Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Perfectly Puffy Popovers – What Do These Have in Common with Most Chefs?

They’re crusty outside and full of hot air inside. After posting that picture of the perfect popover I had in Chicago, a reader by the name of Elizzaruth left a comment to share her recipe, which she described as “stupid easy and adaptable.” She had me at stupid.

Since it'd been like 15 years since I’d made them, I figured I give her formula a try, and then adapt it as needed. Turns out it didn’t need any adapting. It worked as advertised, and really was ridiculously simple.

I imagine the only major variable would be your oven. If it doesn’t have an accurate thermostat, or takes an extra long time to come up to temperature, then you could have issues, but other than that, not much can go wrong.

One important note: As soon as this went live on YouTube, the Brits were out in force, insisting it was nothing more than a renamed Yorkshire pudding. Well, far be it from me to educate them on their own cuisine, but unless it's cooked in greasy meat drippings, it's not Yorkshire pudding! It's okay. They get confused with recipes that aren't boiled.

I'd like to officially thank to Elizzaruth for her great recipe, and I hope the next time you want something visually impressive in your breadbasket, you give these easy popovers a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8-10 Popovers:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
pinch cayenne
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese, optional
*Fill generously greased muffin tins 3/4 with batter. Put in a cold oven, set to 450 and bake 30 minutes exactly.

View the complete recipe

96 comments:

Eric in Chicago said...

Chef -

I don't bake much, but cook a lot, love your videos and blog, and have made many of your recipes (going try your Greek/Italian marinade tonight). On Mark Bitman's NYTimes video for popovers he mentioned the importance of heating the buttered pan in the oven prior to pouring in the batter to ensure a great rise. Ever heard of this technique?

Blue Arc said...

I never made these started in a cold oven but those came out looking great. That would be much easier than the hot oven 20 minute / medium oven 10 minute deal. I'd just add that if you by chance have some roasted cow renderings by chance...use that instead of the butter. It does taste goooood that way. Thanks Chef!

Anonymous said...

Typical American putting cheese on a Yorkshire pudding, as if they're not fattening enough. No wonder you guys are the size of houses lol.

Anonymous said...

Will it work with whole wheat flour?

Krista said...

Being a bit of a health nut, would wheat flour work at all in this recipe?

Chef John said...

Probably, but never tried!

ThisDameCooks said...

The cheese on top reminds me of cheesy pate a choux...Popovers according to American cooking timeline is truly an American recipe similar to medieval Yorkshire pudding. American popovers are more of breakfast pastry with sweet filling or lunch and supper with savory meat fillings.
Anyway, Chef John, this recipe, stupid easy, and non-intimidating, should encourage newbies to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Just a Heads Up: Be careful with your use of the word Primal bc the Primal Diet is another name for the Paleo Diet in which flour is absolutely Forbidden...

also, cold oven = CRAZY

LittleMiss Stamper said...

Do you think there is ANY way I can get away with using water? I want to make these right this second but I am out of milk! lol

Pantalone said...

Love popovers!

Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child!

Anonymous said...

Whole Wheat doesn't rise as much (I used to call them popunders.) But the amount of butter isn't to healthy anyway. They are tasty however.
If you choose roasted cow rendering then you do have a facsimile of Yorkshire pudding, just not as slimy.
Yorkshire pudding with its gelatinous beef droppings are far more fattening than a small bit of cheese in the batter of popovers.
I have always had great success with the preheated oven/pan and don't see a need to go with the cold start.
Do use a real popover pan, it does make a difference.

Ramona Quimby Lives said...

Could additional cheese be added to the batter itself, or is that ill-advised?

Chef John said...

Should work, but may stick depending on pan.

Matt said...

"unless it's cooked in greasy meat drippings, it's not Yorkshire pudding" - that simply isnt true. As far as we know, our family stopped using meat drippings sometime around ww1 and never started back up. We tend to use oil (now). The big difference here is that we preheat the pan in a hot oven and then pour in the batter. Ask anyone from Yorkshire and they will confirm that you just made an odd looking pudding, nothing more. Yes, we tend to eat them with roasts, but we eat the leftovers with jam the next morning. Again something we have been doing for a long time, at least in my family. There is no doubt this is just an American name and nothing more.

Chef John said...

That doesn't mean these are Yorkshire pudding, it means you guys are now making popovers!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that people in England, despite their predilection for "recipes that aren't boiled," adapted ways to cook Yorkshire puddings long before fat Americans came along and called them popovers and smothered them in cheese.

Chef John said...

How dare you call my 1/2 tsp of cheese "smothered!"

Anonymous said...

How dare you call them "Popovers!"

Elizzaruth said...

What's everybody's problem with cheese? I shamelessly smother (yes, smother) mine with sharp cheddar, for which I won't apologize. Also delish with a bit of chives mixed into the batter itself.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

1. I didn't like being confronted with the Pat Boone political add at the start of the video. I've had too many good meals ruined by political rants.

2. I watched the Mark Bitman popover video for comparison. Yours look way better than his!

Anonymous said...

I should say that I wasn't calling anyone specifically a fat American, I was just perpetuating an old ridiculous stereotype ( boiled food? Really?)

Love the site.

William said...

Hah, as I commented on YouTube, saying it's not a Yorkshire Pudding because it doesn't have drippings in it is like saying that "Birds" custard powder (or any similar cornflower based custard) isn't real custard because it doesn't use eggs.

But, you can have the joke about boiling foods, that made me laugh :)

Festizzeo said...

Try and boil an English breakfast. Make amends Chef John, between this and the whole Mr Bean thing, you're coming across as an Anglophobe.
Food wish:-
English breakfast, or chow mein. Whatever's right.

Chef John said...

Hey, all I did was post a popovers video! They're the ones attacking me, telling me what I have to call my food! How is that anti Britain?!

And don't tell me it's the "boiled" joke...my English friends use the same one! ;)

Lexi said...

I just made these, They looked exactly like the ones Chef John made. :) I just added extra chedder cheese and they were sooo good! I made about nine of them and they were gone within 10 minutes. My mom loved them!

Myriam said...

Hi Chef John,
I wanted to know is it necessary to use one of those tall popover pans or is it okay to use a regular old muffin tin? I've heard using popover tins (which are narrow and tall) makes them rise better. Is this a myth? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I have to say I've tried many of them and they always ended up delicious.

Chef John said...

Regular tins work great! That what I used in the vid.

DuckyChao said...

Isn't the secret to pop-overs pre heating the muffin pan, before pouring the batter in and putting it in the oven?

Anonymous said...

at least your popovers, despite being "heavily burdened with cheese". "bloating we Americans into a facsimile of fatted cows", do not inflect the malady of terrible teeth like the Brits from eating Yorkshire puddings...keep calm and cook on CJ...

Anonymous said...

question: I just attempted this recipe but the popovers suffered popover ED..no rise. I prepared the recipe as instructed so I am curious as to why the popovers failed to rise instead of collapsing. Help!

Chef John said...

Yes, hot pan is standard, but this is much easier and as you saw worked great!

Chef John said...

Yes!

Valentino Pasta said...

Third base references in 2012 gets the gas face! :)

Mark Anderson said...

Great video, but disappointed not to see the old "tappa-tappa."

Vincent said...

I have to try this. Whenever I do yorkshire puddings and I don't preheat the tray they just don't rise up.

Ed said...

Can you substitute soy milk for the regular milk? My wife and son have dairy sensitivities, and finding food that they can eat can sometimes be a challenge.

maria cruz said...

Hey I love watching ur videos and I would love to make this but can I use evaporated milk keep up the great work :)

maria cruz said...

Can I use evaporated milk

BondTr4der said...

Yo Chef John!

Right, in an attempt to rebuild trans-atlantic relations, all your American readers can try adapting the recipe to make authentic YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS:

1. Put 1 dollop of Goose Fat in the bottom of the muffin trays and put this in the oven (set to 450) for 15-20 mins.

2. While that's going on, make exactly the same mix for the batter, except replace cayenne with black pepper.

3. After the goose fat is up to temperature, top up the muffins trays to between 1/3 - 3/4 full. Ditch the cheese.

4. Cook for 25 (ish) mins and don't open the oven.

This is somewhat off the top of my head but is there or thereabouts. Try it next time you have meatloaf...

(quick look shows Chef Johns meatloaf cooking at 325, I guess you could put the goose fat in at the top of the oven for the last 1/2 hour of that cooking and whack the temp up once the meatloaf is out the YORKSHIRE PUDS can go in).

PEACE!

Tommy said...

Made them yesterday, as soon as I got home from work!

Wife loves them!

Anonymous said...

My pop-over's didn't quite pop-over. They're just like dense eggy muffins. Most of them had a dent in the top, and they didn't rise at all. What would be the best way to remedy this? More or less flower? Or could it have been my oven at fault? Thanks!

Chef John said...

Not sure! But I know it's not the recipe! Did you measure right?

Anonymous said...

I am the guy in the other video that worked at Neiman's. This is the VERY first time my popover's actually popped over! I was so excited! Thanks, the cold oven trick worked awesomely.

Side Note: Why would someone say a sprinkling of cheese is fattening, but slathering them with jam is somehow dietary? JUST EAT THE DAMN THING! IT'S FOOD! WHO GIVE A CRAP WHAT YOU CALL IT OR EAT IT WITH!!!

Anonymous said...

goose fat? oh yeah, just happened to have that in my fridge. I do not mean to be insensitive to our laddies across the ocean, but outside of authenticity, can one use Crisco. lard or even bacon fat as a substitute for goose fat? Does the use of animal fat enhance to flavor of Yorkshire pudding?

Joe said...

This may be a stupid question, but can the recipe be halved to make 4 instead of 8? I know with things that are baked, sometimes just halving or doubling recipes doesn't turn out right.

BondTr4der said...

anonymous @ 12:15

Over here you can buy Goose fat in Jars quite easily and it keeps forever. You can even re-use it if you're tight enough. It's great for roasting root vegetables too.

I don't know about the other types you suggested, no doubt Chef John will though. It's something to do with the temperature that it smokes at.

More goose fat recipes here
http://www.goosefat.co.uk/page/home

Gsweb8 said...

HOLY AIR MUFFIN!! These are soooo cool! Used 1% milk, no problem. My mind is racing to find serving ideas...these things are begging to be stuffed...
Thanks Chef John, You 'da man!

Newbie said...

This is magical! What makes it rise like this? Since there is no rising agent. At least not one that I can identify.

Anonymous said...

a couple of quick questions-numerous mentions of preheating the pan before baking but how is one to preheat a pan and yet, insert the preheated pan into a cold oven as CJ recommends? If preheating the pan is recommended, then the step of baking in a cold oven is not necessary?

Chef John said...

There is no rising agent in a balloon. ;) (its simple the air expanding inside like a balloon)

Harry McIntosh said...

Do you need to adjust things for high altitude?

chowwithchow said...

I am so making these tonight... Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Making these now!!! Hope they turn out just as good as yours did.

Josh said...

Can I just say to all the crying ass english on this site, we kicked your ass in 2 world wars and we could do it again.

Chef John said...

Thanks, but I'm pretty sure we were on the same side in the 2 world wars. Great, now they're going to call us fat and uneducated!

Anonymous said...

Me:Making these now!!! Hope they turn out just as good as yours did.

Edit: See below!

Quote:
My pop-over's didn't quite pop-over. They're just like dense eggy muffins. Most of them had a dent in the top, and they didn't rise at all. What would be the best way to remedy this? More or less flower? Or could it have been my oven at fault? Thanks!
:End Quote:

I think i figured out mine, I used medium eggs, so i need to find out how many whole eggs and or whites and yolks. Any suggestions?

chellearia said...

If you're having trouble, make sure your eggs are fresh.

Anonymous said...

I've just made these.. Added some cinnamon. Served it with nutella. Yummy! Thanks chef john!!

Yessenia Escobar said...

I was wondering if I can mix chives or some garlic .....are they still going to puff up....thanks....

Chef John said...

Should work!

Fandango Bizarro said...

Awww Chef John, having a dig at us Brits in such a way isn't a very gracious opening to your recipe, many of us (like ME) are great fans of yours. Your comment on us... is just like many people outside the US assuming you guys all live on fried food and fast food, and of course that it just not the case, as your recipes so wonderfully show. Yorkshire Pudding as I know it is always cooked in a little butter, olive oil or vegetable oil... and I think boiled recipes died out with WW2. I love your channel <3

Barry Sansbury said...

If all comments are approved by the blog author, why am I reading That America beat the United Kingdom in two World Wars?

Chef John said...

So I could correct them! (see above)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for sharing this recipe and video. I made them this morning; wish you could see a picture of them. The entire family enjoyed them very much!

Kinjun said...

Going to try to make these today and fill with some Chicken Salad.

labenoit said...

Great news! These add up to a mere 2... TWO!... points for Weight Watchers following the PointsPlus Program. I just put it through their recipe builder and now I can't wait to make a batch! Oh, and the fork on the crispy crust... it really did a job on my saliva glands!

fouls said...

I've just made these and they went down a treat. I should add that I am a Briton and I was serving these popovers exclusively to Britons. Said Britons were unanimous in their approval and a few wanted the recipe. However, while discussing the popovers, they did tend to refer to them as 'Yorkshire puddings', 'Yorkshires' and other variants thereon.

Thank you very much for the recipe.

tiffany said...

Hellooo from Canada,
I'm choosing to stay out of this whole American v. British or Popover v. Yorkshire pudding or fat-n-fried v. bad-teeth-n-boiled debate (just like a Frenchman...OH BAM!).
Food is food. It's what I share with the people I love. What I call it simply doesn't matter.

But to the point: I made this recipe today and it neither "popped" nor "yorked". Like a few of the previous commentors, mine came out as dense, bland muffins. My oven is a Kenmore electric stove, it's only a year old, I tentatively doubt the temperature gauge would be losing its accuracy already (but hey what do I know?).
I did halve the recipe, so 1 egg with 1/2 cup each of milk and flour. Is that the problem? I made 4 (enter politically-correct term) from this amount.
I also saw a very similar recipe on allrecipes, and the author there emphasized that you can't overmix the batter. Would this be the culprit? Cause I did go kinda crazy with the whisk, ...a little whisk-y?
Alright, I've tried to include as much detail as I could. Hopefully Chef John or one of the lovely multinational readers here on the site can identify the guilty party.

Thanks a lot!

Chef John said...

I bet it was the mixing!

BBreeze said...

A quick question about conversion..

1 cup of milk = 2,4 dl
1 cup of flour = 125 grams

Is that correct?

Romi said...

Hi Chef John

Thank you for the popover recipe. I made them twice and they are great. My husband and I love them love them. They are great and easy to make. I love those videos that you make it makes it easy to see how they are done.

O Goodies said...

I just made these and omg they are good!

Hly Vang said...

I made these popovers tonight and mmm mmm mmm delish! Thanks for the amazing recipe. Blogged about it here http://junkbox57924.blogspot.com/

Steven said...

I'm amazed at how well these turned out! I was fully expecting a disaster.

On an unrelated note, could you give us your pumpkin pie recipe?

Anonymous said...

Popover or Yorkshire pudding the basic ingeredients are the same and traditionally popovers also used beef or pork drippings. The only difference is cooking from cold or a pre-heated pan. It seems to be a typical "take a recipe and re-name it" that many countries do...So basically it is a Yorkshire pudding AND a popover.. You say 'erb we say Herb... Because there is a Bl**dy H in it..

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John,
Quick question: You said to bake these in a cold oven at 350 for 30 minutes. How long should I bake them with the leftover batter if the oven is not "cold" anymore?

Chef John said...

It's 450, not 350, and I have no idea since this method must use a cold oven. I'd open door and let it cool before doing another batch.

Anonymous said...

I made these today and they came out wonderful. Yorkshire Pudding or Popovers, the aroma of it while it was baking was heavenly. I have never made these before and was really worried about the Yorkshire puddings/popovers being bland muffins like what the previous comments described but they had risen two folds. Thanks for the recipe! :)

shirsureok said...

I've failed ;_____;

http://i.imgur.com/6P0IG.jpg

Anne said...

mines is also a failure and didnt pop over :(

My popovers

Lindsay J said...

I've been getting back into cooking/baking and was so happy to come across this site. I thought I would start with something simple and have always wanted to make popovers. This recipe is stupid simple and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly, the only thing I failed at was the oven temp - I set it for 450 but it only went to 430 which is why I don't think they popped all the way. But the popped and cooked enough to be fun and delicious. Great simple recipe, I'll make this many times over.

Unknown said...

Any thoughts on how long to bake using a mini muffin pan?
cheers all!

Unknown said...

The mini muffin pan worked wonderfully! They were done as the oven reached temperature :-)
I didn't watch the clock, was too concerned with watching them bake.
Hands down this is the best popover recipe that I've tried!
I did add lemon lemon extract (ok, so I spilled it in, don't know how much I used.)And these were unbelievably fabulous with pumpkin dip.
Thank you so much for posting!!!!

Samninetysix said...

We run a pub in Suffolk, UK. We have two of the biggest USAF bases right on our doorstep and are frequented by USAF personnel for our traditional Sunday roast. I'll post my recipe in a minute but what on earth are these stupid (or stoopid) which ever version you like ;) comments on Chef John, I've never read one of these hid blogs before but give the man a break, yes it's very similar to a Yorkshire pudding mix but I can promise you, in the UK we have dozens of different recipes for Yorkshire puds, everybody's grandma had one! :). I quite like the idea of a sprinkling of a mature cheddar on the top. Anyway, my recipe that we use every Sunday is as easy as it gets: 1 cup each of eggs, milk and all purpose flour, sprinkle of salt and a little white pepper, thats it - equal amounts of eggs (usually 4 medium = 1 cup), flour and milk. You can use a regular vegetable oil if you wish but you need to get the Yorkshire pudding/muffin tin really really hot, I put mine on a gas burner till it smokes then add whatever fat/oil you are using - generally about a quarter inch, heat it some more then pour in the batter mix - I tend to go almost to the top of each cup with the batter then pop it into the oven. If you are going to eat them straight out the oven I would go for about 450f but in our case we have to make about a hundred in advance so have to go lower on the temp about 380 and cook them longer. At 380 they would be in for almost an hour at 450 it would be only 25-30 mins.

Anyway that's my version of yorkshire puds but I'm definitely going to try Chef John's Popover recipe! :)

Raneen said...

Is there any reason a popover wont ... .pop over??

Samninetysix said...

Generally, if you follow the mixture the only reason a popover wont rise is because the tin & fat aren't hot enough

Samninetysix said...

And cook them near the top of the oven leaving enough room for them to rise

Tanczos Andras said...

Hey Chef!

First time commenter, long time lurker and cooking enthusiast here.

Awesome! Really delicious.

I always wanted to try out something like a yorkie, but all that fat for which the recipes are calling for really was a turnoff .. This on the other hand was just what I was looking for.

Thanks!

LaRhonda said...

This is the second recipe of your that I've tried and love. Next time I'll omit the cheese and drizzle syrup on it with a side of bacon.

Thanks for giving me something else to eat for breakfast that's ridiculously easy to make :)

Christel Webb said...

Can pop over be eaten cold?

Christel Webb said...

Can they be eaten cold, has anybody tried them cold?

Julie said...

Chef John, I wanted to thank you for your humor and all the great videos. Last night I was laughing so hard. It was incredibly therapeutic to read your zingers. Thank you! I'm learning so much from your videos too. Appreciate all the time and effort that must go into each one.

Julie said...

I just made half a batch in my little convection toaster oven. They were great! I lowered the temp a couple of times after I figured they'd risen completely. Aside from 2 sticking to the pan, they were perfect. I think the sticking was due to my using olive oil to grease instead of butter. Thanks again for the laughs and tasty recipe. They were fun (isn't everything that puffs in the oven?).

Melissa M said...

I made these and they are awesome. Crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. I added a dash of garlic powder to mine and ate warm with some butter. I was in heaven. :-) Thank you Chef John. All of the recipes I have tried from you have come out perfect.

Lisa Vande Velde said...

I made these last night and served them with beef roast and the good chefs "fondant potatoes." The whole meal was a success! The potatoes were everyone's fave, and I'm all like........ya but look at how huge the popovers are, whatevs, there were none left at the end of the meal. But wait....they did love them because I was asked to make some more for breakfast! I filled them with fresh berries, whipped cream and dusted with confectioners sugar, sooooo yummy. Anyways...(Ellen) they were awesome both times. Cold oven, 450, 30 min no worries. Pop that popover pop pop that popover! (2 live crew) hahaha. Just had to! Thanks for another great recipe chef

Lisa Vande Velde said...

I made these last night and served them with beef roast and the good chefs "fondant potatoes." The whole meal was a success! The potatoes were everyone's fave, and I'm all like........ya but look at how huge the popovers are, whatevs, there were none left at the end of the meal. But wait....they did love them because I was asked to make some more for breakfast! I filled them with fresh berries, whipped cream and dusted with confectioners sugar, sooooo yummy. Anyways...(Ellen) they were awesome both times. Cold oven, 450, 30 min no worries. Pop that popover pop pop that popover! (2 live crew) hahaha. Just had to! Thanks for another great recipe chef