I have always had plain popovers, but I couldn't resist adding some cheese to these and I have absolutely no regrets about that (shocker!). These bulbous, muffin-looking things 'pop' because of all the steam created on the inside, hence the name. Although they are hollow from all this steam action, I assure you that you're still getting the best part of the deal. The exterior is slightly chewy with a notable egginess that makes it taste almost like a souffle, only breadier. The sprinkle of parmiggiano on top melts just enough to impart its rich and nutty flavor, but also adds a little bit of crunch. Clearly the taste and texture on these is fantastic, but the second best part is that these are so easy to make that I can't really imagine every having a dinner party without them from here on out. Even if you're not a baker, make these, don't let them scare you, they pop on their own and once they come out of the oven the only thing you should be scared of is how many of these you're going to want to eat.
(adapted from Martha Stewart who got it from Laurent Tourondel of BLT)
yield 28 popovers, in a standard muffin tin
•This recipe claims to make 12 popovers but I can't imagine what size popover tins they used. I used standard muffin tins, which work just as well, and I had about 28 popovers. For this reason, if you're using a standard muffin tin I highly suggest halving the recipe, as these really aren't as good the next day.
•I prepared the batter a few hours ahead of time to minimize the amount of cooking I was doing with my guests there. Keep in mind that these have to bake for 50 minutes, so take that into account when you're timing your dinner service.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 cups milk
8 large eggs
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese (gruyere can also work)
1) Place a popover pan with 12 cups in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
2) Sift together flour and salt onto a piece of parchment paper; set aside.
3) In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Whisk eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Slowly add heated milk to eggs, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in flour mixture.
4) Remove heated popover pan from oven; spray each cup with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Fill each cup with batter so it is level to the top; top with cheese.
5) Bake 15 minutes. Rotate pan 180 degrees; continue baking until golden brown, about 35 minutes more.
6) Invert pan and remove popovers. Serve immediately. Popovers may also be made 2 hours in advance. Cool on a wire rack and reheat in an oven heated to 450 degrees just before serving.