Ra6_0002ph                                                                                                                Photo by Donna T. Ruhlman
So I’m working hard to finish up a cookbook I’m writing and have decided to throw some popovers in there because they are just too cool.  This slack batter of flour, egg and milk goes into a little cup into a very hot oven and a half hour later, poof!, a transformation as dramatic as popcorn.  It puffs for the same reason, the steam, the same element that puff gougeres as well.  Delicious and so, so easy.

Mix together 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of flour, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pour it into a popover mold or ramekin that has some melted butter in it and cook at 450 till done.  You could serve a popover with beef.  Yorkshire pudding is this very batter (or a similar one, people can and should argue with my proportions for Yorkshire), cooked in piping hot beef fat, but a popover would work with any meat.  It’s soft as a Parker House roll.  You don’t have bread but want to serve some with dinner? Make a few popovers (the above quantities will only be enough for two or three portions).  You could top it with compte or reggiano and serve as a canapé (like a gougere).   It’s delicious for breakfast with diced apples, of course, serve dusted with powdered sugar and a little crème fraiche.  And it would work great as a dessert (not unlike the gougere cousin, the profiterole), served hot, dusted with cinnamon sugar, with warm ganache and ice cream.

The popover represents what’s so fun about cooking—causing a great transformation with the simplest ingredients.

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70 Wonderful responses to “Flour, egg, milk”

  • Sarah

    I’m getting to this post a year late – but you’re the author to ask. I keep a kosher kitchen and love popovers/yorkshire pudding. Ordinarily I feel fairly confident substituting chicken broth for milk. But I’m wondering if the milk contributes in ways to this batter that I might be missing? (that is, I think it’s the eggs and steam that make it rise – the milk protein just contributes to the taste)

    It’s a question I wonder about all the time. Most kosher substitutions involve soy milk which just troubles me on principle….

    Thanks!

    Sarah

  • seriousdarious

    Just a quick question re: this recipe (and any on your site, rally). When you say salt in a recipe are you talking table or kosher? Thanks.

  • Sarah

    I’m getting to this post a year late – but you’re the author to ask. I keep a kosher kitchen and love popovers/yorkshire pudding. Ordinarily I feel fairly confident substituting chicken broth for milk. But I’m wondering if the milk contributes in ways to this batter that I might be missing? (that is, I think it’s the eggs and steam that make it rise – the milk protein just contributes to the taste)

    It’s a question I wonder about all the time. Most kosher substitutions involve soy milk which just troubles me on principle….

    Thanks!

    Sarah

  • Dave

    This is one of those special small recipes you carry around with you for life. Thanks.

    Doing a podcast with CMHGourmand.wordpress.com tonight on Charcuterie.

  • phoebe

    Made a full-on rack of lamb dinner for Mother’s Day. Slaved in the kitchen for hours. What was the hit? The warm, fresh popovers right out of the oven. I am legend in my family’s mind!

  • Dave Weinstein

    “Hey, Popovers. I wish we’d bought that cast iron popover pan we saw in Skykomish…”

    “Oh well, I guess we have a cast iron muffin tin, I think I saw it… Oh.”

    “What?”

    “We did buy the popover pan!”

    Anyway, I’ve been making them as follows:

    Breakfast Popovers:

    One cup Milk
    One Cup Wondra Flour
    Two Duck Eggs
    1 tsp Salt
    1 TBSP Splenda
    One capful Vanilla Extract
    Two capfuls Almond Extract

    Had them this morning with some home made Rosemary/Maple Syrup sausage patties, and some home cured Mangalitsa bacon (also rosemary and maple syrup in the cure).

    Sort of an “All Ruhlman” menu.

    Tonight, I’m roasting some turkey thighs, and making savory popovers using Applewood Smoked salt, and fried shallots.

  • Deeba

    Well you’ve really sounded the gongs for pop-overs & I am completely sold. Must be the only goon here who hasn’t baked these…but not for long. This post made for great reading…very nice indeed. All the best for the book; it’s gotta be WONDERFUL if it has stuff like this within!! :0)

  • Matt Wright

    These are the same really as the classic British “Yorkshire pudding”. Traditionally served with a roast beef.

    Really great stuff, especially when you pour a little of the beef cooking liquid over!

  • Fala

    My mother makes amazing popovers, then fills them with honey, butter and whipped cream. They are amazing! Let’s bring back the popover!

  • IdahoRocks

    Gougere, yorkshire pudding, yummm. But I still cannot resist the pate a choux, the “cream puffs” that I learned to make as a child, filled with homemade vanilla custard, and yes, topped with ganache: the ultimate comfort food….

  • Natalie Sztern

    there is not much i do without planning and i am not a baker, but i just made these for supper in the spur of the moment and they are fabulous…i tripled the recipe for 6 yorkshire pudding tins filled half full and i have leftover batter…

    easypeasy!! and yummo!

  • Peter

    I’ve been making popovers about once a week since the fall. Great compliment to many meals. I’ll drop a small piece of cheese in the center ( Joy of Cooking suggests this ) to make a ‘poor man’s gougere’. Tonight we had cream of asparagus soup with popovers that had havarti with dill in them… sublime.

  • rcspott

    It would be great to start seeing baking recipes that have the ingredients listed for use of a scale, ie flour by ounces or grams. You could even have a double column in your book, one for weighting ingredients and one for cup/tablespoons.

    Thanks

  • sheila

    I make these every Christmas morning, with extra butter in the batter.

    My first popover was at Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant in Boston in the late 60s – my soon-to-be inlaws took me there when I was making my pre-wedding visit. I had never been to a “good” restaurant before (grew up in a non-foodish little city)and here came this basket of wonderful crusty ephemeral things… they have always been magic food for me.

  • John Kelly

    I remember a recipe for popovers from about 1962 that used only flour and ice cream. I made them one Sunday and they were a wonderful treat. I regret I do not remember the proportions of if the flour was special like a self rising but the results were very cool for a 12 year old.

  • Ann

    I had never had a popover…biscuit girl myself…until I was about 20…my big brother loves the Neiman Marcus Cafe(Troy, Michigan) and took me there for lunch one day…They bring these huge popovers to the table in a basket with strawberry whipped butter (or creme fraiche)…it’s been awhile…I just remember thinking that I had a little piece of heaven in my mouth…this was a long time ago…I have taken a few friends there over the years, but not recently, it’s been about 5 years…

  • John Kelly

    I remember a recipe for popovers from about 1962 that used only flour and ice cream. I made them one Sunday and they were a wonderful treat. I regret I do not remember the proportions of if the flour was special like a self rising but the results were very cool for a 12 year old.

  • Doodad

    I made a traditional British beef roast and Yorkies for Christmas this year. First time ever making them. They are so good with all that meaty fat in the tin and then pan gravy on top. Maybe tonight with Beef Carbonadde?

  • David J Rust

    Hello, Michael,

    Y’know, I make popovers all the time and I’ve found a 50-50 mix of bread flour to AP flour really produces some nice results. You may want to experiment with that!

  • Foodie Princess

    Your recipe sounds wonderfully simple and delicious. I made some a few months back, I’m not sure which recipe I used but they were horrible. Way to eggy! I think the recipe called for something like 4 eggs. I can’t wait to try out yours instead.

  • ktdid747

    We LOVE popovers and have been making them for years–they ARE soooo easy! Our favorite use for them is for breakfast.. make a fresh batch of popovers, then poach up some eggs and make some lime hollandaise sauce..split open a popover, top with egg and hollandaise sauce and salt and pepper… add a side of crispy bacon or sausage (or you can add canadian bacon or other meat in the popover under the egg if you want it ala eggs benedict!… it’s wonderful!

  • Lissa Guillet

    I grew up with these. We’d cut a hole and throw in tons of butter and a little honey. Man those are some of my favorite things.

  • luis

    HappyHoarfrost |,,, now that’s what I am talking about!!… EXECELENTE, BRAVO!

  • Line cook

    The first thing I thought of when I saw that pic was yorkshire pudding.

    Mmmmmm, yorkshire pudding.

  • Phil

    Ruhlman’s Mom read his blog. I love it. I absolutely love it.

    Happy Mothers Day!

  • Ginny

    I always made popovers for mother’s day growing up. I don’t think I’ve had them since I moved out! Looks great! Delicious!

  • Kim

    How great as I just bought a new popover pan, I will try your version. I have made these in a cold oven as well. Something James Beard says to do. Wonder if you have tried baking them this way and your thoughts. I grew up with these on the dinner table quite often. Fabulous picture!

  • Natalie Sztern

    oh…and “of course your mother reads your blog and she probably has all your books too and so she should cause she gets ‘nachos’ from you and ‘get your ass over to her house and make sure you sign each and every book of yours in her library”! and i don’t care if you have to go by plane either!!

    (this i say in case your mother wouldn’t want to impose on you)

  • Natalie Sztern

    Considering I have a mouth full of orthodontic braces and cannot chew anything, this is exactly what I need and want to eat….I thought i was craving soft scones until i read this….thankyou for my mother’s day present….

    QUESTION: (also good for the book instructions)

    Do I need to pre-heat the popover tin and if I should swish the melted butter up the sides to prevent sticking or if that is not necessary? One more, I am assuming when u say mix that I do not need a mixmaster but that mixing with a spoon will be okay?.

  • Pat

    Made the popovers this afternoon. Had them with chicken over stuffing and a small salad. The 4 of us ate all 12 popover in a heartbeat. I never thought I could bake. Never. Now, I can. They were great!! Light, fluffy and flaky. Thanks.

    PS. The photo made me want to try them.

  • arundathi

    You are truly inspiring Ruhlman. I love love love your books and regularly visit your blog. Thanks for this post – Gonna try this right now – don’t have a popover mold or ramekins, but gonna try the coffee mug method and keep my fingers crossed!

  • Vinotas

    I’ve never made popovers but always wanted to try them. Now that my new kitchen is almost done maybe I’ll try it today for Mother’s Day, my Mom loves being my guinea pig.

    Thanks for the inspiration and what a lovely pic!
    Cheers!

  • HappyHoarfrost

    We have a complete set of hideous black coffee mugs from the early 80′s–maybe Jack Tripper was drinking Irish Coffees out of these at the Reagle Beagle, hard to say–I ALMOST gave them away.
    Tried the popovers in them. Astounding success.
    A bacon fanatic, I fried up some bacon, poured the drippings into the bottom of each of the mugs, crumbled some of the super-crispy stuff over each one before pouring in the batter, then watched in awe as they came alive. Served with blue-cheese butter (50/50 softened blend) studded with chives and cracked pink peppercorns. Hog Heaven.
    I’m positive it only worked because 1)I was completely prepared for it not to and 2)bacon is inherently magical.
    Thank you Master Ruhlman (and to Donna for the visual incentive)!

  • luis

    hey… I grabbed the pop overs and they were hollow inside with nice tasty crust/skin all golden brown and very very light… 5 min to pack lunch… so I stuff them with Hebrew National Pastrami strips and a hefty pinch of blue cheese and some jar preserved jalapeno finelly chopped with a pinch or two of minced green onion….. a gourmaid dinner was born. Outstanding Ruhlman…..out of the park man…!

  • Katie

    Yay! Yorkshire pudding! It is a very early food memory for me, as my grandmother used to cook them every year for Christmas. She had an unusual way of doing it; she would pour off the drippings from the ribeye roast into a cast iron pan, and make one big yorkshire pudding in that. I’ll have to savor that memory today, as it will be tarnished tomorrow by having to make 500 lemon popovers for Mother’s Day brunch.

  • scottish cow

    you hit the nail on the head about popovers being something that exemplifies fun in cooking. Like another commenter above, they are also one of my early food memories and right in turn my 4 year old loves making and watching them transform.

    if you don’t have a popover pan, which we don’t, a set of old coffee mugs work great, as long as they aren’t too wide.

  • ruhlman

    Mom, you read my blog!

    “Can I use a regular muffin/cupcake pan?”

    of course, but they won’t have the same cool shape. large oven proof espresso cups would work.

    “how much melted butter?”

    1-2 tablespoons depending on cup.

    “can you use skim or 2% milk?”

    yes.

    “do you double or triple these proportions to make more?”

    you should be able to triple this.

    “How long should they bake?”

    30 minutes or so.

    “will they fall if you open oven to peak at their progress?”

    a wives tale.

    “are they good cold?”

    i can’t imagine they’d be good cold.

    “I’m inspired!”

    That is the biggest compliment of all.

    Tell Grandma I love her and to be nice to you.

  • luis

    Holy Molly Batman….. the pop overs turning out outstanding. looking through the oven window they look every bit as great as Michael’s and the smell…is delicious. Only thing I find tricky is either my timer is cranky or perhaps 25 min is all I need. Of course as always I am baking the popover tray over the pizza stone so my oven is not doing the ole stadium temperature wave. Solid winner Ruhlman.

  • luis

    The pop overs are in the oven. Have just enough time to finish before heading for work. That is the life. I doubled Michael’s recipe and used bread flour and half and half that I had laying around.
    Since I used bread flour I finished stirring it in the blender for 3 min (pancake consistency) in the hopes the glutin in the flower would have a chance form. I also let it sit for 20 min .. really wanted a couple of hrs but I am again out of time.

    BREAD/ POP OVERS

    COOKING TIME: 40 Minutes
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup egg (~2 eggs)
    1 cup half and half /or whole milk
    1 cup of bread flour
    1/2 tsp of salt
    1/2 tsp baking powder

    Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
    In a 1.5 qt bowl mix together 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
    Transfer to a blender and stir it for 2~3 min (to develop gluttin in the flour)
    Let it sit for ~1 hr.
    If using a popover pan heat for 5 min in oven.
    Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl.
    Take the popover pan out of the oven and brush the popover pan cups with butter.
    Pour the mix it into the pans (fill halfway) with the melted butter in it.
    Bake without opening the door for 35-40 minutes.

    SERVINGS PER RECIPE: 8

  • Carole

    the photo is fabulous & is inspiring me to try this…will take to Grandma tomorrow & read it to her…can’t remember when she gave you that pan? can I use a regular muffin/cupcake pan? how much melted butter? can you use skim or 2% milk? do you double or triple these proportions to make more? How long should they bake? will they fall if you open oven to peak at their progress?are they good cold? I’m inspired! Thanks!

  • carri

    my favorite popover recipe is actually from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that my husband got as a graduation gift from his home economics teacher sister. Our favorite way to eat them is on the (rare) weekend morning The Mom has off…my 15 year old throws the stuff into a blender and pours it into the muffin tins and then serves it with melted butter and maple syrup blended together and poured into the hole in the top…oh yeah…Happy Mothers Day, baby!

  • grocer

    woke up
    read this

    guess what I made for breakfast?

    served with cinnamon poached pears. Fantastic idea. SO easy and very versatile.

  • Lisa

    Kate in the NW: I use a regular, cast iron muffin pan and get decent results. The trick is to pre-heat the over with the pan in it while you make the batter. Then open the door quickly, give the pan a quick spray of nonstick spray or brushing of oil/butter/fat and pour in the batter (a ladle works well) and close the door.

    I keep a pizza stone in my oven at all times, it also helps regulate oven temperature, making up a bit for the time spent spraying and filling the pan.

  • Victoria

    What a gorgeous popover! I could reach right over and pluck it out of Donna’s beautiful picture.

  • Alison

    That’s an excellent photo, indeed.

    I have always used Mollie Katzen’s recipe from the original Moosewood cookbook to make my popovers; my favorite way to eat them is straight out of the oven with some butter in the hollow.

  • luis

    This is great, a pop over. Something for me to try this weekend. Seems easy enough to make and my only concern is wether it will be tasty enough. I mean there is no hint of sweet in it. On the contrary this seems to be a savory dish to accompany a savory meal.
    I am thinking breakfast as with a home made country breakfast sausage. Both of which are in my upcoming things to do.
    Still I have to wonder Ruhlman…when if ever are we going to sync up with the coming BEIJING OLYMPICS?????????
    What is going on in Ruhlman’s world these days?????HINT…HINT… BEIJING OLYMPICS are here and they are HOT!!!!!!!!! just don’t fall asleep on the culinary swith Michael.
    I’d hate to get my BEIJING tips from CBS…or NBC!!!!! CNN!!!!!!!! Oh please…those guys eat worms and like it.

  • Kate in the NW

    Mmmmm…these things are one of my daughter’s favorites.

    Question:my popover-master friend uses a very heavy, well-seasoned cast iron popover pan, but the one in the photo above looks very lightweight. Would one amend the technique if using cast iron vs. what we see above? I know she’d love to try your recipe, but she’s a stone-cold fundamentalist when it comes to that cast-iron popover pan.

    Also – I think this selection potentially ties in very well with your musings on butterscotch…

  • j

    quick style question– why the accent grave on crème in crème fraîche but not on gougère; accent aigu on canapé but not on comté?

  • Lisa

    Dan, I lived in Santa Fe for 15+ years. The only way I ever found to make great popovers was to use the same volume measure of egg, but, to have the eggs be extra-small size. One of the local markets there carried these tiny gem-sized eggs, and occasionally a local farmer sold them at the flea market. I was able to make these successfully for 6+ years, so I had plenty of practice. It wasn’t a one-time fluke.

    I am not certain why exactly this substitution worked. It probably had to do with there either being more yolk or more white by volume in the tiny eggs than the proportion found in Large/XL/Jumbo eggs. If you can’t find XS eggs, try adding and subtracting whites/yolks and see if that helps.

    BTW, I was the only person I knew in Santa Fe, professional bakers included, who could make them there. So, you are not alone in your plight.

    Note to everyone: You need to use the freshest eggs possible to get the best ‘lift’ in your popovers. Al Sicherman, author of Caramel Knowledge (one of my favorite cookbooks), and a newspaper food column, ran some tests with people who claimed they couldn’t make anything but hockey-pucks and found that old eggs were the culprit.

  • Rashena

    That pic is fuckin beautiful. I’ll try these on Mother’s Day! Dayum, Donna! You’re killin me!!!

  • French Laundry at Home

    Popovers are one of my earliest cooking memories. I got the Winnie the Pooh cookbook back in the early 70s and my mom and I made “Popovers for Piglet” along with some homemade honey butter. Wow. I haven’t thought about those in AGES. Yum…….

  • Dan

    What are the odds… I _just_ made these this morning. But I’ve never gotten mine to popup. I always end with tasty, fluffy, eggy muffins (add rhubarb jam and you’re set). I have deflected blame to my elevation : 7500′. Anyone know the trick to get these critters to bloom at higher elev?

    Thanks!

  • EY

    If you are ever in Memphis, TN on a Saturday or Sunday morning, go to Paulette’s for brunch. The food is very good, but the REAL reason for the trip is the popovers with strawberry butter served with your meal.

  • big guy

    My wife and I were just talking about how we haven’t seen popovers since the 70′s and how good they were. They were the first real food she made on her own at age 7.

  • JoP in Omaha

    I wish I could reach out and grab that popover! It looks gorgeous and yummy. I guess I’ll add it to tonight’s dinner plans.