Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parmesan Herb Popovers

Onomatopoeia refers to words that sound like what they are, like “Oink” or “Bleep” or “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” But is there a word for words that describe what something literally does? A lot of people don’t know what a Popover is, but you can figure out what it does just by the name. You bake it using a special pan and the bread pops over the top and puffs up. It’s kind of like an eggy muffin and can be sweet or savory. When it’s done it kind of looks like an ice cream cone with a big tasty scoop of ice cream on top. Parmesan-Herb ice cream, in this case.

I asked for a popover pan for Christmas after seeing some delicious looking recipes, and this one, from Jane’s Sweets and Baking Journal, did not disappoint. It isn’t particularly difficult, and looks (and tastes) pretty impressive!

3 and 1/2 cups milk 
4 cups All-Purpose flour 
1 and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. dried mixed herbs (I used an Italian mix.)
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 equal chunks

This recipe makes twelve, and the typical popover pan only has six cups. If you don’t have lots of people eating, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half because each popover is pretty big and filling. They also don’t keep particularly well and are best eaten while still warm.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it’s just lukewarm (don’t let it boil). Take it off the heat. Beat the eggs in a large bowl for about 3 minutes until they are pale and foamy. If you have a wire whisk attachment for your mixer use it. Add in the warm milk and mix briefly.

Add in the flour mix gradually (it helps to have someone assist you) and continue mixing at a low speed. Once all the flour is in, raise the speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Then let the mix rest in the bowl at room temperature for an hour. In the meantime, mix the parmesan, herbs and garlic together in a bowl. I didn’t have fresh garlic and just used garlic powder (not garlic salt) and it was fine. Of course, fresh is always best.

Preheat the oven to 450 and grease the popover cups (including the top of the pan) and put the pan on a baking sheet to catch anything that might “pop over” and spill. Fill each cup almost to the top with batter. Sprinkle the cheese and herb mix over the top generously, and put a butter chunk on top of that. I found that flat pads of butter worked best, and don’t press it down into the batter, just rest it on top.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 and bake for about 30 minutes more until they turn a deep golden brown on top. Do NOT open the oven while they are cooking, especially in the beginning. As soon as you take them out, poke the top with the tip of a sharp knife so they don’t get all soggy inside, and serve them warm! Make sure your guests are careful when they open the popovers, as they will be filled with steam. If you don’t have a popover pan, you can still make these with a jumbo muffin pan, but they just won’t be as dramatic or popovery. Enjoy!

(Click here for printable recipe)

1 comment:

  1. Your turn for a good looking picture, and they look yummy!