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.