I recently got a large-sized popover pan, and wanted to try the recipe that came with it. I like that the batter can be mixed quickly by hand.
Popovers are a most interesting quick bread: they don't use yeast or chemical leavenings to make them rise. They rely on steam to form oversize, crispy breads that pop up 3 times their size, hollowed out on the inside. The best way to make popovers is to use a special pan with deep tapered cavities that are spaced out properly to allow for rising and doming of these airy treats.
Popovers are a very old form of quick bread, and require a hot oven.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 6 wells of a large popover pan with soft butter and a pastry brush.
Use a large mixing bowl and a wire whisk. Beat the eggs, milk, and salt together. Mix in the flour until completely smooth. Continue mixing for a few minutes to develop the gluten. Add the melted butter after the gluten is developed so the fat will not interfere with the gluten development.
Fill the prepared cups only a scant half-full. Bake for 40 minutes on the center rack. The popovers will dry and become rigid.
Turn off the oven, open the door, and with a sharp knife, quickly make a 1" slit in the side of each popover to release the steam. Close the oven door and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. During this period, the interior of the popovers should become dry and sturdy.
Lift the popovers from the pan immediately after removing the pan from the oven by grasping the tops with an oven mitt or glove.
Serve plain, or with butter and jam. Best served hot, straight from the oven.
***They can also be cut open and filled with sweetened berries and topped with whipped cream for a shortcake-type dessert.***