popovers (or a lack thereof)

Image borrowed from ffoodd tumblr

A few Saturdays ago, I was sick of studying. So, clearly, I announced to my family that I was going to bake something. My mom was completely okay with my plan, but warned that we barely had any ingredients at our house. Only slightly deterred, I decided I would make something really simple and easy. Flipping through our old family cookbook, I found a recipe for popovers. I had never made popovers before… or eaten them, for that matter, either. That didn’t matter to me. I was going to make popovers. With only five ingredients, what could go wrong?

I had a lot to learn. But first, the recipe. This is borrowed from Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook, 1961.

~

POPOVERS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used a little less)
  • 1 teaspoon melted shortening (… I used butter)

Start oven at very hot (475 degrees F). Grease 8 custard cups or an iron or heavy aluminum popover pan.

Break eggs into mixing bowl. Add milk, flour, and salt. beat 1-1/2 minutes with rotrary or electric beater. Add melted shortening. Beat 1/2 minute. Don’t overbeat. Fill 8 well-greased cups 1/2 full. (“Don’t overbeat” … what is that supposed to mean anyway?)

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate (350 degrees F). Continue baking about 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and firm.

A few minutes before removing from oven, prick each popover with a sharp prong of kitchen fork or large darning needle (a darning needle?! I love old cookbooks!) to let steam escape… Serve hot with plenty of butter. Makes 8 popovers.

~

Pretty straightforward, right? Apparently, not. My popovers turned out flat and mushy inside. They also tasted kind of “egg-y” to me. I haven’t done enough research to know what was supposed to happen or what went wrong exactly. However, I do know that before I try this again, I will be making sure I follow the recipe exactly. Or maybe I will try a different recipe. At any rate, this daydream didn’t materialize quite the way I intended. But hey, that gives me room for improvement, right? I think my next action step should be to visit a really nice bakery and try one of their popovers so I see what mine are supposed to taste like.

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