September 1st is National Cherry Popover Day. Popovers have been a family delight, although our mother and grandmother, both excellent bakers, didn’t make them. Instead, the family went for frequent brunches at a restaurant know for its popovers. Alas, the restaurant is gone and our option is to bake our own. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy.
You can always make regular popovers and serve them with cherry preserves; and that will be absolutely delicious. But the cherries bursting out of these popovers is much more special. (The cherry mixture is made separately and spooned over the baked popovers.)
This recipe for Cherry Popovers is adapted from Elephantine Blog, which, alas, is now closed to outside readers. Thanks to Rachel Ball for the recipe. And additional thanks for the introduction to dark chocolate balsamic vinegar. We’d never come across it before.
If you don’t have a popover pan, use a muffin pan with cups approximately 2 1/2″ wide x 1-1/2″ deep. If you’re hesitant to buy a popover pan, here are more uses for it.
In a regular muffin pan, the batter should fill close to 10 muffin cups. You’ll end up with a flatter popover, more muffin-like in appearance although still as flavorful.
Regarding the garnish: We’re not keen on powdered sugar. It always gets on our clothing. We used a dab of mascarpone instead. You can pass a dish of it.
You can also turn these popovers into a dessert with lemon curd or ice cream.
1. CRACK the eggs into a mixing bowl; add the milk and whisk together. Slowly add the flour and salt, and continue whisking until the ingredients are well combined.
2. ADD the melted butter, mixing until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
3. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Oil 6 popover cups with 1/2 teaspoon of cooking oil. Use a pastry brush to fully coat the sides of each cup. Put the greased popover pan into the oven as it heats.
4. PIT the cherries and cut them in half. Place them in a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle with sugar, gently tossing until the cherries are well sugared. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the fruit mixture and stir. While the popovers are baking, keep stirring the fruit mixture occasionally. By the time the popovers are ready, the sugar will be dissolved in the balsamic and the cherries will be coated in syrup. (For extra credit, mash the coated cherries, just a little bit, to make a juicier fruit mixture).
After the batter has rested for 30 minutes…
5. REMOVE the hot popover pan from the oven. Quickly pour the batter into each popover cup, distributing the batter evenly. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.
6. PLACE the pan back into the oven. Bake the popovers for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the popovers are golden brown on top. Word to the wise: don’t open the oven door until you’re getting close to the end of the baking process. A quick temperature change with under-cooked popovers can make them collapse.
7. GENTLY OPEN a warm popover. Spoon the sugared balsamic cherries inside, and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Leftovers (as if!) will last a couple of days in an airtight plastic bag. Microwave them briefly before serving.
> POPOVER HISTORY
> CHERRY HISTORY