It was ladies’ night at Buttermilk Channel on an ass-whipping cold Monday night in early February. The six of us sipped on assorted cocktails while discussing first bought homes and career changes over kale salads and fresh pickles. Out of the blue, a complimentary plate piled with golden pillows of dough was placed on the table. ‘Looks like popovers’ I thought. I tore one open delicately as if I were untying a bow from the neck of a mouse. Warm steam blossomed from the dough almost visibly, but I think that was a hallucination. They were soft, light and hollow with a hint of honey and sea salt; they had the fluffiness of a pancake but the eggy quality of a crepe.
The table of ladies must have disappeared during my popover meditation; when I resurfaced, I realized they were laughing at my utter in-the-moment-ness. There was no doubt that this would be my next culinary assignment. I went directly to Joy of Cooking for a basic recipe.
My first batch of popovers came out hard and crunchy, hardly the delicate puffs I was after. For the second batch I added more batter to my muffin tins and they came out slightly better, but still crunchy on the outside. Perhaps this is what a classic popover is supposed to be. But I wanted what I had a Buttermilk Channel, so I wrote to them for advice. I got a prompt reply from chef Ryan Angulo who happily shared his knowledge with me.
My third batch, using his egg-heavy recipe, came out just right. Maybe these aren’t classic popovers, but I like them much better. I ate bunches of them for breakfast, warmed up and drowned with a glug of maple syrup. Popover mission accomplished.
RECIPE (Adapted from Buttermilk Channel’s chef Ryan Angulo’s popover recipe)
Makes 12 popovers
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Grease a muffin or popover tin with vegetable oil or cooking spray and put it in oven until it gets hot. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Beat the eggs until they’re light and fluffy, then beat in the milk and melted butter.
3. Sift the flour and salt together through a sieve over the bowl that contains the egg mixture, then beat to incorporate everything.
4. Remove the muffin or popover tin from the oven and grease it again. Fill each cup of the muffin/popover tin exactly 3/4 of the way up with batter.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.
6. Serve immediately or remove from the tins and let cool and then reheat in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving. Leftover popovers can be stored in an airtight bag or container.
7. Drizzle warm popovers with honey and sea salt, maple syrup, Nutella or anything else you can think of.