I saw my very first popover earlier this year when my husband, Manuel, and I were visiting the Beaufort Inn, a charming B&B in historic Beaufort, SC. I was raised in the south for the better part of my years and was quite surprised that I had never seen one. My mother had many culinary diversities but I don’t remember ever seeing a popover.
Imagine my surprise when, in the elegant dining room of the inn, the waitress placed a popover on my bread plate. Surely she was mistaken, I thought, nudging my plate toward the center of the table. That oddly shaped monstrosity could not solely be for me! Certainly it was meant to be shared. Well, imagine my greater surprise when she then placed another on my husband’s bread plate!
“How can I possibly be expected to eat that huge thing!”, I blurted. “I won’t be able to eat my dinner!” “It’s a popover.”, Manuel responded. “It’s hollow.” Manuel had grown up in Savannah, Georgia and had more knowledge of pop-overs than I. My research of popovers taught me that they are an American version of England’s Yorkshire Pudding, and that while they are commonly served with meat, they are also made with spices, nutmeg or simply served as buttery rolls.
Well, indeed, I was very pleased to experience for the first time ever, this fluffy, light, hollow on the inside, delectable, melt in your mouth, wonderful with sweet butter or anything else you might imagine putting on it, surprise. It was pure heaven!
As fate would have it, just a few weeks later I was making my usual thrift store rounds looking for inspirational and vintage treasures and what do you think I saw sitting on the shelf? That’s right! A popover pan and it was in it’s original box!
As usual, when I see something that I get excited about while “treasure hunting” my heart palpitates. I can’t seem to reach for the treasure fast enough, yet my mind’s eye see’s me moving toward the object in slow motion. It’s as though it will disappear or be snatched from beneath me between the moment my eyes see it and the seconds it takes for my hand to grasp it. Strange, I know! It’s a surreal experience. Most of you “treasure hunter’s” out there probably know what I mean.
As with any new ‘find’ I usually do some internet research to learn more about the treasures I acquire. I learned that this popover pan was from 1987. I was so happy that the person it had belonged to kept the original box. The unique design with the open wire rack made it superior to any muffin pan I could have found for making my own popovers, It was perfect! What a find for under $4!
The box had a recipe on the front and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I also found several others that varied considerably from the one on the box. The two things that varied most between them was the amount of eggs used and the cooking time. I decided that I would try two or three different popover recipes and have my secret taster rate each. I will share the first, here, today.
The first recipe I used was the one on the box.
It seemed simple enough! Okay, here goes!
They were delicious! They were hollow on the inside and the outer shell was crisp. They were excellent with jam, even the next morning!