You don’t need a popover pan to make popovers. A muffin tin will work perfectly well, even though you will only need to use 6 of the muffin. The only real reason to have a popover pan is that it gives you a good incentive to make popovers more often. I know this to be true because I got one not too long ago and have been making popovers far more often than I normally do. The light, crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside puffs are easy to make and are a great accompaniment at just about any meal, whether it’s soaking up gravy at dinner or being slathered with jam at breakfast.
My basic popover recipe is reliable and produces a light, tender puff. I recently set to work on creating a whole wheat popover for some variety. Whole wheat flour doesn’t take to popovers as well as all purpose flour does. It has less gluten in it and is heavier, so the popovers tend to not rise as high and be far more bread-like than regular popovers. The best way I’ve found to incorporate whole wheat flour is actually to use white whole wheat (it’s lighter than regular whole wheat) and mix in some all purpose flour to restore a little bit of the lacking lightness.
The remade popovers are more substantial than their entirely all purpose counterparts, but still have a crispy outer edge and a soft, moist interior. In every batch, I had one stubborn popover that would not develop the big hole in the center that is a popover signature even though the others always turned out just fine. If this happens to you, don’t worry about it. The popover will still be tasty, just a little more filling than the others in the batch.
Whole Wheat Popovers
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
extra melted butter, for the pan
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Grease a popover pan or a 6-cup muffin tin (or the middle 6 cups of a 12-cup tin) well with the melted butter and place in preheated oven for 1-2 minutes while you make the popover batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter and salt until smooth. Sift flours over egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Remove heated muffin tin from oven and divide the batter evenly into the buttered popover/muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F, then rotate the pan (to ensure even cooking) and reduce oven heat to 350F. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Poke each popover with a knife when you rotate the pan to help release steam and “set” the popovers.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 popovers.