Custardy popovers are a surprisingly simple but spectacular treat. We first discovered them when the kids wanted dessert one evening and nothing was prepared. I thought I had them snookered: I just pulled out the cookbooks and told the kids we could have dessert if they could find something easy and quick without sugar. But no, my kids are obviously smarter than that when dessert is on the line. They found these little treats: crisp on the outside, and fluffy with a layer of custard on the inside.
They’re best eaten within seconds of being taken out of the oven. Not that it’s ever a problem in this household. It’s fun to open them up and fill the holes with honey, ice cream, butter, jam or just have them as they are.
They’re also not too bad for breakfast or afternoon tea. But they’re best for dessert. The recipe also scales really well. If you want a double quantity, you can just double the ingredients without any problem at all.
So Fiesta Friday friends, come along and take one while these little treats are still hot and puffed up. Angie, our host, will certainly be first in, but we should make some elbow room for the lovely co-hosts too: Indu @Indu’s International Kitchen, Selma @Selma’s Table, and Hilda @Along The Grapevine. They’re all lovely people and wonderful cooks, so do try to chat with them while you’re there.
And thanks to Angie for featuring my garlic and preserved lemon with tagliatelle at this week’s party. What an honour!
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of plain flour
- ½ cup of milk
- a drop of vanilla essence (optional)
- melted butter or oil for greasing the pan (if needed)
- Before you start: Turn the oven to 190 degrees C (375 F) and put in an empty muffin tin.
- Use a fork or a whisk to mix the eggs, milk and flour together, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk it really well until it is light and fluffy. This takes a few minutes.
- Work very quickly now because you don’t want the tine to cool down at all. Take the muffin tray out of the oven and grease each muffin cup. Then pour in the mix to fill each cup to about ⅖ full. You want to leave enough room for expansion.
- Bake the popovers for about 20 to 30 minutes (see notes).
- Prick each one with a skewer to let the steam out and serve immediately.
How long should you cook them? A shorter time gives you more custard, but a slightly less crispness. A longer cooking time gives you something crispier on the outside and a bit more breadish on the inside, but less custard. They’re easy to make, so just experiment by taking out one at 20 minutes to see if you like it, and leave the rest in for longer if you want it to be more cooked through.
You’re not supposed to oven the oven while they’re cooking. The only time you can do this is the first time you make them. Once you have the cooking times established for your oven and your muffin tin, you shouldn’t need to interrupt the cooking again.
Source: Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. The only real change is that, with silicon muffin tins, you don’t need to use as much butter to grease as she suggested