At Judy’s, a restaurant in Amherst, MA, you can get a popover with just about anything. Salad, steak, or dessert, popovers are available. And they’re amazing. Flaky on the outside with just a hint of butter and eggy on the inside with those airy chambers that hold jam (or more butter) so well. Judy herself shared her recipe for these delights with a local New Hampshire newspaper back in 2010, as well as some important tips.
Tips. Because popovers are notoriously finicky and difficult to master. To read the simple ingredient list and assume that the process is equally simple is folly. My mother has been making popovers for Christmas morning breakfast for years, and they always seem to come out the way she wants. Light, puffy vessels lovingly wrapped in a tea towel to keep them warm through the meal. Unfortunately, this particular attempt did not yield my mother’s crunchy/airy delight as I’d hoped.
Recalling a few fantastic meals I’d had at Judy’s in Amherst, I thought some popovers would be the perfect accompaniment to all the salad greens we have at the moment. This recipe, for Buttermilk, Corn, and Chive Popovers from Smitten Kitchen, jumped out at me immediately.
Right away, I realized that I was in trouble when I was short an egg. Normally my meticulous meal planning would have avoided such a lapse in preparedness, but Rebecca was craving brownies mid-week and I couldn’t not give her what she wanted. Thus, one egg short. Normally, also, I’d simply run out and get more eggs, but I’m embarrassed to say I was too lazy and wanted to see what would happen to the recipe.
What happened? The popovers puffed up, but not as much as I hoped. They were kind of airy on the inside, but not full of cavernous eggy chambers that you want in a popover. They crisped up really nicely on the outside, and were the perfect accompaniment to our garden green salad. I used garlic chives for mine, and they were a really nice contrast in flavor to the sweet corn. In summer cut the corn straight off the cob. In winter, use frozen (or even canned! gasp!) corn.
I will definitely be repeating this recipe again. One day I’ll figure out how Judy and my mom do it. They probably start by using the correct number of eggs.