Friday, May 1, 2009

Look out Needless Markup...Here I Come!

I've been to Neiman Marcus a few times for lunch and it has always been a pleasant experience that started with some heavenly consomme and this ginormous muffin thingy that looked like it belonged to the giant in Jack & the Beanstalk. So I just happen to be channel surfing and come across Alton Brown's Good Eats and what is he up to? Ginormous Muffins! only he wants to call them POPOVERS. So I promptly head over to their website to get his recipe - only because it seemed like magic on tv. Drippy, runny batter in, beautiful pouffy muffins out. How in the world did it happen? I HAD to try it out for myself. The recipe looks way too easy to have such a result that was shown on the telly. 5 ingredients and 5 steps - see for yourself:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 teaspoon room temperature for pan
4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease a 6-cup popover pan with the 1 teaspoon of butter.
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. Divide the batter evenly between the cups of the popover pan, each should be about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the popovers to a cooling rack and pierce each in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape. Serve warm.

The only thing I did differently was to heat my pan in the oven for a little while before pouring the batter in. Not because I thought it was some top secret trick for making better popovers... truthfully, I was too lazy to grease the pan with butter so I figured I'd drop a little blob of butter in each one and it would melt. All I had to do was tilt the pan around to coat the sides a little. I amaze myself sometimes.
I have to admit - saying I was skeptical is the understatement of the year. As I was pouring, yes, literally pouring this runny batter (think soupy) into my popover pan I was wholeheartedly hoping it will come out right, but then again, I was not holding my breath.
Side note: I've had this popover pan for a few years. I picked it up at a thrift store with every intention of using it but instead, it collected dust. Alas, it has finally seen the light of day evening.. I didn't get a "before" picture, but here they are in the oven about halfway through, so about 20 minutes in. Try to ignore the water spotted oven door.

YES! They are out of the oven and lookin lovely.
Can you believe it - they even have the prerequisite holes inside!! I had to try one right away. Then I had to try another. You know, just in case the first one was a fluke. lol! Slather on some butter and passion fruit jelly. *sigh* why didn't I try this sooner? My popover pan will definitley be getting some serioulsy good use for some seriously Good Eats! Just thinking about all the variations I can try.....mmmmm!

No more Needless Markup for me....I'm making my own popovers from now on!

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