Are you looking for a different breakfast bread? Do you like the drama and adventure of trying something new, even if you’re not sure it will succeed? If so, these sweet and tender, light as air popovers are for you.
I have had my eye on this recipe for a while now but, I admit, I was a doubter. How can popovers “pop” when you start them in a cold oven? Well, it turns out, they pop up quite nicely indeed. They are feather-light with a dark golden crust and a sweet orange flavor. And they stay puffed, even after they cool. In fact, you can make them a day ahead, store them airtight at room temperature, then simply reheat and re-crisp them briefly in a hot oven before serving. As Ina would say, “How good is that?”
If you choose to bake the popovers the day you want to serve them, you can still mix up the batter the day ahead and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Double the convenience factor! When you need a change from pancakes, waffles, or plain toast, make popovers. They’re easy and delicious, and fun!
Oh, and don’t forget, popovers can be made with many savory variations. Add cornmeal, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, roasted garlic, cheese, herbs, (not all together, of course), and you can have a quick dinner or lunch accompaniment. Fresh hot popovers, just like that. What would be better on a cold winter day, with soup, stew, or chili? Try them, I know you’ll like them. Here’s what to do:
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons finely ground , blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, using a whisk, or in an electric blender, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the milk, flour, ground almonds, sugar, orange zest, oil, and salt. Beat (or blend) just until smooth. Don't overmix. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
Generously grease 12 popover or large muffin cups with unsalted butter. Pour the batter into each cup; they will be about 2/3 full.
Place the pan(s) in a cold oven and immediately set the temperature to 375°F. Bake 30 minutes without opening the oven door. Bake about 10 minutes more, until the popovers are firm and golden brown, piercing the side of each popover to allow steam to escape during the last phase of baking (a sturdy wooden toothpick works well here). Let cool briefly, again pricking each to allow the steam to escape. Remove from the molds and serve hot, with butter, honey, marmalade, or jam.
If the popovers are made ahead, reheat them, on a baking sheet, in a 375°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes, to rewarm and crisp.
From “The Art of Quick Breads” by Beth Hensperger.