Holiday Popovers

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Popovers duo in pan

Don’t you love the science of cooking, how you can take simple ingredients like eggs, milk, flour, and salt and transform them into these airy, puffy, crispy, weirdly tall popovers?  For a long time, I made them in muffin tins because I didn’t have the specialty popover pans.  They tasted good, but never seemed like a real popover.  About ten or so years ago a store opened nearby having a Grand Opening sale.  Inside, I headed to the area with all kinds of kitchen gadgets and pans on a huge table.  I saw the popover pans and knew it was finally time to buy one.  I looked at the price and it was $1.50!  Wow!  What a grand opening sale, I thought.  Why not buy two?  So I did.  I didn’t find anything else I needed and went to the checkout.  I pulled out a few singles thinking what a deal I had found. That will be $31.80, said the cashier.  What??  I showed him the price tags and he said, Whoops – someone made a mistake.  Sorry.  It’s still $31.80; they are $15 each, not $1.50.  Just as he was saying this, the manager walked by and overheard what he was telling me.  He said that since $1.50 was the price tag on the pans, that’s what he would charge me. Score! I think he just wanted to be nice to his new customers, so I said okay and went home happy.

Popovers in pan

I’ve had a lot of fun with these pans.  One year I made individual panettones (an Italian sweet bread) for Christmas gifts, but it’s usually been just for popovers.  I first learned to love popovers at the Zodiac Room in Neiman-Marcus stores where one popover is brought to your table along with a strawberry butter before you even have time to order.  My girls and I always made it a tradition while Christmas shopping to go have lunch at the Zodiac, but what we really wanted was the popovers.

These popovers have the addition of a little poultry seasoning for the holidays and are great with a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey and all the trimmings.  They are best served piping hot with butter, honey, jam, or whatever you like. For a strawberry butter like the Zodiac Room, just stir some strawberry preserves into some softened butter until blended.

Popovers in bowl

Just remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss on the subject of popovers:

To eat these things, you must exercise great care;
You may swallow down what’s solid,
you must spit out the air!

Holiday Popovers
Serves: 6
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 6 popover pan cups (or 8 medium muffin cups).
  2. Break eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk slightly. Add remaining ingredients and beat just until smooth. Divide mixture evenly between prepared pan cups.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake until popovers are a deep golden brown, about another 15-18 minutes longer. Remove from pan and serve immediately. Always serve popovers hot.

8 Responses to Holiday Popovers

  1. November 5, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    i have the same popover tins–the a 6 and 12 muffin version–my recipe is very similar but it starts in a cold oven–I think that helps them rise higher and be more airy-right?

    3 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1 cup white flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1–Generously butter popover pan (or spray with Pam) and place in refrigerator/freezer while preparing batter. Break eggs in a bowl; add milk, flour and salt. Mix with wire whisk until dry ingredients are moistened–batter should be lumpy. Pour into popover tin.
    2. Place in cold oven, turn heat to 450°. Bake 30 minutes.

    A few days ago I was thinking of making them this weekend–I think your posting convinced me.

    • November 5, 2014 at 5:12 am #

      Barb, our recipes sound very similar! After writing the blog, I started searching for other popover recipes and there are many with various ways of preparation. I think do whatever works. My old ’70’s recipe never fails, but I am interested in trying yours now with the cold oven start. I found one recipe that claims to be the “official” Neiman-Marcus one (yeah, like the chocolate chip cookie, right?) and it used baking powder. If I put baking powder in mine, they would become skyscrapers! I still marvel at how high they climb with those few simple ingredients.

  2. November 5, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    This has to be one of my favorite blog post. I, too, love the NM popovers with strawberry butter and that store manager that honored the price on the pans and the Dr. Seuss quote…. Really fun and upbeat writing plus another perfect recipe for the holidays. Great tip on the multiuse of the pan with the panettone

    • November 5, 2014 at 5:13 am #

      Thanks, Lisa. I figured the panettone idea would get your attention! They look so adorable. I had forgotten about those and now I want to find the recipe I used and make them again this year.

  3. November 5, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    I actually convinced my husband and my youngest son to go to the Zodiac at Northbrook Court last summer for lunch. We were all so impressed with the popovers and strawberry butter. They really “made” the meal. I have made them at home per their request and they are soooo good!!! This recipe looks delicious!

    • November 5, 2014 at 5:20 am #

      Amy, we love the Northbrook Court one the best and never go shopping without stopping at the Zodiac.

  4. November 5, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Your timing on popovers is amazing! I was just helping my girlfriend plan her BIG birthday celebration, where friends will spend 5 glorious days at Cannon Beach for the party. Of coarse, meal planning is central to all the festivities, and Deb said ‘soup and popovers’ are a must at the ocean front house. Besides scheduling a local chef to come to the house one evening, Deb mentioned how everyone will have to bring their popover pans! I will share everyone’s popovers tips and recipes from your blog, and let you know which one is the favorite! Great story on your popover pan purchase, too!

    • November 5, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Great story, Kim! Have a wonderful time making the popovers. Sounds like a fun celebration! Post some photos of the popovers on your Facebook page if you think about it.

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