Each year I visit New York City as a committee member for James Beard Awards.. Our committee is always looking for great places for breakfast. I had heard that The Society Café attached to the Walker Hotel had wonderful breakfasts. Don’t miss a chance to visit this charming breakfast venue. It really is worth it. We were served tender, light yet crispy popovers– the American version of English Yorkshire Pudding. Puffed and golden brown, these perfect popovers became my gold standard. I noticed that the chef’s recipe called for warm milk that seemed unusual.
And then I stumbled on my dear friend and colleague Marlene Sorosky’s Over the Top Popover recipe. Marlene is one of the most accomplished cooking teachers in the USA and has written many cookbooks. She tested this over 25 times to get it to her satisfaction.
Her popover recipe, which is similar to the chef’s at Society Café, tells the reader that adding hot milk to the batter allows the eggs to stablize and support the batter. She bakes them at 375F for the whole time and only heats the pans for a couple of minutes prior to pouring the batter into the tins. Her best tip is that you can make them in advance and hold them up to 4 hours— all they need is a quick reheat. She actually thinks they are better! You can find a few other popover variations at https://www.cookingwclass.com.
I love to serve these for breakfast with cherry or apricot jam and sweet butter. They are also a delcious accompanimemnt to a brunch egg dish or for lunch. Frankly there is never a bad time to induldge in these airy, crispy, golden brown puffs of goodness.
OVER THE TOP POPOVERS
This recipe makes 6 large popovers in a standard popover pan or 10 smaller ones in a mini popover pan, standard muffin tin, or 1/2 cup custard cups.
1½ cups whole, low-fat or nonfat milk
3 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, optional
- Heat the milk in a saucepan until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Or, heat in a microwave until hot, but not boiling. The hot milk allows the eggs to stablize and support the batter.
- Mix the eggs in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, by hand with a whisk, in a blender or a food processor, until frothy. While mixing, gradually pour in the hot milk. Add the flour, salt and sugar; mix on low until thoroughly incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Mix in the melted butter, if using. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Position a rack in the middle or lower third of the oven. Preheat a conventional oven to 375° or convection oven to 350°. Place the popover pan, standard muffin tin or custard cups in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven and spray the sides and top edges of cups with pan spray.
- Whisk the batter well and divide among the cups, filling almost to the top. Bake until puffed and deeply browned, 35 to 40 minutes for small popovers, 45 to 50 minutes for large ones. The longer they bake, the less they will deflate when you take them out. If they are browning unevenly the last 10 minutes, rotate the pan.
- Remove the popovers from the pan and serve immediately.
- Or, for crisper popovers, remove them to a rimmed baking sheet where they can be held uncovered for up to 4 hours. Before serving, preheat the oven to 450° and reheat for 3-5 minutes or until hot and crispy.