Let’s get this out of the way: popovers are not a health food. If you want vitamins and minerals and all that jazz, you’re better off eating a banana.
However, if you’re in the mood for a big ol’ breakfast bread, but want to avoid scarfing 400 calories, popovers are wonderful alternatives to croissants, doughnuts, and muffins. Light, airy, and exemplary vessels for jam and honey, they make excellent snacks or little meals. Especially when paired with, say, a banana.
Alas, the problem inherent in popovers is that occasionally, they fail to pop up and over. You’ll notice that my Lemon Popovers from the most recent issue of Food & Wine, only made it about halfway before giving up. I chalk this up to two things. First, a super-testy oven, and second, my lack of a nonstick muffin pan. The recipe said to use one, and I ignored it. Because I’m a punk. And that's what we do.
They were tasty, though, and I suggest making them. Or, if you don’t want a lighter version with no lemon flavor, try Betty Crocker’s recipe. It's pretty foolproof, as Ms. Crocker knows baked goods, among other things.
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and orange zest. Whisk in the milk and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until only small lumps remain.
Brush the cups of a muffin tin (preferably not nonstick) with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter and heat the muffin tin in the oven for 5 minutes; the butter will turn a nutty brown. Carefully fill the muffin cups halfway with the popover batter. Bake the popovers for about 30 minutes, until they are risen and browned. Turn the popovers out onto a serving platter and serve them right away.