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Black Pepper & Nutmeg Popovers

  • Black Pepper & Nutmeg Popovers

    If I’m not going to bake something sweet, then it had better be a buttery winner.

    Usually my forays into the savory world involve cheese (too bad cheese and sweets just don’t work together, do they?), but this time I went off the cheesy path and went back to the good old-fashioned popover.

    I saw this recipe in a recent Bon Appétit magazine of mine, and ripped it out pronto.  I knew it had to be made- especially when I read that they were to be baked into muffin tins (which I have a’ plenty of in the cupboard).  What I don’t have a’ plenty of are popover tins, and it’s a bit of a personal sore spot.  (Big on purging, The Husband and I engaged in one of our semi-annual “let’s get rid of crap we haven’t used in a year or so” party a couple of years ago.  I nominated the rather large-ish popover pan to the pile.  I knew one day I’d really want to make popovers, with all my heart, but I also knew I had to contribute to the game known as “less is more in the household”, especially when my quadruple-tiered cooling racks were taking up precious shelf space.  So the popover pan went into the alley [where we put our junk on top of our trash bin and marvel at how fast the crap goes- it’s so entertaining!], we had more room in the cupboards [so I could buy the adorable mini-donut pan for Baked Buttermilk Mini Donuts, which was so much smaller in comparison], and a homeless person could take a popover pan back to his shopping cart.)

    Adapted from Bon Appétit’s recipe…

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    1 tablespoon salt

    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    3 large eggs

    2 1/2 cups whole milk

    3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter (for muffin pans)

    1. Preheat oven to 425°. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter; grease 12 standard muffin cups (or a popover pan if you’re lucky enough to still have one) with 1/2 teaspoons melted butter each.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg together.
    3. In a separate large bowl, beat eggs and then stir in milk; combine well.  Gently whisk in flour mixture, then 3 tablespoons melted butter (being careful not to over mix).
    4. Place buttered muffin tins into hot oven for 3 minutes, to melt and slightly brown butter.  Remove from over, and quickly spray the sides of each muffin cup with non-stick spray.
    5. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling cups three-quarters full and dividing equally.  Bake popovers until puffed, golden brown, and crispy around edges, 30-35 minutes.  Using a thin knife or an offset spatula, remove popovers from pan. Serve immediately.

    Tips:

    • Sprinkle a bit of parsley, pepper and nutmeg over the tops of the popovers right before you put into the oven.  They will look yummy on top when you serve them.
    • Promise me that you’ll us freshly ground nutmeg, okay?  You can buy a nutmeg nut at any grocery store (well, most), and just grate it on the prickly edge of your shredding tool (the box grater you use to shred cheese, you know)? The parsley has to be fresh, too- don’t use dried parsley. That’s my last request.
    • Removing the popovers from the pan can be a daunting task.  Just spray each muffin cup with non-stick spray before pouring the batter in (yes, in addition to the butter), and then use a sharp paring knife to cut away from the sides of the pan.  Do it quickly, though, since you want your popovers to look popped and poofy, not deflated and sad.
    • Popover texture is like Yorkshire pudding- not like a muffin.  I just don’t want you to be disappointed, in case you were hoping for something doughier.  (These are crispy on the outside, and almost hollow on the inside but chewy where dough remains.  Yummy for rubbing into gravy.  Oh yes.)
    • Be a keener and make the batter ahead of time… just keep in fridge for up to a day (or freeze and thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to make).
    • Happy holidays!  These are fantastic with a holiday meal.  When you’re not making Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, that is.

     

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    January 5th, 2013 | More Sweets Please | No Comments | Tags:

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