This post is in honor of my grandfather and one of the foods he loved: popovers.
When I received a popover pan as a wedding gift at my bridal shower, I squealed with excitement…much to the confusion of many surrounding me. Several people asked me what a popover was. What?! I was shocked that so many people had not experienced the delight of eating a popover! This is one of the reasons I decided to do a post about them. If you haven’t had one before, promise me you’ll try them! They are awesome, guys.
My grandfather didn’t cook often, but he did have a few specialities: fresh strawberry jam (still the best jam I have ever had), fresh iced tea, vodka martinis, bloody Mary’s, and popovers. A random assortment, yes, but he was the master of them all.
I inherited that popover-loving gene, for sure. Popovers are a unique baked good. They have an ethereal airiness but are still rich and comforting. I love when they have a very crispy outer layer and are fluffy and tender on the inside. The method used to make these meets all those requirements.
I like to serve my popovers with sea-salted butter and fruit jam. My current favorite is black cherry jam…but I would give anything to have some of that fresh strawberry jam one more time. And to share a popover with my grandpa.
This one is for you, Fritz. We miss you!
Perfect Parmesan Popovers (makes 6 large popovers)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup skim milk
¼ cup half-and-half
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Butter, at room temperature
Jam or jelly
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F, and thoroughly coat a popover pan with cooking spray. Place the pan in the hot oven and allow it to heat up while you make the batter (this lends to a crispy outer layer).
2. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk gently. Stir in the flour, salt, milk, half-and-half, and melted butter until just barely blended; a few lumps are fine. Finally, whisk in the cheese. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. It will resemble a thin pancake batter.
3. Fill the popover pan wells ¾ full, and bake for 15 minutes. Very important: do not open oven door at all during the baking process. This will deflate the popovers!
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until the tops are brown and crusty.
5. Remove popovers from the oven, and make a small slit in their sides with a sharp knife. This helps some of the steam escape, which keeps them crispy. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a low oven. Serve with butter sprinkled with sea salt and jam.