BLT’s VIP Popovers

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BLT Popovers.

We have plenty of recipes worth sharing here at the farm, but sometimes the back story is a bit harder for us to come up with. This isn’t one of those times. These popovers are a truly delightful dish (are any popovers bad?), but the story that comes with them is one of our favorites. It goes back to summer…

pop3pop4…when we visited a friend in Washington DC. We were on our way to Williamsburg, but stopped in DC so the boys could visit the Smithsonian and see the monuments, Capital and White House. Our hotel was near the White House and we looked online to find a nearby restaurant that both our friend and our kids would like. We quickly found BLT Steak, one of Laurent Tourondel’s steakhouses. BLT is something of a chain, but they do a very good job. We figured it would be a fun night.

pop5pop6And it was great night, but with a bit of a surprise. When we arrived, a bunch of sunglass-wearing security with USA pins sat at the door. They said we could come in, but we were lightly (but politely) frisked and checked for metal. We asked “who is in there”? They “couldn’t say” but smiled ever so slightly. So we went in, met our friend and the host sat us right behind the VIP, who was having a calm dinner with her friend.

pop7pop8But it turns out that sitting two hungry preteen boys behind the VIP was a great idea (and one probably made from experience). Our boys found out who it was, and said “cool”, but really couldn’t care less (we were pretty geeked-up). What our boys did care about was their steaks and these popovers. The popovers were huge and rich, but also had a crisp, cheesy exterior and light texture that none of us could resist. The boys even asked “can we make these at home”?

pop1Happily, these popovers are so popular that BLT Steak gives out the recipe with each order. Excellent. And this is a very solid, if somewhat traditional, popover recipe. The only surprise is that these popovers use very little added fat, except that of the Gruyère cheese. But the cheese, milk and eggs do their job. These popovers are plenty rich and plenty good. The only bummer is that you do need a popover pan to make these, but popovers are so good we suggest you buy or borrow a popover pan. Then you can make these popovers and you will feel, and eat, like a VIP.

BLT Popovers.

BLT Popovers.

BLT’s VIP Popovers:

(Adapted from BLT Steak)

Notes Before You Start:

  • If you can’t find Gruyère cheese, Comte’ or a good quality Swiss cheese will work in a pinch.
  • You must preheat the popover pan. The popovers will not rise or cook properly in a cold pan.
  • Popovers have the name because they pop over the pan and grow vertically while they bake. Remove any oven racks above the popover pan (trust us on this one).

What You Get: Big, rich and tasty, but light and airy, popovers. What else do you need?

What You Need: A popover pan. Sorry, no way around this. But popovers rock, so a worthwhile purchase.

How Long? 70-80 minutes, with about 10 minutes of active time. An anytime dish, with planning, but a perfect weekend treat.

Ingredients:

(Makes 12 popovers, you can halve the recipe)

  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 heaping tablespoons salt
  • 2 and 1/4 cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • Non-stick vegetable oil-based spray

Assemble:

  1. Place the popover pan(s) in the oven and preheat the oven and pan to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, gently warm the milk over low heat (do not boil). Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until light and frothy. Slowly whisk the eggs into the warm milk (so as not to cook the eggs). When combined, set the mixture aside.
  4. Sift together the flour and salt. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the milk and egg mixture. Whisk lightly until the batter is smooth. Set aside, keep warm or at room temperature.
  5. When the oven reaches 350 degrees and the batter is ready, remove the hot popover pan from the oven. Spray each cup with non-stick spray. Then add batter to each cup, up to 3/4 full (be careful). Top each popover with about 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of the grated Gruyère cheese.
  6. Place the popover pan(s) in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan(s) half a turn after 15 minutes. The popovers should have more than tripled in volume and be golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
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52 thoughts on “BLT’s VIP Popovers

  1. These look absolutely amazing, and I’ve learned something already – there’s such a thing as “popover pan”. I had no idea! And I can’t believe a successful restaurant would willing give away their recipes, but I think it’s fabulous. I’ll let you know if I whip these up anytime soon.

    • Worth a try. And while we don’t love specialized equipment popovers are so good (and look great) that the pan is worth it. Guests just love seeing these come out of the oven and go to the table…

  2. Oh wow! These look great! There was a famous restaurant in Boston, MA called “Anthony’s Pier 4,” and they had popovers there. I’ve loved them ever since I had them the first time. Glad I saw this!

  3. What a fun story. I love a serendipitous “VIP sighting.” I don’t have a very well-appointed kitchen, but I DO have a popover pan–a very nice one from William-Sonoma. I stumble across it all the time and think about using it…I can’t imagine using much self-control with these, but maybe I will share them. :-)

    • It is best to have kids and/or guests to eat these…we would eat them all ourselves otherwise…

      Happily, the boys (particularly after basketball practice) tend to polish these off quickly…

  4. I’m going to ask Santa Claus to get me a popover pan for Christmas this year … sigh sigh while I wait. Popovers sound similar to Yorkshire pudding … so I was surprised that it takes 50 minutes in the oven to cook them, I would have thought less. Must be sooooo worth it though! I can see people scrambling to get hold of one (or two, or three) when they come out of the oven!

    • Yorkshire pudding is the way to go if you don’t have the special pan.

      The 50 minutes seems long but the first half of the cooking the popovers “pop” out of the cups and then they really start to cook…It is almost like 2 separate events.

  5. I’m going to ask Santa Claus to get me a popover pan for Christmas this year … sigh sigh while I wait. Popovers sound similar to Yorkshire pudding … so I was surprised that it takes 50 minutes in the oven to cook them, I would have thought less. Must be sooooo worth it though! I can see people scrambling to get hold of one (or two, or three) when they come out of the oven!

  6. This makes me so mad, you see a VIP on a visit!! I have lived here for 5 years and have yet to see a single member of the Obama family or Hilary, or Biden– pretty much any VIP!! (unless you count Joe Lieberman, which I don’t). Jealous, ’nuff said. Glad you liked BLT though, my best friend’s fiancee is the manager- he likes positive feedback.

    • Funny, how that is. And I don’t think Joe Lieberman counts…;-)

      But it was neat seeing the first Lady and BLT took very good care of our kids (more importantly). Will go back…

  7. I volunteer at a thrift store, and I’m thinking that I’ll have a popover pan cross my path one of these days. And when it does, I’ll buy it and make these.

    When I was growing up (outside of DC) we’d go to a clubby steakhouse that served popovers with the prime rib. I loved the horseradish sauce and popovers more than the meat.

    Thanks!

  8. I got a popover pan in one of my delightful Sinskey wine club shipments. It’s been sitting in my closet (as in clothing) ever since. Why there? I dunno.

    Been wanting the inspiration to make the endless walk down 1 flight of stairs to retrieve it and do something with it.

    Maybe this weekend! After the salumi class at Fatted Calf!!! :-))

  9. Ooooh these look so amazing! I made Yorkshire puddings a few weeks ago and they were epically disappointing – they didn’t rise at all and came out of the oven like hockey pucks. I’ll have to give this recipe a try :)

  10. Good morning Putneys, I tried the cauliflower recipe last night. It was terrific. I am going to make the Pop Overs This week. Thanks for all the good ideas. Happy New Year ! Joanie

    Sent from my iPad

  11. Pingback: BLT’s VIP Popovers | joshmio's Blog

  12. Whoa, I think you just convinced me to invest in a popover pan! These look significantly different than biscuits or muffins (I’m really trying not to clutter up my kitchen with too many redundant kitchen contraptions) …and they look GOOD.

  13. O M G – these popovers looks amazing! I adore popovers and always “mean to make them”, then never do. I, too, didn’t realize that there’s such a thing as a popover pan. My (older) recipes always tell you to make them in little ramekins. I’m going to “pin” this recipe IMMEDIATELY. Also, I’m so pleased you’ve begun following my blog. It’s not nearly as large – or as beautifully photographed – as your wonderful site, but the recipes come from my heart, as I know yours do as well !!

  14. Guess what – your popover post, plus that of another great blogger who I also follow – has inspired me & I’m doing something I’m calling The Popover Experiment!
    I’ve been doing some research on popovers & I’m going to post several popover recipes – once I decide which one I like best. While doing this “research” I came across a recipe in my old Fanny Farmer cookbooks – and the recipe calls for ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese for 6 popovers. The proportions are almost the same as this recipe.. but not exactly.
    I made the Fanny Farmer popovers tonight – without the cheese & they were soft & creamy inside… the recipe only called for cooking them for a total of 35 mins., with the temp. being lowered for the last 20.
    I’m going to make your popover recipe next. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful ! I can’t wait to try them!!
    Of course, I’ll be sure to give credit to your blog – and BLT – when I finally post my Popover Experiment.

    • Hi, thanks for thinking of us. This recipe is really something, our boys just love it. We are serving them for a Harry Potter Halloween Party in just a few days.

      These will always have a special place in our hearts as we ate them at BLT in DC sitting right next to Michele Obama. The Secret Service sat us right next to her. I guess they figured 8 and 12 year old boys would pay attention to the food and not her (they were right).

      • I loved your story about when you were eating in the same restaurant as our First Lady. And I had never heard of BLT until I started searching for popover recipes.

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