Last week Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives re-aired an episode featuring the Austin restaurant Foreign & Domestic. They are known for their innovative menu and oversized popovers. I watched Guy Fieri get a lesson in making their delicious popovers and it piqued my interest. They looked so easy, yet extraordinary. The simple batter turned into something magical, bursting forth out the pans, twisting and turning into mishapen puffy rolls. The outside is hard and crunchy, the inside airy and tender.
I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I thought, This will be my key to greatness. I will open a popover restaurant called Pop Culture and serve popovers filled with pie filling or potato curry or short ribs and kimchi. It will be a sensation and I’ll have locations in every major city! Then the world! Yes, you could say I was pretty affected by the popover revelation.
So I bought a popover pan and started checking out some recipes. I liked the simplicity of Alton Brown’s recipe and thought I would jazz it up on my own.
- 1 cup flour
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 TB melted butter
My own ingredients were cheddar and green onion. I stirred in some of the grated cheddar and gently placed a couple little cubes just to make the top extra cheesy.
The popover pan needs to be nice and hot. While the oven is preheating (400°) keep the pan in there until ready to fill. Then fill with batter and put back in the oven. I’ve read varying things on how high to fill the little popover tins. I’ve seen halfway, almost full, all the way to the very top….so I chose 3/4 full. Then into the oven for about 35 minutes. No opening the oven to check or bad things will happen.
They smelled so good while they were cooking. Mr. Betty was excited as these popover were all for him. Which made it all the more disappointing when the damn things didn’t pop over! What I made were some very tasty, cheesy rolls, but not popovers.
Was it my ingredient additions? Or was it because I kept the popover pan on a sheet pan? I don’t know. But when I tried again I eliminated both the cheese and onions and sheet pan. I also cut Alton’s salt recommendation in half, because that was way too much salt. And….they popped over!
They tasted great, too. Exactly the texture I wanted, moist and crunchy in all the right places. I think I’ll cut the salt even more, using only a quarter or half a teaspoon. I’ll practice a few more times before I start plotting my world domination. But get ready…it’s coming.