Earlier this year I blogged about Cup-4-Cup’s gluten-free flour blend. I have since used it in some of the recipes I miss most from my gluten days. Popovers are on my short list. If you haven’t had one, you should make them immediately (recipe below) or go to a restaurant that serves them. Popover Cafe in NYC and Passports in Gloucester, MA are a few of my family’s favorite popover spots. My mom, a skilled baker, used to make popovers for the holidays. She passed away when I was nine years old and until I met my mother-in-law, who made them the first time I had the pleasure of dining at her house, I hadn’t had a homemade popover in almost 15 years. They were deliciously nostalgic and I have since made them many times myself.
My mother-in-law’s popovers – like any good popover – are crisp on the outside and have a center that is light and airy with strands that are soft and almost custardy. All of my prior attempts at making these popovers gluten-free have been disappointing. With Cup-4-Cup flour I have been able to recreate the flavor using my mother-in-law’s recipe, though I have not been able to achieve the same height. Traditionally-made popovers literally popover the tops of the muffin tins and are usually 3-5″ high, depending on how much batter you pour into each tin. The popovers I made with Cup-4-Cup flour (I have made them several times) taste great, but they don’t “pop” with the same height as traditional popovers. Don’t get me wrong – they still rise above the lip of the tin – but I’ve only been able to achieve about a 1-2″ “pop” with Cup-4-Cup flour. I thought it would be fun to see a side-by-side comparison of the two popovers that my mother-in-law and I made for a dinner a few weeks ago. As you probably guessed, the popovers on the left are made with regular white flour, and the popovers on the right are made with Cup-4-Cup gluten-free flour. Both tasted great – not even the super tasters among us could detect a difference in flavor, but some of the light airy-ness that you get with traditional popovers is lost due to the difference in height.
Here is my mother-in-law’s recipe for popovers, which is likely the same (or very similar) to the popovers my mom used to make. Make them with either white flour or Cup-4-Cup flour.
These popovers are crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside. They are delicious when served with a dish that has a lot of sauce, or serve them for brunch with strawberry butter. They are best eaten fresh from the oven.
- 1 cup white flour, sifted OR 1 cup Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease aluminum popover pans with butter and set aside. (If using glass or earthenwear cups place them on a baking sheet in the oven to pre-heat: remove grease just before filling with batter.)
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and beat until mixture is very smooth.
- Fill prepared popover cups l little ess than half full (Note: If using gluten-free flour blend fill the cups 3/4 full) and bake in preheated oven, without peeking, for about 35 minutes, or until the sides are firm to the touch and the tops are golden brown. Serve immediately.
If drier popovers are desired, pierce each popover with a knife after 35 minutes and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Note that the popovers will not have as much height if using Cup-4-Cup or gluten-free flour blend, but they still taste great.