Once upon a time, there was a woman who borrowed a Cook’s Illustrated magazine from the library. In it was a recipe for popovers. The popovers looked good, she thought, but there was a problem: she didn’t have a proper popover pan. But then, a couple weeks later, she came across a popover pan at the thrift store. She bought the pan, went home, and made popovers. They turned out perfectly, just as the magazine said they should: custardy on the inside, crispy on the outside. The woman and her family (and a visiting friend) ate their perfectly proper popovers with plenty of butter and a spot of jam, no problem. The end.
Adapted from the January-February 2021 issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
If you can’t find a popover pan at your thrift store, a regular muffin tin will do.
6 ¾ ounces bread flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk, heated to about 115 degrees
Butter the bottom and sides of the muffin tin and then, with a wadded-up napkin, wipe out any excess — you want enough grease to keep the batter from sticking but not so much that the batter can’t adhere to the sides and rise properly.
Stir together the bread flour and salt. Whisk in the milk and eggs. Divide the batter evenly between the six tins — each tin will be about three-fourths full.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes — do not open the oven during the first 30 minutes. Serve hot, with lots of butter. Leftovers can be bagged and stored at room temp. To reheat, place directly on the rack of a 300-degree oven (I use my toaster oven) for 5-10 minutes.
This same time, years previous: chicken shawarma, the quotidian (5.20.19), sautéed lambsquarters with lemon, after one year: Costco reflections, the quotidian (5.19.14), the quotidian (5.20.13), up at the property, rhubarb streusel muffins, caramel cake, the boring blues.