Few items provide as much ‘wow factor’ to a table or brunch spread as popovers. “You made popovers???” I’m not sure when and where I heard of or had my first popover, but in Texas it’s likely that many were introduced to them by having one, or having someone talk about having one, at one of Neiman-Marcus’ Zodiac Restaurants. Their popovers, served from a cart and with strawberry butter, are a Zodiac tradition, particularly at their flagship location in Dallas. Imagine the added thrill of having a drink with my daughter at The Roxy Hotel and seeing black pepper popovers on the bar bites menu. That did it for me, and that was when I started making popovers on my own. . Whether prepared plain or with herbs or spices, and whether served with a compound sweet or herbaceous butter, they almost always elicit an expression of awe whenever they show up. And they are remarkably easy, especially if you have a blender. Here goes!!!
4 large eggs, warmed in hot water for 10 minutes before cracking
1 1/2 cups milk (skim, low-fat, or full-fat), lukewarm
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Position rack ini lower 1/3 and reheat oven to 450°F.
Put the eggs, milk, and salt in the container of your blender. Blend until well combined, with no streaks of yolk showing.
Add the flour all at once, and blend until well combined. Scrape down the sides to remove clumps, then continue.
Once the flour is fully incorporated, blend in the melted butter, combining quickly.
Pour the batter into the popover cups, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Reduce heat to 350°F (again without opening the door), and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the popovers are a deep, golden brown.
If serving immediately, remove popovers from the oven and stick the tip of a sharp knife into the top of each to release steam and help prevent sogginess. Slip them out of the pan and serve.
If you’re more into the savory, there are a couple of options. One is to prepare them as presented, then have a field day with a compound butter. Compound butter is softened, unsalted butter that is mixed with fresh herbs of your preference. Just chill it slightly after mixing, then shape and put in the fridge until ready to use. You can do the same with cream cheese, or the very popular Boursin spread with cracked black pepper.
Should you want to try adding your own ground spices (fresh black pepper is my go-to), you want to add that to the flour before adding it to the wet ingredients. Lots of possibilities,