Popover Breakthrough

I remember the first time I ever had popovers.  We were at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park for afternoon tea.  We sat at a table on the lawn with a view of the bubbles.  We had no idea what a popover was at the time, but the server assured us we would love them and, since it was the only thing they served for afternoon tea, we got it.

It was love at first sight.  Each popover was basically a tube, about 3 inches in diameter and almost 8 inches long.  They were hot, eggy, crispy, and delicious, especially with the strawberry jam that they served.  We were in Maine for almost a week.  I think we might have gone back for that afternoon tea at least 3 times and I ended up buying a teapot from the gift shop that was just like the ones they used.

Since that time, I have made popovers at home many times.  I started out making them in muffin pans and they were good, but they seemed to always get stuck in the pan.  Then, the husband got me some fancy nonstick popover pans, which worked great for awhile, but now the popovers get stuck all the time.  I will say this:  trying to wrestle an airy, crispy popover from a hot pan is not fun.  Lots of times, we would have to settle for just pulling off the tops and eating those.  I will confess that I have been avoiding popovers for awhile now because they always seem to stick to the pan, no matter how much we greased it or buttered it or treated it.

But that is no more.  Julia Child (and Marion Cunningham and Dorie Greenspan) have saved popovers for me and I will be forever grateful.  What is the secret to popovers that don’t stick in the pan?  Here it is:

Don’t use a pan!  That’s right.  I have made this week’s recipe for TWD many times, but I have always used a metal muffin or popover pan.  I always kinda skipped over the custard cup option that is given in the recipe, not having any custard cups in the house.  This time, however, I paused when reading that instruction.  What is a custard cup, but a little dish?  I have lots of little dishes.  I have at least a dozen ramekins.  They are more or less the same thing, right?  I decided to try it.  After all, there was nothing to lose.  If they stick to the dishes, then it won’t be any different from the last 12 times I made popovers.

I arranged 9 ramekins on a sheet pan and sprayed them all with nonstick spray.

Then, I whirred all the ingredients in the blender and poured the batter into the dishes, skipping the straining part.  Straining seemed too fiddly for me and I don’t mind lumpy popovers.

They were amazing.  Not a single one stuck to the ramekin and we got some crazy shapes that we all loved.  Strangely, I had forgotten the salt in the batter, but no one cared when homemade jam was slathered on top.

They were wonderful with tea made in my Jordan Pond House teapot.  Now, I don’t have to go back there to eat perfect popovers, but I still want to go back.  After all, I don’t have a view of the bubbles from my house.

Popovers are super, super, easy.  I suggest you try them!  If you do, use ramekins and you will be happier.  Plus, ramekins can go in the dishwasher so the cleanup is easier.  See?  I just made your life 100 times easier.   You can get the recipe here and here.

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Posted on August 21, 2012, in Baking, Tuesdays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Mine stuck miserably, the ceramic pans is the way to go. Beautiful popovers!

  2. Oh how lucky you were: mine did all glue to the ramekins (I used butter and not the nonstick spray – I don’t like nonstick spray) – the second time I buttered and floured them and it was better.
    Your popovers looks amazing!

    We all loved them!
    I’ve made some sweet and some cheesy (Grana cheese) adding rosemary and spices…
    This recipe is a winner.

  3. Glorious popovers!!! Wow…what a difference the cups make! I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂

  4. Beautiful! Isn’t this recipe great! I actually had good success with a muffin pan but I love the ramekin idea. That is perfect!

  5. I’m definitely using ramekins next time as well!

  6. Glad you found success. My muffin tins worked fine, but I like the looks of popovers cooked in ramekins. I’ll try that next time!

  7. Your puffed up so high! I love it! I’m glad it worked for you 🙂

  8. Yours look amazing! Lovely shapes!

  9. wow..yours really did puff up didnt they… and i love the memory attached to them!!

  10. Mine stuck a little, but I’ve noticed that everyone who used ceramic or glass dishes had no trouble. I’ll go that route next time.

  11. What a great post and story – love it and your popovers look picture perfect and utterly delicious served with homemade jam, eggs, fruits and bacon. Well done!

  12. Your popovers look so golden & delicious & fun! I had the opposite happen with the ramekins – those ones stuck & the nonstick muffin pan ones basically popped themselves out of the pans. I’m sure the nonstick finish will become less effective over time though – this pan was pretty new. I love your story about tea & popovers. Food memories are the best!

  13. YES! The Jordan Pond House popovers are amazing!! We went to ME on our honeymoon, and everyone told us to go there for the popovers. My husband and I kept comparing mine to theirs…no comparison though.

    Yours look beautiful – great job!

  14. Perfectly beautiful popovers! They were amazing!!

  15. glad popovers can be part of your life again! they look fantastic! and the nice thing about ramekins, is that you can pop them into the dishwasher!

  16. Perfect popovers. It’s nice that the ramekins worked so well – definitely a bonus.

  17. Your popovers are gorgeous! I used a muffin tin with a liberal amount of butter and had no problems. I saw a video where they sprayed the popover pan with what I thought was way too much, but now understand why!

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