I've tried making them in the past in a muffin pan, but they always came out like hockey pucks. About a month ago, CSN Stores gave me the opportunity to pick out a product to review, and I used a gift code and ordered myself a real popover pan (and a crepe pan). Since then, I've had many popover successes. The pan has nice high sides to support the popovers as they rise, and it's nonstick so they slide right out.
Jeff's mother has a simple and delicious recipe, which she shared with me. Most of the time I use it as is, but I've even played around with it, making cheddar-scallion popovers or subbing in buttermilk. You could also chop up any fresh herbs you like and toss those in.
The one thing to note before you begin is that while these popovers are quick to whip up, they need about 40 minutes in the oven. It's best to put them in the oven alone so they rise properly, and you really shouldn't make them ahead of time because they could start to deflate as soon as you take them out of the oven. They also taste best hot. So just keep the timing in mind as you plan your meal.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 6 pieces
Spray popover pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whip attachment, blend flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter, about 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture should have the consistency of heavy cream.
Preheat popover pan in oven for 2 minutes.
Put 1 piece of butter in each cup, and return the pan to the oven until the butter is melted and bubbly, about 1 minute.
Fill each cup halfway with batter, and bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve hot, and slather with extra butter!
Notes: I usually have extra batter leftover and make another round of popovers. The batter can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Just make sure you bring it back to room temperature before using. (I've also saved leftover batter and baked more popovers the next night.) And do not, under any circumstances (unless the popovers burst into flames), open your oven while the popovers are baking. This could cause them to fall. If there's anyone in your house who might get curious and might decide to walk over and peek in the oven to see what's going on (even after you've warned him not to), be standing guard with a spatula to ward him off.
Have you ever made popovers?