As the snow piles up around the house, softening the lines and edges outside, it feels good to be warm and cozy inside with a fire burning and the soft sounds of the girls’ laughter coming from the living room. On days like this, when nothing demands our attention, it’s fun to do something special in the kitchen. Lately though, my kitchen has been taken over by my 12 year-old daughter, Miss Phoebe. She’s homeschooled and we have been working on fractions and multiplication. Cooking is the perfect place to practice those skills.
Today, she’s making popovers. Popovers are a perfect first baking experience for kids. The recipe couldn’t be easier and the results are pretty magical. They use very inexpensive ingredients, things that most people have on hand all of the time. Kids love them. Even a picky eater can’t resist a hot popover filled with melting butter and their favorite fruit jam or jelly.
You start by preheating your oven and your popover pans to 450 degrees. There are some people who claim that you should start with a cold oven. Those people are wrong. Some people will also claim that a muffin tin works as well as a popover pan. Those people are also wrong. A cast iron skillet will produce a puffy pancake with popover batter but it is not the same thing at all. I may sound a bit, well, particular, but we all have our little ways.
Grease the cups well and put them in the oven to preheat. I use lard. They will say it doesn’t matter but those people are also wrong. Only lard will give you the lovely golden,crusty shell that is the mark of the perfect popover.
Now mix up two eggs, a cup of milk, a cup of flour and a pinch of salt. Whisk it well and when the oven and popover pans are hot, fill each cup with a scant ½ cup of batter. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes. Don’t peek. Trust me.
Remove and serve immediately with butter and jelly. Some people will claim that this recipe will feed three people. Those people are wrong. Double the recipe. Again, trust me.
Snow Day Popovers
Preheat oven and greased popover pans to 450 degrees.
1 cup milk
1 cup white flour
pinch of salt
Fill the hot cups about half full with batter and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.