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cheeseandchocolate

Popovers!

97 posts in this topic

I made popovers for the first time last night, and they didn't turn out quite as I thought they would. Hmmm. I used the classic Fannie Farmer recipe, but I halved it because there were only two of us eating. I baked them in a sprayed muffin tin, using every other well, winding up with a total of six popovers. Started with a cold oven. When I pulled them from the oven after the requisite time, they had only risen to about the level of the top rim of the muffin tin--basically, they'd hardly risen at all. They were nice and crispy on the outside, and on the underside, there was a little indentation, as if the batter had started to rise from underneath. The flavor and texture were delicious :wub: , but they were tiiiiiiiiny! :angry: About two inches tall at the highest point.

My questions: what did I do wrong? Could halving the recipe have messed things up? Could it be my oven? I have already noted that my oven calibration is a little off (electric oven in an apartment), and I usually remedy this by keeping an oven thermometer in the oven and tweaking the settings when it is preheating until I get the temperature I want. In this case, since I was starting from a cold oven, I couldn't tweak the oven to the correct temperature. Hmmmm. Any ideas?


She blogs: Orangette

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I have always done popovers in a hot oven then lowered the temperature. The high heat in the beginning makes that initial rise possible.

One place I worked at we used to heat the pan in the oven with the fat in it, then take it out of the oven, pour in the batter and immediately return it to the oven. Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes or so then reduce the temperature.

IMO I think the cold oven was the problem


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I also think it was the cold oven. Don't popovers get their rise from steam? I think that by the time the steam got rolling inside, the outside of the popover had already set.


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Hmmm. I'm confused. Fannie Farmer explicitly says, "Forget what you've heard elsewhere; a cold oven is the secret to good popovers." I paraphrase, but that's the gist. And my mother swears by the cold-oven popovers she and her sister used to make (but unfortunately she can't find the recipe!).


She blogs: Orangette

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I can help here! We make 400 popovers a day. Of course we can't use a cold oven- it is needed for other things too. Use a hot oven and preheat your pans with the fat you are using in it (we use an oil spray).Make sure to bake them dark enough so that they won't fall.

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I'll pile on the heap. Hot oven, hot pans sprayed with pan release (make your your oil spray is all fat-alot of brands first ingredient is h20 and that makes items stick). I also get a better rise if I make the batter the day before.

karen do you poke them part way thru the bake (I prefer them not)? And any tricks on holding them?

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I don't poke them. We hold them in an altosham (never for too long, as they are in constant production from 8:30am to 3:pm).

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I make mine from an old Fine Cooking recipe which is not avail. on their site without buying the back issue, but here are my tips from the strictly amateur corner:

1. Heat the oven to 500f, put the muffin tin/popover cups in

2. Room-temp eggs, melted butter and whole milk

3. I poke to release the steam; seems to keep mine from collapsing, anyway.

4. Immediately turn the oven to 450f and cook for 21 mins, no peeking or it's pancakes.

lemme know if you want the compleat recipe; it's easyeasy and assembled in the blender in about 30 sec. once all the ingreds. are room temperature.

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An update:

Gave the popovers another go last night with a preheated oven and preheated pan, as you all suggested...and they were faaaaaaabulous! When I opened the oven after the requisite time, I thought they'd been overtaken by some alien life-force: they were absolutely exploding out of the muffin tin wells! :biggrin: Puffy and crispy on the outside, doughy and custardy inside. Mmmmm!

Thanks for your helpful posts, all!


She blogs: Orangette

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So...when do you poke them to release steam..when you take them out of the oven?

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I didn't poke mine at all. I baked them for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, lowered the temp to 350, and let 'em go another 15 minutes. Mmmm mmmm!


She blogs: Orangette

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Ah, popovers. When I was a kid, there was a restaurant called Patricia Murphy's not too far out on Long Island (NY) -- it was as close to fine dining as we did back then (almost 50 years ago :shock: ). Two things I can never forget: the relish tray that came when you sat down, with watermelon pickle and cottage cheese, among other items, and the POPOVERS they brought around the room regularly. They were right out of the oven, NOT pierced, so my father burned his fingers with the steam every time. :shock: God, they were good: light, eggy, ethereal.

(Since you seem to have solved your problem, I see no need to add any advice; just to reminisce. :raz: )

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Fannie Farmer explicitly says, "Forget what you've heard elsewhere; a cold oven is the secret to good popovers."  I paraphrase, but that's the gist.

I confess, several years ago I followed these very instructions, and the failed popovers made me toss out my copy of Fanny Farmer. The cookbook lost all credibility for me.

Although I have no problem now with getting high-rising popovers, I have a very big problem with their sticking to the pan and being nearly impossible to remove without tearing apart the popovers. The pans I have tried are (1) the cheap Ekco non-stick-finish 12-muffin pan, which I grease and preheat before adding the batter, and (2) light-colored aluminum 12-muffin pan. The lard just beads up on the non-stick finish. The sticking was just as bad on the plain aluminum.

Any tips on the right pan to use? Chicago Metallic popover pan? Lodge cast-iron popover pan?

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I use mini cupcake pans, I think they were from Chicago Metallic. You can use many different pans for these, even glass ramikins work well. I heat the pans first, then spray with pan release. Make sure the pan release your using doesn't contain water or items will stick.

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I use mini cupcake pans, I think they were from Chicago Metallic. You can use many different pans for these, even glass ramikins work well. I heat the pans first, then spray with pan release. Make sure the pan release your using doesn't contain water or items will stick.

The pan release you are referring to, is it something like Baker's Joy? I guess I can't just use lard, butter, drippings, or even vegetable oil in a spray?

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Well, I only bake at work and they don't have name brands, but it's a spray like Pam or Bakers Joy.....just look at the ingredient list before your buy.

Shortening or a paper towel soaked in oil and rubbed in the pan should have worked. I don't know the answer for why it didn't.

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Well, I only bake at work and they don't have name brands, but it's a spray like Pam or Bakers Joy.....just look at the ingredient list before your buy.

Shortening or a paper towel soaked in oil and rubbed in the pan should have worked. I don't know the answer for why it didn't.

Thanks, Sinclair. I've got Pam, so tomorrow's breakfast will be popovers. Can't wait to try it out on my family of guinea pigs.

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Well, I only bake at work and they don't have name brands, but it's a spray like Pam or Bakers Joy.....just look at the ingredient list before your buy.

Thanks, Sinclair. I've got Pam, so tomorrow's breakfast will be popovers. Can't wait to try it out on my family of guinea pigs.

A success to report: this morning's popovers flew right out of the pan. My husband actually thanked me for making popovers. Thank you, Sinclair, for perhaps the best practical tip I've gotten on egullet.com.

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Hello!

I'm looking for a fool proof recipe for popovers that takes 30 minutes or less to bake. I have a recipe now that takes a full hour, and because I was planning on making these for Thanksgiving, their won't be oven room for a full hour. I can give them 30 minutes. :) Or, if I could make them ahead, that would be nice, but I really wanted them to be fresh from the oven.

Anyway, I would love to get a recipe and/or tips.

Thanks!

Amanda

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My recipe takes 35 minutes.

For 8 popovers: For 18:

1 C flour 2 1/2 C flour

1 C milk 2 1/2 C milk

2 eggs 1 1/2 t salt

1/2 t salt 5 eggs

1 T oil 2 T oil

Beat everything together thoroughly--beat and beat, as this is the key to getting them to pop--then pour batter into well-geased muffin tins and bake at 425F for 30-35 minutes.

To make 18 pumpkin popovers, use 2 C milk, 1/2- 3/4 C pumpkin mush, 1/4t each cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. These don't pop as well, but taste nice.

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I would use one or two more eggs for eight popovers and beat and beat. The batter can be let to sit refrigerated for a time — in fact, I think the person who taught me to make popovers believed it should sit for awhile. Then I put a little oil in the bottom of the pans and heat the oiled pan in the hot oven. There should be a sizzle when you pour in the batter. Then put the pan in the oven and DON'T PEEK for at least 15 minutes. Opening the oven door while the popping is taking place is cause for a fall! I turn the oven down to 375 after about 20 minutes. I learned to make these while cooking at a small dive lodge — we did make them in advance and just kept them warm at the back of the stove, then relied on hot gravy to heat them up more. Susan

p.s. the pumpkin popovers sound like a fun add-on to Thanksgiving turkey. Of course, I'll have to wait another 11 months to try them...

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Very small popovers will take 30 minutes. Good popovers will take 45 minutes with a convection oven. Serve something else. I make 400 every day.

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To make 18 pumpkin popovers, use 2 C milk, 1/2- 3/4 C pumpkin mush, 1/4t each cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  These don't pop as well, but taste nice.

Beccaboo -

Do you need to use fresh pumpkin "mush" or will canned work fine?

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