The key ingredient? Rendered bacon fat.
Our special projects director, Gail Simmons, calls popovers “America’s answer to British Yorkshire pudding”—custardy, buttery, and made with hot fat for extra richness. Raised in Toronto, Simmons had them for the first time when she moved to America 20 years ago, so she pays homage to her roots in her own recipe by adding a Canadian twist. Grade A dark maple syrup and thick-cut bacon come together to create a salty-sweet juxtaposition—Simmons says you can make them for breakfast, dinner, Thanksgiving, or really anytime. (Her favorite way to eat them, however, is right at the stove when they’re fresh out of the oven.)
Check out some of her tips for making the popovers below, and save the recipe for your next brunch—perhaps Mother's Day?
Cook the bacon low and slow
Simmons makes her bacon in a nonstick skillet, and says you really need to take your time cooking it—if you put it on high heat, the grease will splatter to potentially dangerous results. She also notes that you want to gently render out all of the fat, since you’ll be needing it later and it’s a “quintessential” part of the recipe.
Add the fat to the bottom of the pan
In each of the little popover molds, add a little bit of the rendered bacon fat, which heats up at the bottom to help the popovers rise. You’ll heat the fat separately in the oven first, before adding in the batter to cook the popovers.
Don’t use the bowl to crack your eggs
While you might be tempted to crack your eggs on the edge of your bowl when you’re making the batter, don’t. Simmons says you’re much more likely to get a piece of shell in the egg mixture that way—instead, you should always crack your eggs on a flat surface.
Don’t fill the pan all the way
When you’re pouring the batter into the pan filled with fat, only fill up each mold 3/4 of the way. This leaves room for the popovers to, well, pop.
Brush with a little extra maple syrup
Once the popovers are out of the oven, Simmons suggests brushing them with a little extra maple syrup—then, they’re ready to eat.