The summer after I graduated from fifth grade, my dreams came true. (Well at least one of them did). That summer my grandparents decided to take me to the place filled with flashing lights and fast walking people amidst crazy taxi drivers and yummy pizza. You may have guessed it—my amazing grandparents took me to New York City for the weekend. I had been begging to go to the city that never sleeps for years, and my dream was finally coming true.
Like any typical fifth grade girl with her grandparents, we did the tourist rounds. We saw the Statue of Liberty, visited the Empire State Building, spent time in Times Square, rode the Ferris wheel inside of Toys ‘R Us, and (of course) took a trip to the American Girl Doll store (I was in heaven; my grandfather was…not). Though one thing that I still continuously marvel about to this day is the supply of scrumdiddlyumptious popovers in the Harvard Club dining room. Being my fifth grade self, never had I ever eaten something so exquisitely magical as this Harvard Club popover. And because I knew that I would not exactly be residing in the Harvard Club for the rest of my life (though I did consider attending Harvard for a future of endless popover breakfasts) man, I binged on popovers that weekend. Every morning I ate two of these droplets of magic, and then the morning we left, I took a couple for the road. I attempted to describe the absolute glory of these culinary triumphs to my friends, but words could hardly describe my emotional and visceral attachment to my new edible-friends.
So years passed. Yea, I’m talkin’ seven whole years, y’all (“y’all” being evidence of my long-winded residence outside of New York). Seven long years without popovers. Imagine the pure agony. Okay, actually, I had kind of forgotten about the popovers. Until last night. Last night, my two favorite gal-pals came over to bake some Mac and Cheese casserole and to watch Modern Family (aka the best show to ever air on TV—you should watch it if you don’t already). We baked a gorgeous and cheesy-licious casserole and put it in the oven, and then decided to whip up some German chocolate muffins (yea you KNOW those were good). And then it happened. An idea came to me: We would make popovers. Just like when I was in fifth grade, I couldn’t muster up the words to describe the popover magic, so the girls just had to trust my love of the popovers and follow my instructions.
If you want to taste the flaky-buttery-light love, here’s what you need to know:
Source: The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl
Ingredients: 2 large eggs, ¾ cup whole milk, ¼ cup water, 1 tbl unsalted butter (melted), ¾ cup plus 2 tbl all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt,
Special Equipment: a popover pan with six cups or a muffin pan with 12 cups
- Put a rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375º. Generously butter popover cups or 9 muffin cups.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, and water in a medium bowl. Add butter, whisking. Add flour and salt and whisk until batter is well combined but still slightly lumpy.
- Divide batter among popover or muffin cups. Bake until puffed and pale golden, about 45 minutes.
- With a small sharp knife, cut a ½ inch slit in top of each popover to allow steam to escape. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Serve immediately (seriously, IMMEDIATELY).
I think Mallorie and Sophia can attest to the sheer awesomeness of these popovers. The buttery and flaky exterior perfectly compliments the hollow and tender inner layer of the light pastry. They’re so light, you might just find yourself floating away. Eating these puppies straight out of the oven is best. So whip up some popovers, imagine yourself saucily sitting at a café in New York (with me, of course) watching the cars speeding by, and enjoy your temporary visit to chic, classy, and New York-syle, culinary heaven.