The first time I ever had a popover was when my family and I were doing the college tour, and hit the town of Amherst in Massachusetts. We had breakfast at Judie's Restaurant in Amherst, known for being "the home of the popover." What a treat! This recipe for Buckwheat Popovers reminds me of that summer trip to Amherst and our family's meal at Judie's.
After that college tour, sometime in the life of my marriage, I found a popover recipe and decided to make popover magic at home. My husband Dan, a lover of bread and all baked goods, was delighted. The ones I made then were from a traditional recipe. They did not contain whole grains as this recipe for Buckwheat Popovers does.
There really is something magical about the rise of the popover. The contrast of the crusty outside, the surprise of the eggy, hollow inside, made for melting butter. Add some jam to the mix as the steam rises. The experience is delightful. Popovers replicated at home will always bring back memories of our first indulgence at Judie's in Amherst. But this recipe for Buckwheat Popovers is a new twist on a classic recipe.
Last night I found a bunch of old recipes stored away. Most were my Thanksgiving Day standbys, including a very grease stained recipe card explaining step by step as to how to cook a turkey. Oh, the nightmares of cooking my first Thanksgiving dinners.
The joke at Thanksgiving was a variation on one that my father used to make at the dinner table. If the food did not turn out well, or if we were still hungry, we could always order in some Chinese food. My dad loved to make jokes. Rather than make conversation on the phone, he would ask you the punchline to a joke. If you did not guess correctly, or could not guess the answer at all, my dad would tell you the punchline and then quickly hand the phone back over to my mother. She was the better conversationalist of the two, although her phone calls were short and sweet, and you would find that she hung up just as you were getting started.
Among my papers was a recipe for Buckwheat Popovers by Melissa Clark, torn from the NYT. The recipe was dated January 20, 2017, years after our Amherst experience or my follow-up home made popovers. The Buckwheat in this recipe adds a nutty flavor note to the eggy flavor of the classic recipe. Clarke says that it adds "depth," in that "The buckwheat flour is the more prominent flavor, adding an earthy, almost woodsy character."
Clarke's notes to this recipe are informative. She points out that this recipe is as easy, and similar to making pancake batter. If you do not have a proper popover pan, a muffin pan will do. Just bake the popovers for five minutes less time if you use a muffin pan, as I did. The downside of the muffin pan is that it yields denser, more compact popovers. So you will not get the thrill of the full rise. Clarke ends by advising you to never open the oven door when baking these beauties, as you will not get a high rise. So check by turning on your oven light and looking through the oven door.
If your cravings for a baked good conflicts with your need to cook healthier and concentrate on veggies, these Buckwheat Popovers are a happy medium. The use of whole grain flours enhances the nutritional value, and sugar is at a minimum.
What better way to ease into a summer morning, when the weather has cooled off from the last heat wave, and the sky is blue and clear. Try this recipe for Buckwheat Popovers and enjoy!
"Whole-grain flours lend these popovers an earthy nuttiness."
- 1 cup/ 236 milliliters whole milk at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp unsalted melted butter, plus more for pans (or use cooking spray)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup/ 90 grams all-purpose flour (I used spelt flour)
- 2 tbsp buckwheart flour
- 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush cups of a popover pan (or muffin tin) with butter or coat with cooking spray.
In a measuring pitcher with a spout (this makes pouring easier later), or in a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, sugar and salt until frothy. Add flours and whsk until mostly smooth, though a few clumps may remain in batter, which is fine. (If you prefer you can mix everything together in a blender instead of a bowl).
Pour batter into prepared cups. Note that this recipe yields 6 popovers (I filled all twelve of the muffin tin cups for smaller popovers). Bake 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes until popovers are golden brown and puffed. (Reduce baking time by 5 minutes if using a muffin tin.) Keep tabs on their progress by looking through the window in the oven door. Do not open the oven door until the last 5 minutes of baking or they won't puff. Serve warm.