Most popovers are fairly plain and get most of their flavor from whatever is accompanying them, whether it is a rich, meaty stew or a generous slathering of chunky fruit preserves. While they are tasty on their own, they primarily exist to help you eat other foods – much like dinner rolls. But even though most popovers aren’t flavored, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be. In fact, it is easy to add a bit of extra flavor to a batch of homemade popovers to make them even more delicious!
The maple flavor in Maple-Scented Popovers is subtle, but addictive. Adding a bit of sugar to the popovers helps highlight the sweetness of the real syrup, without changing the texture of the popovers. If you want maximize maple flavor in these, be sure to use a dark maple syrup or Grade B maple syrup. You can also substitute maple syrup for the regular sugar in the recipe. You can even add a few drops of maple extract to the batter, though I prefer to rely on the syrup alone whenever possible.
The popovers should be eaten as soon as possible when they come out of the oven because that is when they are at their best. The exterior will be wonderfully crisp and buttery, while the interior will be tender and eggy, with just the right touch of maple sweetness. Your popovers should have a nice pocket inside, which will be revealed when you break one open, and can be finished with a bit of butter or a drizzle of additional maple syrup. Though I often serve popovers with jam, I don’t recommend that with these because a fruity jam can cover up the lovely flavor of maple far too easily.
I used a popover pan to make these, however you can also make popovers in a muffin pan if you do not have a specialty popover pan in your collection. The popovers made in the specialty pan will rise up to be quite a bit higher, but the muffin-pan version will be just as delightful when eaten. Serve these with breakfast, brunch or dinner.
4-oz all purpose flour (approx 1 cup-2 tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp maple extract (optional)
1 cup milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly grease a popover pan (or a muffin tin) with vegetable oil if you do not have a nonstick pan.
Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and maple extract (if using) until batter is very smooth. Let batter rest for 15 minutes.
Place 1 tsp butter in each cavity of the popover pan (1/2 tsp each for muffin tin). Place pan in hot oven just long enough to melt the butter, 1-2 minutes.
Evenly divide batter into prepared pan. Each cup should be filled approximately halfway.
Bake for 20 minutes, until very dark golden brown.
*Note: It is best to measure the flour, but 4-oz of all purpose flour is about 1 cup, if you gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup (don’t pack it in!).