Although seen traditionally as an accompaniment for roast beef, popovers are a versatile alternative to breads and rolls at mealtime and they’re easy to make. When you’re pinched for time putting together Thanksgiving dinner, let popovers be your secret weapon. Mix up a batch quickly and put them in the oven, which will give you time to carve the roast turkey. Then, serve them piping hot out of the oven as the perfect complement to your feast, alongside the cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Even better, your guests will be oohing and ahhing over them, distracting them from any lumps in the gravy!
But don’t limit popovers to Thanksgiving dinner. They are also wonderful at breakfast: crispy on the outside, eggy and warm inside. They are a satisfying and savory alternative to other, more indulgent and common breakfast treats like cinnamon buns, doughnuts and muffins, and they stand well on their own.
Our recipe includes a hint of Cheddar cheese to give them a little extra flavor. Popovers require no special ingredients — you probably have everything you need in your pantry to whip up a batch right now. We recommend baking them in an authentic popover pan, which is deeper and heavier than a muffin tin, and should be preheated in a hot oven before the batter is added to make sure the pastries rise and “pop over” the sides.
Despite their tastiness and long history as a holiday meal favorite, you don’t see them very often anymore, which makes their novelty on your table all the more interesting. You’ll be the talk at your holiday dinner for all of the right reasons!
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour or rye flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1½ cups whole milk
½ cup finely grated Cheddar cheese
Butter and jam, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Dot each of 6 popover cups with ½ tablespoon of the butter and place in the hot oven to preheat while you mix the batter.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cheese, then gradually add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. (You can do this in a mixer, but whisking by hand produces more tender, lighter popovers.)
Carefully remove the popover cups (which will be smoking hot) and divide the batter evenly among the cups, filling each three-quarters full. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 20 minutes more, until the popovers are golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve piping hot with butter and jam.
Makes 6 Standard Popovers or 12 Mini Popovers