There are a lot of “tricks” that are mentioned whenever making popovers. So many, in fact, that it makes you wonder how anyone makes a popover at all. Half of them are even contradictory to each other, which is why it took me so long to finally get around to making them. You always see the pictures of sad, deflated popovers (Even Food & Wine’s “foolproof” recipe features a picture of sunken popovers) and everyone’s got a “secret” to achieve the perfect popover. I will tell you the only important piece of advice, the only advice that I followed: DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR.
I made the batter, put them in the oven, DID NOT TOUCH THE DOOR and they bake (and poofed) perfectly.
My one request: Please make this in a popover pan. I hate buying single-purpose items for the kitchen, but you will not achieve nearly the same lift with a muffin pan as you will with a popover pan. I’m sorry, it’s just not happening. So, use a muffin pan if you must, but just know that you are absolutely, without a doubt, robbing yourself of the true popover experience.
These cinnamon-sugar popovers are light, airy, and perfectly sweet. As I was biting into it, I was thinking about how much the flavor resembled one of my other brunch favorites, the german pancake. Now I feel like I should cover my next german pancake in cinnamon sugar. Yeah, that’s totally happening.
Sorry, back to the popovers. They taste like a donut without the heaviness… and without all the guilt associated with eating a donut. I ate like 3 or 4 of these before I felt as guilty as I feel about eating just one donut! (Nutritional value totally unrelated to the guilt, this could be a bad thing, but they’re not deep-fried so I’m going to say I’m winning this one).
These, like all popovers, are best served fresh from the oven, but the BF was definitely snacking on the last of them cold as an after-lunch snack. So they’re definitely still edible, but there’s no way that they are as delicious.
If you find yourself crunched for time, you can make the batter the night before, store it in the fridge, and bake them off the next morning (just make sure you take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before baking). The batter comes together so quickly, though, that I don’t see why you would possibly need to make it in advance.
Makes 12 large or 24 mini popovers
For the popovers:
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ Tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the sugar dusting:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Place the greased popover pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven while it preheats to 350ºF.
2. Once the oven is preheated, warm the milk in the microwave about 1 minute, just until warm to the touch. Set aside. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in another bowl.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until pale yellow. Once frothy, slowly whisk in the milk. Make sure the milk is warm, not hot, or the eggs will curdle.
4. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking until smooth.
5. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and fill each tin ½ to ¾ full with batter and quickly return the pan to the oven. Once the oven door closes, lock it with your imaginary oven door lock.
6. Bake 50 minutes for full-size popovers, or about 35 to 40 minutes for mini popovers (I started peeking through the window around 30 minutes, if you don’t have a window, don’t even think about opening that door until 35 minutes in). Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool about 5 to 10 minutes, until you can comfortably handle them. Note: If you are using a muffin tin or mini muffin tin, your baking time may be less (see below).
7. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. When you can handle them, dip the popovers in the melted butter and then toss with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
* You can grease your tins with butter (which I used), but there is folklore surrounding the need to use vegetable shortening, and equally as much about using vegetable oil, or even PAM. I put about a teaspoon-sized cube of butter into each mini tube before putting it into the oven. The pool of butter did give them little “pigtails” at the end, I wish I’d taken a picture. They were super cute.
* I’m lazy and too much whisking makes me tired, so I used an immersion blender, and added the ingredients in the order listed.
* I’ve read that regular-size muffin tin popovers will bake in about 35 minutes or 18 – 23 minutes for mini-muffin tin popovers., but I’m not sure since I’ve not made them.