We're not exactly estate sale people. Or we weren't, until yesterday, when we decided to pop into an estate sale our friend Jessie had told us about. The house was out in Urban Sprawl, Florida, nestled among the rows upon rows of unsold and foreclosed-upon houses. I was a little worried driving up, but this place was unbelievable. Like someone had robbed a Williams-Sonoma and decided to share.
Inside we found the most incredible kitchen, outfitted with our dream double oven, stainless dishwasher, and huge center island stocked with top-of-the-line cookware. All Clad roasting pans, sauce pots, double boilers, and frying pans were displayed next to sets of Shun Knives and Emile Henry dutch ovens. I was in heaven, except that in heaven I doubt we'll have to pay for such cookware with plastic.
Amazingly, I left the sale with no All-Clad cookware or Shun knives. Of course I kicked myself all the way home for that, but at least I snagged a nonstick popover pan, which I used to make my first batch of "real" popovers this afternoon. (We also picked up a set of crystal double old fashioned glasses, a collectible Lord of The Rings box set, and some super secret Christmas presents).
I don't know much about the science behind popover pans — and I'm sure many would scoff at the existence of such a unitasker in my kitchen — but these things rose phenomenally high, with the dough seeming to inflate like a balloon until the tops formed into the shape of tiny chef's hats. They browned perfectly and were nearly hollow inside. Just like you'd expect from a fancy restaurant except that they came out of my humble oven.
If you don't have a popover pan, this recipe will still work — you'll just end up with a more muffin-like shape with a little less air.
This recipe is inspired by the herbed popovers recipe from Gale Gand's Brunch!: 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend's Best Meal. We're fortunate to have fantastic local eggs and a garden with tarragon growing like weeds; if nothing else, though, use organic eggs, milk and butter. It's better for the planet and better for your body. Enjoy!
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or other savory herb)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or your favorite cooking spray)
Put the eggs and the milk into a large bowl. Pour some boiling water into a medium bowl and place the bowl with the eggs and the milk on top (be careful that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl). Whisk the milk and eggs constantly until the temperature reaches 70° (or skip this part all together if you started with room temperature ingredients).
Remove the bowl from the water bath and add your dry ingredients — flour, salt, and herbs. Mix until barely combined. Cover and let rest for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 450°. If you're using butter, throw your popover pan in the oven for about 10 minutes until it's nice and hot; then, paint each mold with butter. (If you're lazy like me, just spray them down with a good quality organic cooking spray). Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 375° and bake for another 10, until nicely browned on top. (If you're using a mini popover pan, bake for 5 minutes instead of 10 after you turn down the heat.)
Popovers are best served immediately, but if you're going to store them, poke a hole in the top with a knife and let the steam out so they don't get all funky on you. Enjoy with a little butter or all on their own!