Popovers are a cold weather treat: the last thing I would expect to make for lunch in July. The steam escapes from their cheesy tops and takes the edge off a chilly day. And when the crisp of their outer shell yields to the warm and tender cheesy inside, all is suddenly fine with the world. But this summer has been so cold that a tray of bacon cheddar popovers seemed the only solution to chase away our goose bumps.
After peeling off multiple layers to have a courageous swim lesson, Juju and I sat huddled on the kitchen floor, watching the magic happening in the oven. As the popovers slowly rose and turned golden brown, the house slowly filled with the aroma of bacon and cheese, and we relaxed into the anticipation of a memorable lunch. Popovers can be made savory or sweet, cheesy or chocolatey, and we passed the time brainstorming future inventions. My vote for our next concoction: chocolate and cherry popovers, maybe with a sprinkling of grated coconut. Juju just shook her head at my foolishness. She just wanted more bacon in her popover future.
Popovers and yorkshire pudding have been a favorite part of winter dinners in our house for years, especially at Christmas time, but this particular recipe is new for us. It’s one of the many dishes I made during the Advanced Pastry cooking class I took at Kendall College the other weekend. The gruyere popovers were a little snack to keep us kneading, shaping, and baking all day long, but they were one of the highlights of our two day class. There are two secrets to the recipe:
- Preheating the large muffin tin in the oven to shock the dough into rising extra high.
- Heating the milk before combining it with the eggs.
The base recipe for a popover is incredibly easy, one that you’ll commit to memory after one run. You only need flour, eggs, and milk to get popovers in the oven. How you choose to make them your own is only limited by your imagination.
- 2 cups of All Purpose Flour
- 1¼ teaspoons of salt
- 1½ cups of 2% milk
- ½ cups of heavy cream
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cups of bacon pieces
- 1½ cups of shredded cheddar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two large muffin tins (I like silicone but a regular tin is fine) and place them in the oven while it's preheating.
- In a small saucepan, pan fry the bacon pieces until light brown and cooked. Set aside.
- Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Heat milk and cream in small saucepan until very warm, about 125 degrees fahrenheit. Don't bring it a boil.
- Break the eggs and whisk them to break the yolks and combine. Add about ¼ cup of the warm milk, whisking constantly. Now add the rest of the milk, ½ cup at a time, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from cooking and curdling. Once all the milk has been added in and no egg chunks appear, you can move on. If egg chunks do appear, don't worry about it too much. Your popover texture will be a little chunkier but the taste will still be delicious.
- Stir the flour mixture gradually into the egg milk mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy now.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven and quickly pour in the batter. Fill each well halfway.
- Sprinkle cheese and bacon evenly into each muffin hole.
- Put the muffin pans back in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and puffed up high.
- I enjoy these piping hot out of the oven, but also rewarmed in the microwave over the next 2-3 days. Served with creamy tomato soup, you're in heaven.