I’ve had a tiny fascination with popovers ever since I was a small child and watched the film of Little Women (I think it was the 1949 version). I was absolutely incredulous that these girls were eating what were, as far as I was concerned, Yorkshire puddings for breakfast! If there were any left over (very rare) from a roast dinner we would eat them for pudding with golden syrup, but for breakfast? What madness was this?! I was both intrigued and jealous.
Obviously for the last 20 or so years I’ve been able to eat whatever I bloomin’ want for breakfast so the idea of Yorkshire puds for breakfast has been less appealing but I still wanted to scratch the itch and find out for myself what a popover actually is. It turns out that they aren’t exactly like a Yorkshire pudding but they are quite similar. They’re not quite as light and, where our British version rises at the sides and sinks in the middle (perfect for filling up with gravy), their American cousins puff up like crisp choux pastry and create a cavernous centre.
I loved these savoury ones with soup but I have yet to try a sweet version…
makes 8-10, depending on size
150g plain flour
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (I used parsley and thyme)
75g smoked gouda, grated
olive oil spray (or something similar)
Put a 12 hole muffin tin in your oven and pre-heat it to 230°c.
Heat the milk so that it is warm but not hot (you don’t want to scramble your eggs). Whisk up the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Gradually pour the milk into the eggs and whisk it together.
Sift in the flour and paprika and whisk the batter again until it is nice and smooth. Stir through the herbs.
Take the hot tin out of the oven and carefully spray it with the oil. Divide the batter between the cavities, if you want really big popovers then fill the holes almost to the top. Sprinkle the gated cheese on to the top of each popover and bake them for 35 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the oven during the cooking time or they will deflate. Serve straight from the oven.