, that method yielded gloriously tall popovers—so long as I whisked the batter to just the right consistency. Completely smooth? No. Big lumps? No. Small lumps? Popovers with POP.

Finally, thinking to simplify my lazy life just a tad, I beat the ingredients in my KitchenAid stand mixer. OK; better than the first two methods. But “OK” is a long way from “WOW!” Whisking by hand was the clear winner.

The challenge is, I’m trying to make this a King Arthur Guaranteed recipe. You know, one of those recipes where we promise you a $5 gift card if it doesn’t turn out. So I have to be sure these popovers earn their guarantee by being as reliably poppable as possible. And, like a just-licensed teenager you send out the door with your car keys, I’m not feeling 100% comfortable… yet.

And that’s where you come in, dear reader. I think this recipe makes very good popovers. And I’d love your input. Once you make these, please post your comments here and/or review the recipe online. Let me know if your popovers popped. And how they tasted, too. I’ll weigh your comments and see just how close these popovers are to becoming a member of the King Arthur Guaranteed club. OK? Let’s get started.

img_8851.JPG

First task: Before you do anything else, preheat your oven to 450°F. The oven MUST be hot enough when you put the popovers in. Once you’ve turned that dial, whisk together the milk, eggs, and salt. This is a good start, but don’t stop here.

img_8852.JPG

Keep whisking till the mixture is evenly yellow all over.

img_8853.JPG

Add the flour all at once.

img_0020.JPG

Whisk till all the big lumps disappear; smaller lumps are OK.

img_8859.JPG

Whisk in the butter, and let the batter rest for 15 minutes.

img_0025.JPG

After 15 minutes, the little lumps will have risen to the top.

img_0026.JPG

Give the batter a few more good licks with the whisk to recombine.

img_0024.JPG

Grease a standard muffin tin. By standard, I mean one whose cups are close to 2 1/2” wide and 1 1/2” deep. If you use a pan with smaller wells, you can fill them a bit fuller, but don’t fill them all the way to the rim. And be sure to grease not only the cups, but the surface around them as well. The popovers are going to balloon up and over the edges of the wells.

img_0028.JPG

Fill the cups about 2/3 to 3/4 full.

img_8870.JPG

Put the pan in the oven, on a lower rack. Your goal is popovers whose tops come about midway up the oven. If you put the pan on an upper or even middle rack, the tops will be too close to the upper element, and they’ll scorch. Shut the oven door, and bake the popovers for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re a deep, golden brown. If you can leave them in for the full 20 minutes, they have a better chance of holding their structure and not deflating as they start to cool. I opened the oven door to take this picture towards the end of the baking time. But leave the door shut, tempting as it is to peek inside, until very close to the end.

img_8459.JPG

Remove the popovers from the oven. They’ll settle a bit; expect this to happen and you won’t be disappointed.

img_0044.JPG

Look at that beautifully moist, eggy (and empty!) interior.

img_0035.JPG

Here’s a trick you can use for more evenly shaped popovers. Bake just six in a 12-cup muffin pan, spacing them out so they’re able to expand without touching one another.

img_0038.JPG

Here’s the result: rounder, puffier popovers.

P.S. My fellow blogger, Susan, is on her honeymoon out West right now, but she read this post and sent me a response, as follows:

On the popovers, did you try mixing the milk and flour into a slurry, then adding the rest of the ingredients? That would eliminate the lumps and hydrate the flour a little more effectively; it might be good for an infinitesimal increase in popover height if you had a spectrometer to measure it with ;-).

“The reason none of your preferred mechanized whirliness is doing the job is that the gluten is getting torn up even as it’s formed by the action of the blade, methinks.”

Ah, bakers’ minds are always at work… even during a honeymoon! Thanks, Susan. Readers, see how it works with Susan’s advice about the flour and milk, if you like. Bet it helps.

Later — Tried the flour/milk slurry. As Susan said, maybe if I had a spectrometer… But to the naked eye, no difference than the other method. Ah well, worth a try.

Later still —  After Matt educated me in popover chemistry (scroll down to see his comment below), I changed my method: room-temperature ingredients, and no wait before baking. The result: high-rising, light popovers. So either method will work. The online recipe reflects this most recent version.

Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Popovers.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Jordan Pond House, Seal Harbor, Maine, single popover, $2.75

Bake at home: Single popover, 14¢

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Twyla

    I would love to try this recipe out for you. However, I have a gas stove. The pilot/heat element is on the bottom. Any tips for adjusting for my oven.

    Twyla, put the popover or muffin pan on a cookie sheet, to insulate the bottoms a bit. then put them on the middle rack, not lower rack. Should work out fine. PJH

    Reply
  2. Dawn of Dawn's Recipes

    I’m up for the challenge! Popovers are my Achilles heel. Sometimes they’re gorgeous! Other times…not so much. I keep telling my dad I’ll practice (he’s always requesting them) but then I don’t . So I’m going to try your soon-to-be-guaranteed (see how confident I am?) method. BUT…I’m going to use my popover pan instead of a muffin pan (I’m also stubborn). Why? Because I need to justify spending money on a one-use kitchen item. :) I’ll try to do it Sunday (depends if I’m feeling up to it after a procedure I’m having done on Saturday). I’ll let you know how it turns out! And sorry for all the parentheses.

    Reply
  3. kate

    will try this way. Just made some from old Joy of cooking with my OLD gas range, preheated oven, everything- but different recipe- they say to add eggs last, and I used Kitchen Aid mixer- they fell-plop- when they came out. Will try yours and let you know

    Reply
  4. Jeri Hurd

    Sounds great. We’re having lentil soup for dinner tonight. These would go well with that. I’ll let you knwo what happens

    Reply
  5. Scott

    I make popovers at least once a week with almost this exact same Recipe. For a breakfeast treat, try putting some crumbled bacon in the bottom of eahc cup before you pour in the batter. Then top popover with a teaspoon of cheddar cheese jsut before baking. That’s my favorite variation.

    Reply
  6. John

    Any inconsistencies with my popovers had to do with batter temperature. Try this: Make sure the eggs are at room temperature. Warm them up in hot water for 5 minutes if taken directly from the refrigerator. Warm the milk up in a pan or microwave before making the batter. Finally, preheat your greased muffin tin/popover pan in the oven before pouring in the batter. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  7. Lenore

    I’m excited to try this. Although I’m able to make lots of items that others consider difficult, I just CANNOT master popovers. It has become a joke in my family: baklava – no problem, Thanksgiving dinner – done, home-made marshmellows – figured that out. Popovers with a total of 5 ingredients – nearly impossible. I’ll report back after this weekend. LRD

    Reply
  8. lemonfair

    I haven’t made these yet, but I’ve never had trouble getting wonderfully puffy popovers. (A tsp of herbs de provence is a wonderful addition)

    I’ve always preheated the pan, with buttered cups (the butter runs down and pools in the bottom of the cup, but the batter will push it back up the sides again.)

    The best results were with the old cast iron popover pan I had, which I could get really hot. I don’t let the muffin pan get as hot in the oven, preheating the pan for maybe 5 minutes after the oven has preheated.

    I’ve never buttered the pan. I’d rather have a little popover sticking than deal with cooked on oil glaze, as on your pan.

    Harold McGee has a wonderful article today in the NYTimes about why butter – rather than oil or clarified butter – keeps things from sticking.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/08curi.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin

    Reply
  9. Mike T.

    Yum! I just pulled them out of the oven. I’m going to use them to break my fast (Yom Kippur) tonight. They look GREAT, smell AWESOME and are nice and solid. I baked them using convection to get a crispier exterior. Nicely browned, but not over done. I’ll let you know…

    Yeah Mike! First in line with the results. Glad to hear they turned out for you. Have a good break-fast… PJH

    Reply
  10. Grace

    My question was going to be one of convection oven temp. Would you keep it the same (450) or drop the temp down (425)? Also the second lower temp, from 350 to 325? What do you think?

    Grace, from what I know about convection ovens (very little), I’d say drop the temp. down… PJH

    Reply
  11. Barbara P

    Delicious. Gorgeous. Absolutely perfect. I’ve never made popovers before, either–yorkshire pudding, yes, but not popovers. WE fought over the last ones. My kids helped make them, and are confident they can make them on their own. Did I mention the kids in question are 10 and 12? They don’t understand the big deal, of course. They’re insisting on having them at least twice a week now. Fine by me, since the deal is they’re cooking!

    Reply
  12. Kimberly

    Are they really hard to make? I have never made them before. I am more of muffin or biscuit making person. And I have a gas oven that runs about 25 degrees higher than you set it. Should I try it since I have that problem with my oven? I have an oven thermometer so I can adjust the heat.

    Kimberly, set your oven at 425°F and have at it. NO, they’re not hard to make – they’re exceedingly easy to put together and bake… you’re just never sure if they’re going to pop. Thus my request that people make these and report back. I’m hoping to find as foolproof a recipe as possible, and I’m hoping this is it, so give it a go and let us know – thanks. PJH

    Reply
  13. Mike T.

    UPDATE:

    Everyone loved them! Wonderful texture, good flavor, light top crispy top, nice soft texture inside. My sister-in-law had me pull up the recipe on my iPhone and email her the link. She is going to be making them for my brother cuz he loved them too. I made 12 and came away with 3, well, 3 were left, my mom took one, brother took one and a friend took the last one.

    YEE-HAW! Score one for the Guarantee… – PJH

    Reply
  14. amy

    They look so good, and I’m planning to try them soon, but I do have one question. The article says hand whisking is the best way to mix the batter, but the recipe specifies a combination of hand whisking and stand mixer whisking in step 4. Which way should I mix the batter?

    I love that the recipe is so specific with the stand mixer directions (10 seconds on speed 2, scrape, then 10 more seconds on speed 2) because I never know how to translate “medium” to my KA mixer.

    Amy, it’s either/or – whisk OR stand mixer. Just go easy with the stand mixer; a few lumps are OK, you don’t want to beat the batter too much. Have fun! PJH

    Reply
  15. Denise

    These look so yummy!! I’ve always been wary of making them but after seeing them here I can’t wait to give it a try. I have a question though about muffin pans. I have 2 sets of muffin pans, one is a 12 cup darker aluminum non-stick pan and the other is a set of 2 – 6 cup insulated pans. I normally make my muffins, cupcakes, etc… in the insulated pans but wasn’t sure what to use in this situation. If you bake in the darker aluminum pan these may turn out too dark . But I am not certain how an insulated pan would work. Joan at baker’s hot line

    I think the darker pans would be better. Insulation might prevent the popovers from getting sufficient heat, which is what makes them pop. Put the darker pan on a cookie sheet to help insulate the popovers’ bottoms. – PJH

    Reply
  16. Beth

    I just got a convection oven, so I’d like to know what tips Mike T. can give me regarding temperature, timing, etc. Hope he is reading this. Thanks, PJ, for all these great recipes – popovers have been an Achilles heel for me too (like a previous reader wrote). I look forward to these blogs so much. (P.S. Cows are doing great).

    Reply
  17. Paula

    I have the mini-popover pans (probably Chicago Metallic) – 12 cups to a “rack”. What would the baking time be for these smaller popovers?

    Bake the mini-popovers in the 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350, without opening the door, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown. Happy Baking! Molly at KAF

    Reply
  18. Joydell Roncke

    Hello, I thought popover batter was always put in a hot(preheated pan). They turned out well years ago. Is this a new, up-dated method? Thanks, Joydell

    Just trying to make it as simple as possible, Joydell. You can certainly preheat the pan- PJH

    Reply
  19. RJ

    What….no popover pan!?!? You have just answered my question about whether such a pan is really needed. Can’t wait to try these!!! Love the blog! Keep up the great work!! :-)

    Popover pan definitely makes taller, more impressive-looking popovers, for sure. But they’re cool (hot?) in a muffin pan, too. Have fun -PJH

    Reply
  20. Susan D

    I made these with great success. I’d never made popovers before and am happy with such a good result on my first try. My daughter bit into one, stared at the empty interior, and told me I had failed somehow. Now that she understands what a popover really is, she declared the recipe “a keeper”. This recipe will be a good substitute for yeast rolls when I didn’t plan ahead.

    Thanks for the feedback Susan. We laugh here and say that the empty space inside is meant to be filled with butter and jam!
    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  21. Emily

    I made the popovers today (my first time too). I used gas oven, with the trays on the lower rack. I used cold eggs with cold milk. The popovers were done in 5 minutes at 350 instead of 10-15 mins. I didn’t have enough muffin trays, so I have mixed sizes trays in the oven. The popovers with smaller muffin tray were darker than the bigger ones (obviously), but they all pop … delicious! I’m thinking of eating this with turkey on Thanksgiving instead of corn muffin.

    Congratulations on the success Emily! Ovens definitely vary, so do use your best judgement about doneness. The times are just a rough guideline.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  22. Carol S

    Made these popovers this morning after not using my popover pan for years. They were beautiful and delicious – my hubby and I ate them all up for breakfast. The interior was almost like a light souffle. Thanks for the blogs and the recipes with both volumes and weights!

    Thanks Carol,
    Glad to hear that they are working so well. Hope you check out the other Guaranteed recipes as well. I love the chocolate cream pie, and the brownies.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  23. Kathleen

    I haven’t made popovers for a long time and these were fun to make and turned out well. My husband devoured half of them during dinner, and they are a little lower in carbs than dinner rolls.

    I think that the recipe needs to be rewritten to be clearer. Direction 2 is confusing; I had to check the photos to see if I was supposed to whisk by hand and then by mixer. Direction 11 is also confusing. What 30 minutes? Oh, the 20 minutes plus 10 minutes. It might be better to write “at the end of the baking time.” Also, I like to know the weight of the flour.

    I wouldn’t be so critical, but you asked for serious comments. I love reading this blog.

    Hi Kathleen,
    You betcha we asked for serious comments and we appreciate the feedback. As to flour weight, we use 4.25 ounces as our standard weight per 1 cup of flour.
    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  24. Michelle

    Oh my I am going to make these the next dinner party I have because we totally love popovers. Also our absolute favorite place to get them is at the Jordan Pond House…which is always one of the first things on our to do list when we visit Acadia.

    Reply
  25. LeAnne

    I made these popovers this morning for breakfast. They were big, beautiful and golden brown. I made them in a stoneware muffin pan with cups slightly larger than the metal pan, so the recipe yielded 11 popovers. I measured the ingredients by weight on my scale, used the whisk method and let the eggs and milk warm up a bit before putting the ingredients together. I also preheated my muffin pan for several minutes before brushing with melted butter and adding the batter. I have never made popovers before, due to the fact that it never occurred to me to use a muffin pan instead of a popover pan. As with all King Arthur Flour Guaranteed recipes, this one is a winner! I hope it makes the cut!

    Reply
  26. Vanessa

    OK, so I halved the recipe, used a popover pan and cooked them in a convection oven – and all but one of them popped. When you make that many changes and it still works, you know you’ve got a good recipe.

    I’m guessing that popover pans hold more than muffin pans do, as I didn’t have quite as much batter as I’d have liked. The one popover that didn’t pop was the one where I’d scraped every last bit out of the bowl into it. It had the same amount of batter as the others, but the stuff at the bottom of the bowl was a bit more sludgy than the rest of it. That could certainly be the reason, it didn’t get beaten quite as much as the rest of the batter. Mary @ King Arthur

    Reply
  27. Darby

    PJH Thank you for answering Twyla’s question on the top comment as that has always been my problem. I have never had success at popovers. I can’t wait to try that solution! Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Jonathan S

    I made these this morning for a small brunch. I halved the recipe to make 6 popovers and they all puffed beautifully and were delicious. I have a gas range so I followed one of the other comments which was to put them on the middle rack and put the muffin tin on top of a baking sheet. Everything came out great and this will definitely be made again soon. I think this should definitely be a “guarantee” popover.

    Reply
  29. Judy K.

    I made these and was very pleased with the result!. It was an absolutely simple recipe and they all popped like crazy! I could actually see them rising through the window of my oven. I whisked by hand, added the milk and flour first as suggested at the end of the post. It barely took any effort to mix the ingredients together. Mine got golden brown a bit sooner than written, but since was watching them, it was no big deal. I had a little trouble getting them out of the pan at the end. I had used a non-stick oil spray. Next time I will use a spray with flour too I think. Any other suggestions for the sticking problem?
    They stayed really puffed even after cooling down. My family and guests loved them.

    Reply
  30. Lenore

    Reporting back…baked these yesterday to go with our prime rib roast (half price this week at the local market). First, they did POP! The ones in the middle of the pan deflated once they came out of the oven. My issue is that the part inside the muffin cup (on the bottom) got nearly burnt and completely stuck to the pan. The tops were also very dark. I used a light colored metal baking pan and sprayed really well with Pam. The oven was fully pre-heated since I’d cooked the roast and I know the temp is accurate via a second thermometer.

    In normal baking, I would pull them out as they got toasty brown. However, I know the structure needs to firm up (which some did not). Maybe I need to lower the oven temp slightly? I also need to figure out how to make them not stick.

    Hubby and I enjoyed the tasty top parts and the pups finished off the burnt bottoms. I’ll try it again….

    I wouldn’t lower the temperature of the oven but instead turn down the heat after 15 minutes and follow the recipe from there. Molly, KAF Baker

    Reply
  31. Debby Hanley

    Wow! Impressive! That’s what I said when I finally got to open the oven and take a peek.
    It just so happened that I got a gift certificate to the Peppercorn in Boulder and used it to purchase a popover pan having never made popovers or even eaten them. Then here is your blog for popovers! The very next day I followed your recipe to a T – a huge success.
    I’m your Colorado fan and always check to see if altitude affects the end result, but these turned out wonderfully. I could have left them in the oven for the full 15″ at 350 degrees, but was too excited for a taste that they came out after the 10″. I used the whisk, not the electric mixer. No problems with small lumps of flour, just left them as you did. I used shortening to grease the pan so they just fell out after baking.
    A million thanks for your blog; it is a great pleasure to read.

    Reply
  32. Lenore

    thanks for the ideas. I’ll try shortening instead of PAM and adjust the timing. Even with my challenges, this is the most success I’ve had w/ popovers, after years of trying. Love this blog!

    Reply
  33. AMIRA

    One of the simplest recipes – and so wholsome. I made them for dinner an hour ago to go with mushroom soup that simmered while they PUFFED in the oven to my amazment and full satisfaction- crispy on the outside empty inside. My daughter said they taste like Challa french toast. We dipped them in the soup, and for desert filled them with homemade jam.
    I made a few changes – in the order of mixing: warmed the milk and melted the butter in it, let it cool a little, poured it over the flour and salt, and with a few strikes of the whisk it was all smooth with no lumps at all. Then I added the eggs, one at a time, whisked just to amalgamize everything together. No need to wait – straight to the oven.
    I saved a couple from my family – hidden away to be tested later. so far they didn’t collapse.

    Thank you for your blog and recipes – every week I try something – no disapointment so far and I love the “lazy less work better taste” approach in the kitchen.

    Thanks, Amira – I’ll try your method and see if it makes the popovers even easier – PJH

    Reply
  34. Barbara

    I have a question – we will spend Thanksgiving at the cabin, since it is in the middle of deer season, and I have a wood cookstove there.
    Any suggestions for doing them in that oven, since I can’t hold an exact temperature for x minutes, then turn the thermostat down to x temperature for another x minutes?
    My thought is that these were originally cooked in a woodstove oven, and that the lower temperature for finishing is because the fire was going down.
    Anybody out there have experience with a woodstove oven?
    Thanks!!

    Barbara, I’ve baked in a woodstove oven, but never popovers. Hmmm… I think put them in the hottest part of the oven, then move them to the less-hot part once they’ve popped? Or maybe your oven doesn’t have a less-hot part? Maybe just around 400°F if you can, for the whole time. Interesting experiment, anyway; and even if they don’t pop, they’ll still taste great. PJH

    Reply
  35. Ingrid

    For years I made pop overs in pie pans; until I finally got popover pans. (Never thought about muffin pans.) I finally discovered after many years of sometimes they puffed way up and sometimes not; the most important thing is that all ingredients are at room temperature: eggs, milk & butter.

    I have two popover pans that I use at the same time. I place each one on a cookie sheet and put them in my convection oven on separate racks; leaving enough space between them for “popping.”

    I too always heat the pans with a pat of butter in the bottom, which melts, and rises up the sides with the popovers. This adds a nice buttery taste so there is no need for butter inside. We enjoy ours with freezer jam; peach and peach/blackberry are our favorites but raspberry & strawberry are great too.

    I have always mixed the batter in my blender; the only trouble I have ever had is that I make two batches at once which fills right up to the top of the blender and sometimes gets a little messy. I am curious to try your recipe and directions but I will mix it in my KA mixer. Hand whisking for me is only when absolutely necessary. I enjoy watching my “toys” do the mixing.

    Here’s a test that I will do with your recipe: I always make my popovers with “Fat Free” milk because we don’t need the extra fat and calories, so that is what I will be using to make your recipe. I have never had anything but rave reviews using the fat free milk.

    I was going to go to bed early tonight but the message on today’s email took me to the blog site and here I am…”sleepless in Seattle”

    Reply
  36. Marian

    Popovers are a great treat and can be tricky to bake at home. I can’t wait to try all you tips, but I had to write to tell you that those Jordan Pond popovers always taste better. I think it has something to do with the view of the pristine pond and the mountains. It’s definitely worth the extra $2.61 to be sitting enjoying hot popovers, strawberry jam and tea at the picnic tables at the Jordan Pond House. I always bake popovers the rest of the year at home in PA, to remind us of happy summers visits to Acadia and Maine. Thanks for all your great recipes!

    Marian, as the MasterCard ads say – some things are priceless. And the Jordan Pond experience is one of them. I lived 14 years in Maine, and enjoying their popovers on the green lawn rolling down to the pond was a definite highlight- PJH

    Reply
  37. Mary Ellen

    I made these last night. Followed the recipe, but I did let the eggs and milk come to room temp before starting. I whisked by hand, not machine. I used a nonstick muffin pan and greased it lightly with canola oil.
    I actually had a bit of batter left after filling all the cups.
    They puffed up beautifully, and were done 12 minutes after lowering the oven temperature. No problems with sticking, they fell right out of the pan. They also completely disappeared at an astonishing rate. They were delicious!
    I agree with someone earlier who said the instructions could be a little confusing in the recipe. It can sound like you are supposed to whisk the batter by hand and then again in the mixer, if you read it literally.
    Definitely worthy of Guaranteed Recipe status.

    Reply
  38. Jerry Craft

    Just got a chance to bake these for the first time today. They had a nice pop on them. Great recipe! Thanks! This will give us a bread for the evenings I don’t have enough time to bake bread made with yeast. Just curious, what the rising agent? Steam?

    Exactly, Jerry – steam from the very liquid batter. Glad you liked them – PJH

    Reply
  39. Jeremiah

    I’ve been itching to try these for quite a while and always thought you needed a popover pan.

    Whipped them up last night and measured out the ingredients by weight instead of volume. I also miscalculated my time and was only able to let the batter rest for 10 minutes. They came out amazing. My wife loved them I even had one for breakfast this morning :)

    Thanks!

    Reply
  40. Nancy

    This recipe is on my short list to make. One question to all of you though. In the past, my popovers have always stuck to the pan. I use a popover pan (dark metal with some kind of a non-stick surface, Chicago Metallic I think) and I spray them very well with cooking spray. Try as I might though, they always stick. I’ve pretty much stopped making them. So, do you grease the pan with vegetable shortening or butter? Hopefully this will help my popover experience.

    Cheers and thank you!
    Nancy

    Nancy, another mystery. Very occasionally mine stick like cement, and I don’t do anything different than I ever do. I use an old aluminum muffin pan, not non-stick, and spray with Everbake spray. Anyone have any ideas about this? PJH

    Reply
  41. Kathleen

    Wow. Truly, wow. These are spectacular popovers. Now that I have your photos to follow as a guide during the preparation, I’m sure my popovers will never look the same again. I can’t wait to try this – thank you so very much for the clear instructions and wow-ness!

    WOW-ness ’R’ Us, Kathleen. :) PJH

    Reply
  42. Sue

    Great popovers! Tried the recipe, but made a few adjustments. I warmed the eggs and milk as Mary Ellen did. I wipped up the ingredients by hand. You don’t really need to use a mixer. I, also, placed the pan in the oven for about 4-5 minutes prior to filling. They were beautiful! Golden, moist and delicious!

    Reply
  43. Ole Salty

    Hi. First time post.WOW what a lot of work. I Love popovers. I will give you my recipe which is ” going for the guarantee” .Comments about blender recipes I don’t believe. Seen your photo’s re different recipies but mine come out looking and tasting better than anything I see here.Pop,empty,eggy,BIG.

    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp sugar
    1 cup milk(room temp)
    2 eggs (room temp)
    1 Tbs veg oil

    Really butter 8 custard cups. Put on heavy backing sheet. Put cups in center of oven ( I use an electric) .Preheat to 450.Combine all ingredients ina blender. Mix batter until all is smooth, scraping if nessissary .When cups are up to temp, take out and IMMEDIATELY pour 2/3 full cups. IMMEDIATELY return cups to oven.Bake 20 min,Reduce heat to 350. Bake another 20-25 min or until brown.

    Key is HEAT. Can’t wait one min between oven out and back.

    EASY , and works EVERY time for 25 years.

    Richard

    OK, Richard, you’re on – soon as I can rustle up some custard cups… PJH

    Reply
  44. Kim

    My mom always uses glass custard cups for popovers. They are suitable for more uses. You just have to grease them well. Also, don’t try to “even out” the batter if you don’t dispense it equally. Somehow that does something to the batter and they won’t turn out as well.

    Reply
  45. Dawn of Dawn's Recipes

    So, I made the popovers this morning. One thing I did was let my eggs and milk come up to room temperature, which the recipe doesn’t specify. Otherwise, the melted butter solidifies when it hits the cold liquid and you have some very unappealing butter chunks settling in the bottom of your bowl. I also put on baking stone on the very bottom rack to keep the oven temp steady, and put the popovers on the rack just above that. I whisked by hand, because I’m lazy and didn’t want to clean my mixer. I used the muffin tins, since my popover pan has HUGE cups!

    They came out beautifully light and airy, and crisp on the outside. They kept their shape, even though I didn’t add the extra 5 minutes at the end. The ones in the middle didn’t rise very high, but the texture was still the same otherwise. I noticed they had a hole in the bottom, which I thought was odd…so I guess that’s where the air leaked out.

    I’m planning to make these with a Yankee pot roast tomorrow. I’ll try to find a smaller popover pan and buy it if it’s not too pricey. Maybe that will help with the ones in the middle rising. I’ll let you know if it makes a difference.

    Reply
  46. Kim

    You have a different popover recipe were you mix it all in a blender. Which one do you like better? Or should I say which one pop’s better? Sorry haven’t made them yet, sometimes I don’t try a new recipe right a way, kind of scared to try it. For if it don’t turn out right I have been known to through it away…..lol really!!

    Kim, I like the non-blender version better. Don’t be afraid – and never throw away anything. the birds are always up for a treat! – PJH

    Reply
  47. Kim

    Guess I will make them and have them with my left over “everything” but the kitchen sink veggie beef soup. I use to throw away baked goods if they didn’t turn out “perfect” but not so much anymore, guess I am older and dont care if they come out looking like the picture. Another question, I tried to make those cheesey garlic biscuits you get at Red Lobster, and just can’t seem to get them to taste as good, do you have anything like that in your magic recipe box?

    Never been to a Red Lobster, Kim- they don’t have them this far North, I guess! Glad you’re getting more accepting of “imperfect” in your “old age.” None of us is perfect; why would we expect our efforts in the kitchen to be any different? We all do the best we can, and if we can go to bed at night knowing we gave the day our best shot, then that’s good enough. PJH

    Reply
  48. Inspired

    Tried making these and, much to my surprise, they came out great! I usually don’t have ‘first time luck’. Guess that is what happens when you have such great directions. Truly inspirational! Well done.

    Super! Stick with King Arthur, maybe your luck is changing – PJH

    Reply
  49. Matt

    Although I am but an amateur food scientist, popovers interest me greatly, so let me try to apply some of my research to the problems that P.J. mentions here. I have to eat a low-sodium diet, and since bread with salt isn’t worth eating (and since removing the salt makes the yeast run crazy), I’m intensely interested in popovers, since they require no yeast or other leavening—only steam. (I can use a salt substitute for flavor, but salt substitutes don’t control yeast like salt does in yeasted bread.)

    A guy named Alton Brown is more more into food science than I am. In June, he devoted an entire episode of his TV show, Good Eats, to popovers and their cousins (yorkshire pudding, dutch baby). You can see his popover recipe here, and read a transcript of the show from this page (which also has YouTube links to video from the show).

    A couple of passages in the show jump out at me, such as this one discussing selection of flour:

    Wow, that is tough, and that would be great if we were dealing with a high-gluten dough, like you would put into a French baguette, you know? That’s not where our ingredient list is leading us today. No, today, we need the perfect mixture of both worlds. We need a flour that is strong but tender, like, say, all-purpose flour.

    Later in the same show, AB argues with “recipe writers” (RW1 and RW2) who say to let popover batter rest, and here’s the key exchange:

    RW1: You won’t get enough gluten.

    AB: I don’t want much gluten.

    RW2: Your flour won’t be hydrated.

    AB: Yes, I know that, but you know what? If I wait, I lose all of my bubbles.

    AB makes his batter in a blender for 30 seconds, using room temperature ingredients, then pours them immediately into the lubricated popover pan and puts them in a 400°F oven. The key points here are bubbles and gluten.

    With no yeast or chemical leaveners, popovers rise purely by steam. It’s what makes them “pop.” If everything goes right, then as the bazillions of microscopic air bubbles in the batter expand in the over, they eventually join and form one giant bubble that makes the popover’s hollow interior. That’s why AB uses a blender to mix the batter (the force of the blades makes lots and lots of bubbles).

    It’s also why he doesn’t let the batter rest, and that’s especially important with King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. Here’s a message from Joe Salkowitz on the Bread-Baker’s Digest mailing list in the past week (it will eventually be available here as part of digest v108n43):

    I remember going to a King Arthur presentation where they showed their flour mixed with water and another brand of flour mixed in the same proportions. The other brand looked like soup while the KA was a dough; demonstrating differences in flours.

    Most of us here know that King Arthur All-Purpose Flour (never bleached, never bromated) is 11.7% protein by weight. More protein means more gluten development. Gluten traps air bubbles as created by yeast to give bread its crumb.

    This is exactly the opposite of what you want in a popover.

    If you get too much gluten in a popover dough, you essentially have bread dough—sheets and sheets of gluten throughout the entire baked good with air bubbles trapped between them. In other words, dinner rolls. But without yeast in the mix feeding on the carbohydrates and blowing air bubbles, and doing so faster and faster in the oven until the temperature reaches 120°F, the bubbles just never get big enough to do anything. You get, basically, unrisen dinner rolls.

    This gets aggravated because, following popover lore, P.J. rests her batter for 15 minutes. That’s actually an autolyse stage—just letting hydrated flour sit for 15-20 minutes helps develop gluten. With a higher-protein flour like King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, this is going to make so much gluten that the air bubbles really get trapped between sheets of gluten in the popover pan or muffin tin. They can’t merge into one giant bubble in the oven, and the popovers don’t “pop.” One might expect that the same technique with a lower-protein flour, say about 10.5%, would probably work fine. (Good Eats is produced in Atlanta, and southern all-purpose flours are notorious for having low protein to make “softer” biscuits and baked goods. Identical-looking bags of Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour purchased in Massachusetts and Georgia will have significantly different amounts of protein. King Arthur’s all-purpose flour is always 11.7% protein, no matter where you buy it.)

    With all this on the table, let’s see if we can find the hidden trap in P.J.’s recipe. She wrote:

    Next, I figured I’d go back to the good old days and beat the ingredients by hand, with a wire whisk. Wouldn’t you know, that method yielded gloriously tall popovers—so long as I whisked the batter to just the right consistency. Completely smooth? No. Big lumps? No. Small lumps? Popovers with POP.

    Given all this information, this actually makes perfect sense. Those “small lumps” are clumps of flour that didn’t get completely separated and hydrated during mixing. Therefore, the protein in those lumps isn’t available for gluten formation, and you get less gluten. Less gluten means the bubbles in the batter have an easier time of combining.

    Why is it hit-or-miss? Because for this to work, you need to have the right distribution of the “small lumps” throughout all of the popover or muffin cups. If one or two of the cups doesn’t have enough lumps, those cups have a lot more gluten, and the popovers can’t “pop.”

    Why don’t you taste the lumps? The autolyse stage is enough to hydrate the flour, I think, but not enough to let it contribute much gluten.

    So, putting it all together:

    You want less gluten, so resting the batter is a bad idea. The only reason it works for P.J. is that she has small lumps that keep all the flour from contributing to gluten development.

    You can make a smooth batter, but you can’t rest it, because autolyse makes too much gluten. Conversely, if you do rest the batter, you can’t make it completely smooth (or you’d have to use a lower protein flour).

    Since distributing lumps in a batter among various cups is always going to be hit or miss, I don’t think that technique can be foolproof. To be foolproof, you’ll have to make a smooth batter without a lot of gluten development and bake it immediately.

    Susan’s idea that gluten is getting torn up during mechanical mixing may be correct, but it’s not relevant: you don’t want too much gluten. Gluten keeps popovers from popping. You only want enough to let the heat of the oven set the outside of the popover and support the ever-increasing bubbles inside.

    So, to make this foolproof, you need a smooth batter with room temperature ingredients that you bake immediately in a pre-heated oven (letting the batter rest not only develops gluten, but also lets some of those bubbles dissolve, inhibiting “pop”). Once you get that done, I think the amount of eggs and butter to flour (that is, where the fats come from) is a matter of taste, not of success or failure. But make a smooth batter and don’t let it rest and see how that turns out. (I wish I had the time to try all these variations, but I have to be satisfied with the chemistry part of it.)

    WHOA, thanks so much, Matt. I think I’ll try our Mellow Pastry Blend (10.3% protein) with room temperature ingredients, in a mixer with wire whisk since I don’t have a blender, and immediately into the oven. I’ll let everyone know how it goes- PJH

    Matt, I tried with the Mellow Pastry Blend, room-temperature ingredients, whisking vigorously with electric mixer, baking immediately. Lovely – the popovers rose very evenly, no tilting. I like this! Thanks- PJH

    Reply
  50. Matt

    I hope it works out, PJ! If they collapse, try mixing Mellow Pastry Blend with All-Purpose Flour, maybe half-and-half. I think even KF AP flour will do quite well with this technique, but the ones with Mellow Pastry Blend might have some advantages I’m not picturing right now. :-)

    Reply
  51. Matt

    PJ, I’m glad it works! I think all you’ll need to make it foolproof is to set a mixing time, enough to get the batter thoroughly mixed but not to whip up too much gluten. AB’s recipe calls for 30 seconds in a blender, and I’m guessing it wouldn’t be too much more than that with the power of a mixer’s whisk attachment on a medium speed. The whisk or blender gives you plenty of the air bubbles that the steam expands, but too much mechanical mixing would over-develop the gluten even in a loose batter. (Besides, I forgot to notice that the protein you need to get the stretchy rise in popovers also comes from all those eggs!)

    Room-temperature ingredients aren’t that hard — you can put eggs in a bowl of hot tap water (not any hotter) for five minutes straight out of the fridge to get them where you want, and you can microwave milk for a few seconds to get it warmed up. It doesn’t really matter if the milk is “warm” as long as it’s not “hot” enough to cook the eggs on contact, just like the melted butter. The less cold the ingredients, the faster the oven can start converting the liquid in the batter to steam for “popping” the popovers. (Cold ingredients have to come up to temperature first, and that foils the process. Hot ingredients would cook the eggs.) The benefit is that if you can get the ingredients at room temperature while the oven heats, these popovers are really like instant dinner rolls, but hollow and crispier and so much easier and faster.

    I think you can even add all the ingredients at once for easier mixing, but the KA Test Kitchen bakers would have a lot more experience on that than I would about things that could go wrong in such a method. (I’m imagining clouds of flour upon starting the mixer if someone didn’t read it carefully, and that’s not foolproof!)

    Once you have the time set the way you want it for the ingredients that produce the taste you like (I’m probably going to use fewer eggs for personal reasons), I think it’s foolproof. Is there a prize? I’m not too proud to accept a popover prize for pulling together other people’s work. :-)

    OK, I’ll make these again and time everything – thanks, Matt. And yes, you win the prize for sure, for all this research! I’ll figure out what the “prize” is ASAP. Maybe I’ll send you some popovers in the mail… nah. :) PJH

    Reply
  52. Matt

    Dang it! Forgot one thing! Many people advice piercing the top of finished popovers with a paring knife when they’re cool enough to touch to let out any remaining steam, so the interior doesn’t get gummy or soggy. If you’re not going to serve them immediately, that should be part of the recipe, so the leftovers are ready the next day to hold chicken salad (or, this week, turkey salad), breakfast yogurt, butternut squash soup, or whatever else needs a serving vessel.

    They should rewarm and recrisp directly on the rack of an oven at the same temperature you baked them for about 3 mins, but no more than 5.

    Reply
  53. Casey

    I have my grandmother’s cast iron popover pan. 10 cups, 4 oz. each. Do you have any recommendation for time and temperature? My mom used to make popovers
    in it and I have a vague recollection (I have to tromp back through at least 40 years
    to get to it) of the PAN being preheated before the batter was poured in. Does this make sense to you (or Matt)?

    Yes, Casey – preheat the pan after you’ve oiled it with some shortening (not butter) or vegetable oil, but preferably shortening. then pour the batter in. I’d guess about the same baking time – perhaps a slight bit longer. Give it a try, you’ll quickly figure it out. Have fun! PJH

    Reply
  54. April C,

    Wow! I just got an education. I’ve been making “Yorkshire Puddings” for years and never heard of a ‘popover’ before. What’s the difference? Just the use of pan drippings for the fat? I use vegetable oil so that they are vegitarian and have a bit less cholesterol. That pan is a rip off. Who’s got a kitchen or budget big enough for every single purpose item anyway. The English Expats that I got the recipe from use big wide muffin cups and they are beautiful and full. I’m looking forward to trying this with bread flour to see the difference from AP flour. I’ve always mixed a bit of whole wheat flour in for the flavor and health and now I think it may help them rise better too. I had no idea this would work without pre heating the pan, but I will continue to do so anyway. Don’t want to tempt fate. Thanks so much for all of your expertise!

    Exactly, April, the difference is the use of pan drippings in Yorkshire pudding, and the way it’s made in a full pan, rather than a muffin or popover pan PJH

    Reply
  55. Randi Rudnick

    Wow! This is amazing. I am in my kitchen now trying different ingredients. My goal is to make this wheat-free. Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions? Could I use rice or soy flour?

    Randi, you could try one of the gluten-free baking mixes you can find in specialty stores, usually a combination of rice flour and some kind of starch. I’m doubting it will work, but if nothing else it’ll make tasty, dense muffins… PJH

    Reply
  56. Randi Rudnick

    Thanks for the reply,
    I will go to the market today and check it out. I will let you know.
    I am curious though if anyone knows with regard to flour and the talk of protein and gluten what the chemical reason is for white flours working better than rice or other grain flours.

    Randi, it all has to do with gluten being able to provide structure to baked goods. A good food science book like Bakewise by Shirley Corriher or Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen will provide lots of information. ~MaryJane

    Good advice from MaryJane, Randi. Wheat flours are the only ones with a really sufficient amount of proteins (gliadin and glutenin) to form gluten, which is the stretchy substance that allows yeast dough to trap CO2 from the fermenting yeast and expand (without simply popping like a balloon). PJH

    Reply
  57. Deb Arcaro

    Hello, I had a meal problem that I though popovers might solve. Now I’ve never baked popovers before, but for years I’ve baked all my own bread and cookies using only KA flours, so I turned to KA for a recipe.
    Now the problem: I have an in-home family child care where I provide lunch each day. I had left over turkey, plenty of a good homemade gravy, and veg. odds and ends – Turkey Pot Pie. No good – my little guys don’t really like pie crusts. What could I make staying within budget of good nutritional value that they would eat. That’s when I thought popovers. I could cut them open and ladle the turkey filling into and over. I could also do a baking/science lesson.
    Our first try went really well, even with 2 – 5 year olds handling the whisk. it was fun to watch the popovers grow and when we cut them open – eyes popped.
    The lunch was a hit and really easy to make.
    I’ll be doing popovers again.
    Only note I made on my recipe card was turn the oven on first before gathering ingredients to be sure has time to get to temp. We had to wait a little, so we just kept whisking to keep those bubbles. Didn’t add the butter until oven was ready as recipe said.
    It’s Kid’s Choice cookies this afternoon.
    Thanks~

    Great use of leftovers and a science lesson to boot! Another great topping for your turkey pot pie is biscuits! Thanks for sharing your ideas. Irene at KAF

    Reply
  58. (Michael Voolich)Mike

    Both my wife and I are lactose intolerant and for the past 5 years we’ve been using whole grain flour products and buying breads only made with whole grain flours. My wife has always thought of popoevers as a comfort food. I’ve been trying to make a popover that is whole wheat and lactose free. I’ve used a variety of flours including ww pastry flour and lately KA white ww flour. I’ve been trying to use soy milk instead of milk and either canola oil or olive oil instead of butter. My proportions are 1 1/2 cups of both milk and flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp oil, and 3 eggs. I’ve been mixing them with an electric hand mixer. Following instructions that I’ve read in various online sources and make them with and w/o baking powder on the theory that they need extra leavening because of the ww flour. I’ve sifted the flour into the mixing bowl to make it fluffier. I’ve preheated the oiled pans to 425 degrees, filled them and raise the oven temp to 450 after I’ve put the batter in the pans. I baken them for 40 minutes, 20 at the higher temp and then 20 at 350 degrees. I never open the oven but watch the rising through a glass oven door. I have an electronically controlled gas oven. I have both cast iron and the new cone shaped popover pans. But no matter what I do, I can get them to rise but not to pop. There are lots of small air holes inside a very bready role, but no crispy outer shell and no big airy holes inside. My questions have to do with the roles of milk and all purpose flour in the popovers. Can one make popovers using soy milk instead of regular milk and still get them to pop. Does the ww flour keep them from popping? Any suggestions?

    Yes, Mike, the whole wheat flour keeps them from popping. I think the soy milk would be fine, though not sure about the exact composition of soy re: protein, and the structure it lends to things, as regular milk does.

    WW flour is full of sharp-edged little flecks of bran; these bran flecks cut the gluten as it forms. Gluten is a key part of the elastic web of starch/gluten/water that makes breads (including popovers) rise like a balloon. The balloon is constantly deflated by the bran. So it can rise somewhat (the little holes, the small rise in your popovers); but it won’t be able to really puff up, as it can without the presence of bran.

    Does anyone out there have any advice for Mike in his quest for a 100% whole-grain, dairy-free popover that really POPS? PJH

    Reply
  59. Arundathi

    i might be the only one for whom this recipe didn’t work – and no recipe has worked so far. small lumps, check, hand whisk, check, hot muffin pan, check, hot oven, check. popping!! yes! But when I take it out and open it, the entire thing is like bread – ie there’s no airy empty inside – just dense bread – almost like a dinner roll!! :(( what am i doing wrong? Try having your milk and eggs about 90*F. I have better luck with them popping when I do that. Also you want to make sure that you aren’t adding too much flour.This is how we suggest measuring flour. Fluff it up in the container, then using a spoon, lightly sprinkle it into your cup until it is over full. Level off with a straight edge. This keeps lots of air around each particle of flour and will keep it close in weight to a scaled cup of flour ( 4 1/4 ounces). If you scoop with your cup, your cup of flour could easily weigh about 6 ounces or more! Hope these tips help. Mary @KAF

    Reply
  60. (Michael Voolich)Mike

    An update on my progress in developing a recipe for whole wheat milk/lactose free popovers.
    After numerous tries, I’ve finally got a recipe that seems to work. The info on whole wheat flour having the sharp bran flecks led me to think that ww pastry flour would be a better solution. Mary’s comments about spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it with a straightedge to make the flour more fluffy/airy led me to think that I might have too much flour in the mix. Another comment that too much flour would turn the batter into a muffin mix led me to think that a 1 to 1 milk/soymilk to flour ratio was wrong. The comments about the protein content in soy milk confirmed the idea that it would probably work. And Voila! They really popped, in both the cast iron and in the larger cone shaped pans. The proportions are as follows:
    2 cups soy milk
    1 1/2 cups ww pastry flour
    4 eggs (left out to warm up to room temperature)
    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 tsp salt

    First spray the popover pan with a canola cooking spray(it seems to work better with high heat)
    Put the pan in the oven on a cookie sheet and bring up the temperature to 450 degrees.
    Mix the soy milk, eggs, and oil with an electric hand mixer until there are lots of bubbles.
    Add the flour using the spooning method above.
    Add the salt.
    Mix the flour into the liquid mix using the electric hand mixer on high speed, scraping the sides of the container down with a spatula after 40 seconds or so. Mix for 10-15 seconds more.
    Take hot pan out of the oven and pour batter into the cups filling them 2/3 to 3/4 full.
    Put the pan back into the oven.
    Raise the temperature to 460 degrees and cook for 25 minutes.
    Without opening the oven door lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.
    Take out of oven and eat!

    A couple of extra notes:
    My guess is that the higher temperature is important because there is less fat in the soymilk than there is in whole milk which means that more ambient heat is needed to keep the steam leavening process working. I suspect that the fat in the milk makes it retain heat longer and cool less quickly than the soymilk which has a higher water content.

    The longer cooking time is somehow related to the higher water content of the soymilk.

    For a filling/topping I make an apple/pear butter. In a ratio of one apple to one pear, I wash, core and puree them in a blender/chopper, put them in a bowl, add cinnamon (the amount depends on your taste) and chill in the refrigerator.
    Sometimes, I will chop strawberries into very small pieces, add Splenda (I am diabetic)/sugar to taste, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

    Mike, thank you SO much for this. Readers, give this a try and see how you like them – I’ll get to them as soon as I have a free moment… Again, Mike, thanks for your valuable contribution here- PJH

    Reply
  61. Alex

    I have some popover mix I want to use, but it says it expired in 2004. Can I still use it?

    Yes, considering it doesn’t have leavening that would lost its punch – smell it, and if it doesn’t smell “off,” go for it, Alex. PJH

    Reply
  62. Carolyn

    Happened on this popover blog yesterday and, since I hadn’t made popovers in quite a while, made them this morning. Started off BAD. The second egg I cracked was rotten. I mean really, really ROTTEN!!! A bit of the liquid had dripped into the milk in the bowl so everything was thrown out; the bad egg banished outdoors pending a trip out to the compost pile. Start over. Oven already heated. Warm milk in microwave, eggs in hot water. Crack eggs one at a time into small bowl. (Good practice all the time!) Popover pan in oven to preheat. (The pan isn’t cast iron but looks like it. Has 6 cups.) Made the half recipe using whisk, rather than mixer. Added butter to 4 of the pan’s cups then decided maybe I would need a fifth after I started to pour the batter so added butter to another cup. Turned out I didn’t need it and didn’t want the butter cooked down on the bottom of the cup and added some water to it. (My mother used to do that when she made muffins and the batter ran a bit short.) When the first 20 minutes of high temp baking was done I could see that the popovers were pretty brown. (I have a window in the oven door and with the interior light on, no need to open the oven.) But I turned the heat down, set the timer for about 8 minutes and then went back and peeked in. Jordan Pond House eat your heart out!!! I have made popovers many times in my 60-plus years of baking but never had them ‘pop’ so magnificently. I have just had a breakfast that will last me all day, complete with Maine wild blueberry jam (and some of my own raspberry jelly).
    The popovers were quite crispy on the outside. Could that be the result of the steam created by the water I added to the one cup? The same effect that adding water (steam) when baking artisan breads has on the crust?
    I took some pictures so if you ever get a site set up to receive them, I will forward one to you.

    HI Carolyn,
    Glad to hear that after the rocky start the popovers came out great. You are exactly right about the water/steam factor making the popovers crisp. Good detective work. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  63. Andrea

    Followed the recipe to a tee using the traditional 6 popover pan rather than a muffin pan. I may have overfilled them in an attempt to use all the batter as some batter ended up on the floor of the oven. The popovers blew up and looked amazing with their tall hats (even the funny looking ones that had spilled over looked fantastic). They became very brown 1 or 2 minutes early so I took them out of the oven fearing they would burn. Well, they totally deflated and the insides were soft and eggy. They were still delicious so all was not lost but they were flabby and too soft on the inside. Is there a recipe adjustment I can make here to fit a popover pan? Did they deflate so much because the cups were overfilled (more than 3/4 cup full) or because they were taken out early? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Andrea

    Andrea, probably they browned too fast and weren’t fully set. That’s why I recommend baking on the bottom shelf of the oven – did you do that? You can even put a top shelf in the oven with a sheet pan on top, to shield their tops so they don’t brown before they’re fully cooked through. Keep trying – even if they deflate, they’re delicious, eh? PJH

    Reply
  64. Hannah

    I am a novice baker who decided to make something different than the usual batch of chocolate chip cookies. I didnt quite know what to expect for the outcome of my popovers, but I was excited nonetheless. When I pulled them out of the oven and tried one after they had cooled they were dense, moist, and a bit sweet. They were like little waffle cupcakes. They are still good, but I was wondering what I did that made them turn out like that. If my milk or eggs were cold could that really change popovers that much? In the meantime, I will keep experimenting until i find out what happened.Cold milk and eggs can really keep popovers from popping. Try them again with those items warm about 100degrees, and see a big difference! Mary@ KAF

    Reply
  65. Sue E. Conrad

    Hi, PJ!

    Now that hubby and I are “landlubbers” once again (moved off the boat and into an apartment in December), I’ve decided that it’s time I made good use of the popover pan I purchased from KA a couple of years ago. Tried using it in the boat oven but with less-than-resounding success. Hubby has said “How about making popovers some time” on a number of occasions, so I think it’s time to get a wiggle on!!! Plan on having roast beef on Sunday, so what better time than then!!!!!

    Perfect! You could make part popovers, part Yorkshire pudding with that roast… Hope to see you up here again sometime, Sue – PJH

    Reply
  66. Audrey, Boston, MA

    This recipe is hands down the best one I’ve ever used, and I have experimented with alot of popover recipes through the years. Made a ”test batch” yesterday as I did’nt want to bomb a recipe in front of my son’s in-laws. My old recipes were all unreliable-sometimes perfect, sometimes heavy and gooey, heat the pan in the oven first, don’t heat the pan…Read through this recipe through completely noting the photos, first. Follow the easy directions and you will have absolutely perfect popovers. No expensive, snooty popover pan needed. I used a Cuisinart 12-cup muffin pan. I would bake them slightly less in the 350F phase, not more than 8-10 minutes.

    Audrey, glad you didn’t “bomb” in front of the in-laws! Popovers can be fickle, but this recipe seems reliable – thanks for reporting your results here… PJH

    Reply
  67. Lee

    Warm the eggs in hot water
    Heat the milk and butter in a sauce pan
    Place muffin tin on a cookie sheet
    Place muffin tin and cookie sheet on the stove top ( near the oven vent) while oven is preheating
    Follow these tips for popovers that pop every time
    Excellent tips Lee! Our popover guru Mary always recommends heating the ingredients, but I’ve never thought to put the pan by the oven vent. Thanks for sharing. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  68. NH

    I made these this morning and they turned out great! I actually used soy milk too and was a little worried, but the popovers puffed up and turned out beautifully. I followed the advice to use room temp/warm milk and eggs, and I also preheated my muffin tin. Success!

    Hooray for popovers that pop!! Thanks for sharing your success here with all of us – :) PJH

    Reply
  69. Dave Anderson

    Had popovers with no pop this morning, so went looking for what I did wrong. This recipe (with fresh warm eggs and warm milk and a new oven thermometer) was wonderful. Don’t mess with perfection!

    Reply
  70. George

    Hockey Puck or Jorden Pondish Popover the difference was 35 degrees. For me the popovers at the Jorden Pond Tea House are the benchmark to which I strive. However for years my numerous attempts only ended in the NHL offering me a contract to “bake’ their Hockey Pucks. That is until i read about the importance of having the right temp. in the oven. A quick trip to Walmart and a $5.00 oven thermometer showed that the temperature indicated on the control panel of my electric oven was actually 35 degrees higher than reality. I increased the indicated temp by 35 degrees – kept the recipe the same can now consistently bake Jorden Pondish Popovers – (unfortunately I’ve lost the NHL contract).

    Reply
  71. mary

    several decades ago I got this recipe during an evening cooking class with George Bay, from Bay’s English Muffins (not sure they’re sold in all areas of the country). It’s simple and has always turned out perfectly for me. My biggest problem is getting them out of one of the pans I own — which I just decided to trash and I will get a second Baker’s Advantage Popover Pan (like the one I have that works well).
    6 jumbo eggs (I usually use 7 large eggs)
    2 cups milk
    6 tbls oil
    2 cups flour (can replace 2-3 tbls with powdered sugar)
    1 tsp salt
    Blend all ingredients in a blender on low til smooth. Continue blending on high a few moments (I typically blend even longer). Place container in refrigerator overnight (recipe says at least 4 hours, but my results are based on overnight). Before using, blend again on low. Pour batter into greased cups, 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for up to 1 1/4 hours or until crispy & brown. Makes 12

    Reply
  72. gigi

    Why are pop overs so freaking difficult to make! I’ve tried 6 different recipes, cold oven, hot oven, cold pan, hot pan. Finally, this recipe worked for me. I cut it in half and filled a 6 cups popover pan 1/2 full for smaller popovers. Have a gas oven so I baked on center rack. I did add a little steam to the oven with a tray of ice cubes tossed into a shallow pan a few minutes before baking. I only baked at 450 for 17 minutes and 13 minutes @ 350. I’ll try again without steam.

    Reply
  73. d.o.

    I tried the recipe as written and the popovers were wonderful. I decided to make some the following morning @ 4:am. This is the same morning that I decided to give up caffine. This this was risky..but I motivated.

    You offered fool proof, so I decided to experiment on the supposition you had factored a margin of errors in the recipe. Well here goes.

    Four lg eggs two without the yokes, (for health, oops and I forgot the butter ).1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 tsp of powderd suger and a subsitution of 2% lofat milk (again for health) 450 degrees 19 minutes, 350 for 14 minutes. Prewarmed eggs & milk, preheated pan and I did not open the door to the oven during the baking time.

    They were absoluly wonderful. Your recipe servived me making them with out cafinein my system and many changes to ingrdiants. I beleive this is a testamonial to a fool proof recipe.

    Thank you for getting me started.

    D.

    Reply
  74. Caitlin

    After 2 batches of dense popovers, I was looking for “guaranteed” success. THANK YOU! These were sky high and airy as can be. This recipe isn’t the simplest I’ve tried, but by far the best.

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *