This baking in a jar trend got me thinking – it might be a perfect solution to my popover problem. It’s not a problem with the popovers per se, but my method of baking them. I’m lured by the appeal of the popover pan – like a muffin pan, with higher sides – each time I see one, but can’t justify the space it would take up in my kitchen. Yes, you can bake them in muffin cups, but then what you really have is Yorkshire puddings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it seems weird to serve them with butter and jam – they make me want roast beef and gravy. Enter the idyllic tall glass jar. Which I have plenty of.
The great thing about glass jars is that they hold onto heat well – ideal, since one of the tricks of high, poufy popovers is to preheat the vessel they bake in, and pour in the easy, eggy batter while it’s still hot. Baked in jars, popovers stretch to pop over the top of the jar, sometimes creating narrower middles.
Once you get the hang of it, popovers are simple to whisk together – the batter is similar to crepe batter, made by whisking flour, eggs and milk. They bake up high and crusty, with soft, eggy insides. Warm popovers are wonderful served for breakfast or at a tea party with butter, jam and clotted cream, or instead of bread or biscuits alongside soups, stews and chili. They even go well in a lunchbox for kids who like soft buns and other bready things.
Popovers Baked in a Jar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
6 250 mL glass canning jars
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place six 250 mL jars onto a rimmed baking sheet, spray their insides with nonstick spray and put a small dab of butter into each. Put the sheet of jars into the oven.
In a medium bowl (preferably one that pours) whisk together the flour and salt. Whisk in the milk and eggs until smooth, with a few lumps remaining. (Don’t worry, they’ll work themselves out in the oven.)
This should take enough time for the jars to get nice and hot. Carefully take the sheet of jars out of the oven and quickly pour the batter into them, dividing it among them. Put them back into the oven immediately and bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden. Eat hot. They will shrink as they cool. Makes 6 popovers.