Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10: National Blueberry Popover Day

Blueberry popovers ready to go
in the oven.

Today is National Blueberry Popover Day.  Now, I've made regular popovers a couple of times before.  Once, for a class, we followed Alton Brown's basic popover recipe and I believe everyone had success with the recipe.  (We were using the recipe as an example of steam leavening.)  I thought about using the same recipe and tossing in blueberries, but since I wasn't sure what that would do to the structural integrity of the popovers, I opted to use a recipe specific for blueberry popovers. 

Frozen blueberries, thawing while
 I take pictures.
I used this blueberry popover recipe from Reader's Digest.   I ended up with enough batter to fill nine sections of a cupcake pan.  (I'll talk about my choice of pan in a bit.)  I used slightly thawed frozen blueberries, since at this time of the year, it's the economical choice.  (Plus, the frozen non-organic blueberries were the only ones from the US.  The fresh organic and non-organic blueberries were from Chile, and the organic blueberries were from Canada.)  I'm wondering if my decision to use frozen blueberries affected the recipe because only a few of the popovers actually rose like normal popovers. 

The popovers to start deflating the second I pulled them out of the oven.  (Normal popovers give me a few seconds to grab a knife to pierce them before they start deflating.)  Plus, the weight of the blueberries meant that the center cavity was open and exposed on the popovers.  I also wonder if I put too many blueberries in each popover.  (The recipe says to put "a few" in each using a spoon - I used about one scoop of a tablespoon in each.)

Blueberry popovers straight from the
oven and already starting to deflate.
As usual, the batter part of the popovers was bland.  (And in my opinion, that's the way it should be, unless you're making cheese or herb popovers.)  The blueberries were the flavor star.  My only real problem with popovers is that they're meant to be eaten right away so they don't store well.  This is a recipe that wasn't bad, but it wasn't so wonderful that I'd make it again.  If I celebrate National Blueberry Popover Day again, I think I'll make regular popovers and fill them with vanilla pudding and blueberries instead.

Now, on what to use when baking popovers:  If you make popovers a lot or enter popovers in competitions, it makes sense to get one of these.  Otherwise, just use a muffin/cupcake pan.  When I made them for my class, I used custard cups.  It results in a slightly different shape than if you used a popover pan.  I've never owned a popover pan, mainly because I've always lived in places with tiny kitchens.

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