Ham and Cheese PopoversMay 2nd, 2012
Welcome back for another month of tasty recipes! This month we’ll be highlighting recipes that I (Dan) grew up with, whether they’re unique family recipes or just go-to foods that my childhood wouldn’t have been complete without!
This week’s recipe, though, aims to reinforce that there’s still plenty of fun recipes to find and experiment with, no matter how young, old, experienced, or clueless you are! My grandma found this recipe on tasteofhome.com, and she just had to try it out with a few little tweaks of her own. And since popovers are a lot like muffins, but the preparation is subtly different, it seemed like the perfect fit for us! Let’s jump right in:
-Butter (just to grease the muffin/popover tin. Evidently works better for popovers than oil/spray)
-1 cup of All-Purpose Flour
-1/4 teaspoon of Salt
-1 cup of milk (we used 2%)
-1 tablespoon Canola Oil
- Ham (sliced) and Cheese (grated, ours was a combination including sharp cheddar and Monterey jack)
Start by pre-heating the oven! The first phase of baking these is gonna be HOT, a whopping 450 degrees! It’s recommended that you lower your oven’s tray thingies so that the popovers don’t brown too quickly before the rest of them bake fully (this doesn’t necessarily mean the bottom rung, just make a conscious effort to keep them low-ish in the oven).
Now for the all-important baking tin! Popover tins are specifically built to have slightly taller holders, so use 'em if you got 'em, otherwise a regular muffin tin works just fine. Use wax paper or a paper towel to grease each holder with butter, then sprinkle flower in each as well. This’ll help the popovers keep their shape as they bake.
Now to mix things up! Literally. Sorry, that was terrible. Seriously though, get a mixing bowl and mix the flour and the salt together, then mix the eggs, milk and canola oil in a separate bowl/cup/whatever you have available that they’ll fit in.
Once the dry ingredients and wet ingredients are nice and mixed in their individual bowls, mix them together! Once they’re a smooth consistency, with no clumps and a lot of tiny bubbles, your batter is good to go!
Now, I’m still not totally clear on why this happens, but something about the oven being SO DARN HOT for the first part of this process means that you’re only supposed to fill some of the muffin holders with batter, and the rest with water. Something about keeping the tin from cracking or exploding or something. And by fill I mean fill 2/3 full. Long story short, fill EVERY OTHER holder to 2/3 full with batter, and the others 2/3 full with water.
Don’t forget to sprinkle your sliced ham and grated cheese over the top of the batter before you start baking them!
Now, here’s where the process deviates from muffin preparation a bit. You’re going to leave the popovers in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, and after that, WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN DOOR (can’t have all that heat escaping), lower the heat to 350 degrees, and let the popovers bake for another 350 minutes. If all goes well, they’ll come out looking like this!
After you’ve let them cool for a minute or two, they should be fairly easy to pop out of the tin using a knife, and they’ll be ready to eat! As with many recipes, as long as you’ve cooked them for the correct amount of time at the right temperatures, even if they come out looking a little weird, they’re still going to be delicious! Maybe their lack of aesthetic appeal will entice you to devour them faster.
Personally, I think they taste just fine plain, especially with the ham and cheese at the top, but they go great with some added butter too, since admittedly they ham-less, cheese-less parts aren’t the MOST flavorful, other than tasting like egg. You could also prepare them without the ham and cheese, and spread jam on them, like you might an English muffin! There’s really a lot of great ways to enjoy these things.
Thanks for tuning in this week! Share your own popover experiments and misadventures with us through our feedback form, and as always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, requests, comments, or just something on your mind! Hope you all have a tasty rest of your week!