Bullock’s tea room in Sherman Oaks, California was my Grandmother and my Mecca when I was little. She would take me shopping for the day, and we would take a mid-day break for lunch in their glorious tea room. As we were escorted to our table, I was in awe of the vast ceilings, plushly decorated room in velvety mauves and deep purples and the crisp white table cloths. The minute I sat down, a more than gracious waiter would present us with the largest popover I had ever seen. This was served instead of a bread basket. Can you imagine?
My grandmother always attracted more than a little attention. She was striking and had the beauty of Old Hollywood starlets. She was tall and always carried herself like a model, even though she had suffered from Polio and walked with a brace. Her gracious manner, sparkling eyes and welcoming smile made anyone who met her instantly adore her. And adore her I did as I believe she did me.
My father is an only child and I was her only granddaughter. That was a big deal. My mother and I were the sole recipients of all her feminine interests, shopping being the number one. The days we spent shopping were the best ever. Not because of the stuff we bought, but because we talked endlessly, laughed vigorously AND got to eat popovers with lunch with a big slab of butter dripping generously over the top.
Bullocks was more than famous for these popovers and their recipe has been requested and printed in the L.A. Times dozens of times. My grandmother kept the original recipe clipping from the newspaper and glued it to a recipe card. I still have her recipe box full of her own favorites and use it while nostalgic memories wash over me.
Most of the recipe cards are written in her handwriting. I don’t know why it strikes such a sentimental chord, but it makes me so happy to see her handwriting and the print of the old recipe cards which always adorned her kitchen Sunday evenings when we came for dinner. My husband has even framed my favorite recipe of hers, Noodle Kugel along side a beautiful photo of her. It hangs in my kitchen and, as you know, I spend a quite a bit of time there.
I made these popovers, also known as Yorkshire pudding, to serve with our Prime Rib on Christmas. We gobbled them up. And though I made a large batch of them for our small crowd of eight, there were simply not enough left to serve with our leftovers the next day so I whipped up ANOTHER batch. The recipe is ridiculously EASY and can be made in a muffin pan though I was lucky enough to borrow my mother’s new popover pan.
Do you think I could ask Santa for a belated Christmas gift? Those pans were really nice…
Taken from the L.A. Times
Makes about eight popovers
2 c. whole milk
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 t. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, softened
2 T. meltedunsalted butter for greasing ramekins or muffin pan
To Make the Popovers: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt two tablespoons of butter and baste a muffin tin with it or eight ramekins. Grease well! Beat your eggs and milk together in a small bowl. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour and salt.
Work butter into flour until adequately combined. Gradually add milk and egg mixture to flour mixture and blend with a wire whisk in between each addition. By adding the egg mixture in small amounts at a time and whisking in between, you will eliminate most lumps.
Scoop the batter into each muffin cup or ramekin, about 3/4 full. The more full, the higher and more puffy your popover will be. I believe mine were a little scant since I wanted to get at least 10 popovers out of my batch for dinner. If you are using ramekins, you will want to place them on a cookie sheet and then put the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes for an eggy version or about 50+ minutes for a crispier version, until golden.
Open your oven and gently poke each popover with the tines of a fork. Turn the oven off, leaving the popovers inside for 5 more minutes. Take out of the oven and gently release each popover using a butter knife to separate any stuck bits until they pop out.
Serve warm with butter or gravy poured over the top.