Popover Secrets

This recipe and these steps are culled from my experience making several hundred disappointingly mediocre popovers I'll try to debunk lots of unnecessary chef-lore about what makes a huge, fully popped, light and hollow, Zeppelinish structure.

These ingredient quantities make enough batter for either the large-well, six-hole popover tin, or the mini-well, twelve-hole tin. Chicago Metallic makes both. Amazon.

1.25 cups, fresh whole milk, in a 2 quart graduated container. Like the one pictured.   Very handy for measuring, mixing and pouring the rest of the ingredients.

1 tsp. salt

Microwave milk and salt for 40 seconds, until warm to the touch. 

Add 5 large, room-temperature, fresh eggs. 

Whisk together (don't use blender!)

Slowly combine 1.25 cups all-purpose, fresh, flour.

Bleached or Unbleached, doesn't matter. 

Nota Bene. Not cake flour. Not whole wheat. Not self-rising.

Continue to whisk. Slightly lumpy is normal. Don't overmix.

Let batter stand for at least 45 minutes quietly at room temp or slightly above, without more mixing. This is part of the secret…most of my failures were because I overlooked the basic chemistry of the maturation reaction (autolysis). Overnight does not seem to work for me.

Place the batter in a warm part of the kitchen... I use the empty microwave which always seems a few degres above room temp.

Let batter rest for 45 minutes and whisk again just before dispensing into tins.

Prepare popover tin with light spray of 100% vegetable oil, baker's non-stick spray   or lightly greased with shortening. My favorite release is Bak-Kleen ZT

Melt a teaspoon of butter in each well of the preheated tin.

Fill each well 3/4 full, max.

Bake (Tru-Convection) at 400° F. for 22-25 minutes. Center rack. 

Do not open oven during any part of the bake.

Popovers may appear done, but generally they're not.

Continue to bake at 350° for 25 more minutes, or until golden brown very and crispy. 

Resist the urge to open oven. 

Alternately, stop the 400° baking after 30 minutes, and simply turn the oven off. But do not open the oven door. Continue, with heat off, for a total oven time of 1 hour.

NB. If popover stems shrink or pucker on cooling to room temp, it’s an indicator that they were taken from the oven too soon. Extend cook time for extra crispiness... and prevent this last-minute failure.

Good practice: see if your oven is anywhere near the correct temperature.  Calibrate with oven thermometer, pictured. Most ovens take longer than expected to adequately pre-heat.  Pre-heating my gas oven takes at least 15 minutes to achieve 400° F.  Pre-heat oven to 410°  Tru-Convection setting (Viking Ovens) is a helpful feature. It assures that the oven air temp will be evenly distributed around the items baked. But regular “Bake” works sufficiently. Note temp fluctuations in the video.  I need to set 420° to get an actual 400°.

Serve hot with salted butter.

They can be cooled, and frozen in a plastic bag, too. But they're never quite the same. Good Luck! and send pictures.

Popovers that Pop!!!

they're easy...here are the secrets. Video version on YouTube

suggestions & comments


Rubbermaid Measuring Cup, 2-Quart, Clear, FG321700CLR

Food coloring works!

Raised on PopOvers