Parmesan, Herb, and Garlic Popovers: or what happens when you bake pancake batter

So what are popovers exactly? Well I’m glad you asked! Popovers are this amazingly delicious and versatile pastry. You can make them savory or sweet and eat them with anything, or just gobble them up on their own. The batter for popovers is essentially the same batter you use to make pancakes – flower, milk and eggs. The whole idea of popovers is that they expand and “pop over” the top of the muffin tins. Whenever I make popovers at home, my brother and I sit in front of the oven door and watch how they expand. But don’t worry, they won’t spill over too much and make a mess. Hopefully.

This particular recipe from Jane’s Sweets and Baking Journal makes savory popovers with garlic. (Something you should probably know about me – I am obsessed with garlic. So don’t be surprised when I double or triple the amount of garlic in some recipes) However, if you would like something sweet, you can always change up the toppings. Recipes are not written in stone. There is always wriggle room for creativity in flavor.

First up you should preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then grease your pan so the popovers won’t stick. The original recipe yields 12 popovers. I decided to half the recipe for a result of six because I only had one popover pan.

Pour the milk into a saucepan and set it on a low heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to stir the milk occasionally and don’t let it boil. You just want the milk lukewarm. If it’s too hot, you’ll make scrambled eggs instead of pastry.

In a medium bowl, sift flower and then add the salt and baking powder. Stir to combine.

In an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the eggs on a low speed until they become uniform. If you don’t have an electric mixer, this can easily be done by hand (and you won’t have to deal with cleaning the mixer afterwards).

Once the eggs are combined, add the warm milk. Test the milk’s temperature with your finger to make sure it didn’t get too hot. Now you can slowly start adding the flower mixture. While the mixer is still running, add the flower in gradually. Increase the mixer’s speed and let the whisk do its thing for two more minutes. Turn off the mixer and cover the bowl with plastic. Let your batter rest for about an hour. It just went through quite a lot of exercise and needs to rest a bit before we can continue.

While the batter is taking a nap, start working on the topping. In a small bowl mix the cheese and spices together. The original recipe also called for chopped garlic, but I omitted that because I was afraid that the garlic would just burn and turn bitter. (This proved to be a wise decision as the resulting popovers got very brown). But don’t worry, I compensated with the lack of garlic by adding some garlic powder instead. This is the part of the recipe where you can get creative. Add whatever spices or flavors you like to the mixture. If you want sweet popovers, try a combination of brown sugar and cinnamon.

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Now that our batter has rested, we can fill up our popover cups. You want to pour the batter almost to the top, but not quite. Sprinkle the cheese mixture on top of each cup. The more the merrier. Place a square of butter on top of each cup of batter. I forgot to divide the amount of butter by 2 and put a whole lot more than was needed. It bubbled over and spilled into the oven making quite a mess. However, the popovers turned out nice and brown. And I think I learned my lesson about reading carefully as I kneeled on the floor scrubbing at the burnt butter on the bottom of the oven. Oh well.

Here comes the fun part. Put the popovers into the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Grab a comfy pillow and plop down on the floor in front of the oven door. You should start to see the popovers grow after about 5 minutes, give or take. IMPORTANT – do not open the oven door at this time. In fact, for best results, do not open the oven door at all while the popovers are baking. After the 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 375 for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the popovers turn a deep gold brown and look crispy.

Take the popovers out of the oven and immediately poke the tops with a knife. This creates a small opening for the steam to escape which makes the inside of the popovers nice and dry instead of getting soggy. Nobody wants soggy popovers.

So this here is my result. Granted, they don’t look as perfect as the popovers in original pin, but I’m absolutely certain that they taste just as good. Yes, I know that there is some bias in that judgment, but I received similar opinions from family and friends. Don’t believe me? Try them out yourself. I’m sure you probably have most of the ingredients in kitchen already. (If not, you can always improvise)

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These popovers should preferably be eaten as soon as they cool down enough so that you don’t burn your fingers. However, they can last for up to a week if you keep them in a closed container. Pop them in a toaster oven for a couple of minutes to heat back up. Microwaves will just make them soggy, and we worked so hard for that lovely brown crunchiness. Don’t let all that work go to waste. But most importantly, eat up and enjoy!

Parmesan, Herb, and Garlic Popovers

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1hr and 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ¾ cups milk
  • 2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp. Dried thyme
  • 1 Tsp. Fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tsp. Dried basil
  • 1 Tsp. Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 equal chunks for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease 6 popover cups or jumbo muffin cups; grease the top of the pan(s) as well. Place each pan on a baking sheet.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the milk until it’s just lukewarm, about 110 degrees, then take it off the heat.
  3. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl.
  4. In the large bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the wire whisk, beat the eggs on low speed for about 3 minutes, until they look pale and foamy, then add in the warm milk. Add the flour in gradually, still mixing at low speed, then raise the speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes.
  5. Let the batter rest in its bowl, unrefrigerated, for one hour. While the batter is resting, mix together the remaining spices and cheese.
  6. After the batter is done resting, fill each well-greased cup with batter, almost to the top.Sprinkle at least one tablespoon of the cheese-herb mixture on top of each one. Plop a chunk of butter on top of that.
  7. With the pans on baking sheets, place the popovers into the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Then, turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until the popovers look very crispy and are a deep golden brown on the outside. As soon as you take them out, puncture the tops carefully with the tip of a knife; this will allow excess steam to escape and help prevent the insides from becoming soggy.
  8. Best served warm. Freeze any extras after they’re cooled. Reheat these easily, even if frozen, in a warm oven. They’ll be almost as good as new.
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