Nothing is Mother’s Day-ier than Sunday brunch, and no brunch place in NYC conjures the loving, Mother’s Day vibe better than the cozy Popover Cafe, where enormous, piping hot popovers are served fresh from the oven alongside a delightful pink smear of strawberry butter.
It’s been many years since I’ve dared to rear my gluten-intolerant head in that restaurant, for the thought of having to pass over the Popovers is more than I can bear. Selfishly, I’ve forced my mom make do with omelet-heavy menus at other quaint restaurants not named after tempting baked novelty breads, denying her the annual pleasure of a lovely popover.
So you can imagine how relieved I was to find this recipe for Gluten-free Popovers from Living Without magazine arrive in my inbox last week. I am delighted to report that they smell, taste and feel exactly like the real deal. Now that I can get my own popover fix whenever I want, those glutenous versions would no longer have a hold on me… and normalcy could return to Mother’s Day celebrations in New York.
Baking Your own Popovers
The trick to successful home-baked popovers is threefold: (1) using a proper popover pan rather than a muffin tin to achieve the proper shape and proportions– I bought mine for less than $20; (2) Heating the popover pan in the oven before filling it with the batter and baking; (3) using eggs and milk (or your favorite substitutes, respectively) that are at room temperature before mixing into the batter. These may seem like technicalities you’re tempted to overlook, but if you want reliable, professional-quality results, don’t skip these steps.
The Living Without recipe (link above) is quite easy to follow; you can halve the quantities for Carol’s Sorghum blend if you’re only making this one batch so you’re not left with too much extra. While halfway through, I realized I was out of the tapioca starch called for in the sorghum blend (guess I used it all up when making that Pão de Queijo back in November…); fortunately, an equivalent amount of chestnut flour served as a perfectly acceptable stand-in.
To make sure you evenly divide the batter among your 6 molds, start by filling each cup just halfway. Then top off the molds evenly until the remaining batter is used up.
I would also suggest watching that baking time. My popovers were already quite firm and brown before that 10-minute stint at 350 degrees was up; I took mine out at around 7 minutes, pricked them with the toothpick as called for, and then just returned them to the oven for a brief 2 minutes more to prevent over-browning. Since ovens vary, don’t depend completely on the baking time specified in the recipe, and use your judgment. Popovers are best served fresh and hot from the oven.
Each popover contains 158 calories, 6g fat, 22g carbohydrate and 5g protein (from the egg and milk).
Popovers, the Morning After
Popovers go sweet or savory, and are as great with brunch as they are with dinner. They’re made from an eggy batter, which places them in a similar category as brioche. After I baked these last night, I
placed them in an airtight container overnight. This morning, they resembled a denser but still incredibly soft and spongy roll… perfect for making gluten-free, brioche-like, silver-dollar-sized french toast coins with. Similarly, these day-old popovers should make a fine gluten-free stand-in for brioche in your favorite dessert recipe for brioche bread pudding.Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it, RSS feed.