Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Did you know?
1. Yorkshire pudding and popovers are the same thing.
2. The same batter that makes either of these savory accompaniments can also be served as a sweet dish, as in a Dutch baby pancake.
3. The batter contains no leavener; it rises and gets puffy because of steam trapped inside the dough as it bakes, a method also used in choux pastry (to make profiteroles/cream puffs (sweet) or gougères (savory)).
4. It is most often served as part of a traditional English Sunday lunch, alongside roast beef, roast potatoes, and vegetables.
5. Tradition also holds that it was devised as a cheap way to fill people up so that they wouldn’t eat quite so much of the more expensive beef.
6. It is about 90% of my motivation for cooking roast beef.
Adapted slightly from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
Ruhlman describes these as “delicious, so, so easy, and yet they seem to be scarce in [the] home kitchen”. Not if I have anything to say about it: I make these as often as I can get away with it.
2 oz/½ stick/60 g butter, melted
8 oz/240 ml whole milk
2 large eggs
4 oz/120 g all-purpose/plain flour
1 tsp/5 g salt
Preheat the oven to 450F/220C. Use the butter to liberally grease a 12-cup muffin tin or popover pan.*
Whisk the eggs and milk together completely, then add the flour and salt and whisk again to combine. Add whatever melted butter is left from greasing the pan and whisk yet again. Set the batter aside for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to cook, divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375F/190C and bake for 20-30 minutes longer, or until lightly puffy and browned.
Pierce each popover with a skewer after removing from the oven to let the steam escape. Serve hot.
* You can also make one large pudding, using a springform or cake tin. Just make sure it’s metal, as ceramic or glass don’t heat up quickly enough to make the batter puff. Also, most recipes recommend pre-heating the pan and fat, but America’s Test Kitchen says it makes the puddings too large and misshapen, so I’ve switched to using a cold pan, with better results.