Have you ever had a popover? Here is "the" recipe, as posted on dallasnews.com, for what must be the world's best popover. The recipe is from Neiman Marcus. Yes, the iconic luxury retailer. For years Neiman Marcus has served this basic homespun popover with panache at all of their store's Zodiac and Rotunda dining rooms. The complimentary popover (and demitasse of chicken broth) set before you at their cool and sophisticated dining rooms is reason enough to pop in for lunch. "Would you care for another?" asks the waiter just as a runway model glides away from her personal visit to your table "Yes, please. Another would be wonderful." Even those with the utmost restraint cannot refuse the popover. I've wondered, is it the whole Neiman Marcus aura of fashion and elegance that makes their popovers with little mound of strawberry butter so irresistible? I say no. Now after making the famed recipe and watching my son and husband - who have never joined my daughter and me on Neiman Marcus lunch outings - absolutely relish each popover bite, I submit Neiman Marcus popovers are just really that good. This is such a beautiful example of how a very few humble ingredients can transform into an extraordinary delight.
A few notes on the recipe. Most people don't own popover pans, nor do you need to. The SimplyCooking® kitchen relies on a small and considered set of kitchen equipment with a muffin tin doing very nicely for a wide range of jobs. I have taken liberty here to cut the recipe in half, which, when using a muffin tin rather than a popover pan, makes 12 perfectly puffed popovers. The other minor adaptations I have made to make the recipe suit the SimplyCooking® kitchen is to brush or wipe the tin generously with oil rather than spray with non-stick cooking spray and to warm the milk on the stove top instead of in the microwave oven.
Notes before starting:
• Bring the eggs to room temperature before starting.
• Make sure to warm the milk; don't skip this step.
• The batter must rest at room temperature for one hour before baking.
neiman marcus popovers
(original recipe halved)
1 3/4 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt (Celtic Sea Salt, preferable)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs, room temperature
oil for greasing tin
Warm the milk in a small pan on the stove.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Crack eggs into work bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk, and beat on medium speed to about 3 minutes, until foamy and pale in color. Turn down mixer to low and add warm milk.
Gradually add flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn machine off and let batter rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 450 °F.
Coat the muffin tin generously with oil. Fill the cups almost to the top with batter and place the tin on a cookie sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down oven temperature to 375 ° F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, until popovers are deep golden brown outside and airy inside.
Turn out popovers immediately. Best served warm. Makes 12 popovers.