Yesterday we talked Christmas morning, and today I’m taking us back to Christmas dinner. The Christmas dinner bread basket, to be precise. I’m also drawing on my own upbringing for this post, as popovers were something of a Christmas dinner tradition in our house.
Our Christmas dinner was a tradition, the same every year: the main event was a beef tenderloin, roasted to perfect medium-rare and swimming in a rich, beautiful Burgundy-mushroom sauce. On the side would usually be a congealed salad of sorts (they’re a Texas thing!), some other veggies (that I probably never ate), and last but certainly not least – popovers. I think the popovers were my favorite part of the table.
And thus, I decided I cannot possibly blog any longer without sharing a popover recipe! Popovers were a treat in our house, certainly not an everyday thing. And while I know they showed up a few more times a year than just on December 25th, the Christmas dinner table holds my fondest memories of them.
I just loved pulling them apart with my fingers and watching that steam escape, and always feeling marvel at the fact that they were hollow inside. It’s just so cool! And who doesn’t love the popover texture? It’s unlike anything else you could ever find in a bread basket. I love the soft chewiness and the eggy flavor.
I looked to King Arthur Flour for a basic, foolproof popover recipe, which they of course provide, and then I jazzed it up a little with some fresh herbs, which you can leave out but I highly recommend not leaving them out. They really add a pop of freshness and earthiness and make the popovers scream holiday table. Enjoy!
Source: slightly adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
Scant 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 large sage leaves, finely chopped
Leaves from 3-4 medium rosemary stems, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Place all of the ingredients, except for the sage and rosemary, in the blender in the order indicated above. Blend for 30 seconds, stopping halfway through to scrape down the sides of the blender. Add the herbs and blend just a few seconds to combine. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
You can also make the batter a day ahead of time and stick it in the refrigerator. Let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Use a nonstick cooking or baking spray and thoroughly grease either a 12-cup standard muffin tin or a 6-count popover tin. Be sure to grease the area around the tins themselves if using a muffin tin.
Fill the cups of either baking apparatus about two-thirds full with the batter. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake an additional 10 minutes. Do not open the oven door at all during this process.
Remove the baked popovers from the oven, pierce the tops with a sharp paring knife, and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently turn them out of the pan and onto a wire cooling rack. Serve warm.