One summer my sister worked as a nanny for a family in Maine and told me about these delicious popovers she had there, which are supposedly a Maine treat. I have never forgotten her description of them, and when I saw Test Kitchen had a full-proof recipe, I tucked it away for a rainy day - and until I purchased a popover pan. At World Market's half off bakeware sale last week, I got one, for a mere $4, and made these that very day. They were delicious!
Popovers are unlike any other bread I've had. They rise very high (as you can see) and have a crusty exterior, with a hollow interior. Hollow! Chelsea said Mainers would poke a hole in the top, fill them with butter and jam, and shake them! How cool is that? I found it easier to cut it in half, but to each his own.
Here's the ATK recipe, which is far better than any other I've seen. One thing is they're definitely best straight out of the oven, so plan ahead to make these with a soup meal or for breakfast. (Sorry, Steph and Ben - the day old's weren't nearly as good as the fresh ones.)
Vegetable shortening to grease the pans
2 cups bread flour
3 large eggs
2 cups low-fat milk, heated to 110 degrees
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1. Grease the pans and lightly flour. Adjust oven rack to middle lower position.
2. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until light and foamy. Whisk in the milk and butter.
3. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps remain. If possible, transfer this to a large measuring cup (a 4 cup pyrex worked perfectly) or just set aside. This needs to set for an hour.
4. After an hour, whisk to recombine, then pour into pan (batter should be just short of the top). Bake at 450 degrees for about twenty minutes, until just beginning to brown.
5. Without opening the oven door, reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake another 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
6. Poke a small hole in the top of each popover and bake another 10 minutes, until deep golden brown.
7. Remove and place pan on a wire rack. Poke again and let cool for a couple of minutes. Turn them out and serve!
If you do need to make these ahead of time, you can do one of two things: make the batter and refrigerate it, just make sure it reaches room temp before baking; or bake the popovers, then store in the fridge, and bake again so they crisp up nicely.
You can fill these with butter, jam, or a savory filling, such as a garlic and herb spread. Yum!