School or camp mornings are rough. No, wait, I’ll go one step further, they often suck: waking up tired and grouchy kids, negotiating lunch, fine-tuning afternoon pick-up plans, locating errant homework.
And then there’s breakfast. There is always a bowl of cold cereal and some strawberries to fall back on, and fall back on them, we do. But one has to break up the monotony somehow, and some mornings are more special than others, and deserve to have the oven turned on.
Charlie’s friend Aaron, a regular in our house, and no stranger to the kitchen, suggested making popovers for breakfast during a recent weekday/camp day sleepover, having memorized a recipe from The Mark Twain II Cookbook. This statement is fairly adorable on about 17 different levels. And who am I to say no to popovers?
The boys set their alarm (!), Gary supervised the oven part (!!), Charlie and I slept in a bit (!!!), and when we got down for breakfast, a plate of hot popovers was on the table. This does not happen to me. But it did.
You can use popover tins if you have them. I do not, and they worked out just fine in muffin tins. But now I am tempted to get a popover pan, which has cups that are narrower and taller, and allow the popover to puff up more dramatically.
You will notice that in this recipe, you do not preheat the oven. Starting the popovers in a cold oven is the reason they bake the way they do, with a wonderfully chewy exterior and the hollow interior that is begging to be filled with butter, jelly, jam, or – if you’re feeling exploratory – almost anything.
Afterwards I said, “I’m so proud of you boys.” And Jack replied, “I’m more proud of myself for waking up.”
Aaron and Jack’s Popovers
- 1 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cups milk
- 2 large eggs beaten
- Jelly or jam and butter for serving
- Grease 12 muffin tins, or 12 popover tins.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oil, and milk. Add the two beaten eggs, and whisk until smooth. Fill the popover or muffin tins halfway, and place the pan into the cold oven.
- Turn the oven on to 425°F. Bake the popovers without opening the oven for 25 minutes, then peek and see if they are done (if you can just turn the light on and not open the oven door, all the better. They may need 5 more minutes; they should be puffed up and golden brown. Serve warm, with jelly or jam and butter.
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