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Puffy popovers! Belated thanks, and pictures

I hit a popover low last winter, which I posted about here (in my old-board freddie incarnation): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... and got great feedback.

But I was in a popover rut, and it took a while to try again.

I made fantastic popovers today, using the same Bittman recipe. But on Pat Hammond's great suggestion, I dusted the (heated, buttered) muffin tin with grated parmesan. And, on JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)'s advice, I worked really fast, to try to retain the preheated pan's heat as much as possible.

The smell of the baking cheese was divine. And the popovers were delicious. And there was a nice mix of puffed popped out, and flatter muffin-y shaped popovers. I have to say that it called into question my thought that a proper popover must be really puffed--the smaller ones were more moist, and delicious in their own right.

Pictures here:

The crud on the muffin tin is baked on parmesan (yum). And I'm not too adept at the flickr thing, sorry. These pictures were taken in the span of a couple minutes. These things went fast!

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  1. Wow, those look fantastic! And the parmesan cheese sounds great. Are there other (non-cheesy) variations on this recipe to spice up the popovers? I'm definitely inspired.

    1. Great pictures ... I love the slide show. Clever you!

      1. Me too, great pixs! Gotta try those.

        1. Those look great!

          You just reminded me I have to go out and get some Natas from the Ironbound (soon). http://ummundomagico.blogs.sapo.pt/ar...

          1. rose water, those look wonderful. (slide show is great)
            You've inspired me to want to make them. Did you just eat them up or did you serve them with something?

            1 Reply
            1. re: kitchensalli

              Just ate them up (or rather wolfed them down)! But I'd love suggestions on things to serve with them.

              Without parmesan cheese, they end up tasting a bit like individual portions of french toast. Candied pecans, maple syrup, butter, etc., would go well. Or jam or marmalade or pomegranate syrup.

              Given the baked parmesan, I was craving a tomato jam type thing, though I don't know exactly what would be appropriate. I think I'm going to try again tomorrow and throw in some sage leaves. Other good savory topping ideas would be welcome!

            2. with the parmesan baked popovers if you're thinking about something with tomato - I'd suggest a sun dried tomato pesto. you can make it pretty loose, almost a dip ... season with toasted, ground anise & fennel seeds and chopped herbs ( parsely & basil )
              enjoyed the photos - thanks for sharing

              1 Reply
              1. re: gordon wing

                I was thinking something along the same line. Rose Water is familiar w/ NYC, and I'm going to suggest going to Teitel Bros. and getting some plain not marinated sun-dried tomatoes, some fresh garlic, and a bottle of their Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. (They have it especially bottled for them, even says so on the label).

                Take the three ingredients to a blender or food processor and make a paste with it. Don't make it as loose as a pesto, so be careful when adding the extra virgin. The taste should go well with your popovers. If you want a little more savory, add a schmear of whipped cream cheese to the popover as well.

              2. Glad to hear you've got your popover groove on again! Those look great; the tops look as flakey as a croissant! I'll have to try Bittman's recipe w/ your cheese variation. Thanks for posting.

                1. Ok, couple of things: first off, if you can make those, you can make the big old things that really pop! You need a popover pan though. I think you did probably about as well as anyone can using muffin tins, but hey, if you like popovers, you've got to get the pan.

                  I've heard about the parmesan thing and I really want to try it, but I usually end up making them around breakfast time, and its too easy to fill them up with butter and jam. Another good way to have them is with tea....

                  1. More popovers today (guests over, so I was embarrassed to take pictures!) and they were even puffier and popped, and totally delicious. I also made an un-poppy batch a couple weeks ago. I used the same Bittman recipe each time, same oven and heated pan, and same dusting of grated parmesan on the heated buttered pan.

                    This all leads to my new theory about pop inhibition:
                    The one difference between unsuccesful attempt #2 and wildly successful attempts #1 and 3 was hand mixing v. food processing. Granted it's MUCH faster to whiz in the cuisinart. But hand mixing must get more air inside the batter, or the lumps must do something...In any case, I am hopeful that I'm embarking on a puffy popover streak, and am excited about it.

                    Thanks, home cooking 'hounds, for your input along the way.

                    1. I made popovers last night, and used the parmesan suggestion. They puffed up REALLY high and were tasty, but the parmesan burned a bit. I don't feel like I overbaked them, but instead of brown and crusty, the parm flecks were almost black where they touched the muffin pan.

                      I did not pre=heat the pan, merely buttered and dusted. My parm was possibly more "finely shredded" - with a microplane - than grated. I baked at 425. Any ideas what the problem might have been?

                      1. In the "what to eat with popovers" vein, I like plain (non cheesy) popovers, cooled just a bit, then filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with honey and cinnamon.