Active Time
20 MIN
Total Time
40 MIN
Yield
Serves : 12

Popovers are America’s answer to British Yorkshire pudding. Festive and comforting, they’re made by adding hot fat (butter, beef drippings, bacon grease) to the bottom of individual popover or muffin tins before pouring in a rich, eggy batter, which causes them to puff up and “pop” over the sides of the pan. Having grown up in Canada, I had never had a popover until I moved to the States. I quickly fell in love with them, especially when I realized how easy they are to make, and how satisfying when eaten still steaming right out of the oven.

This past year, around Thanksgiving, I decided to put my own spin on the popover. As a Canadian living the United States, I can’t help but be envious of my American friends around Thanksgiving. More than any other adopted holiday, this one comes with boat loads of (nondenominational, bipartisan) family traditions, mostly centered around the kitchen. Family and friends gather from every corner of the country to spend a day cooking favorite recipes, many of which are passed down through generations, and enjoying a veritable feast. (Sure, Canada has its own Thanksgiving, modeled after its American counterpart, but it’s not nearly as obsessively food-focused, nor as widely celebrated.) So, this past year, around Thanksgiving, I decided to put my own spin on the popover.

Over the two decades I’ve lived in New York, my husband and I have observed “American Thanksgiving”, as we Canadians call it, in different ways: joining friends at their family tables, making our own “friendsgiving” or, on occasion, using the long weekend as an excuse to travel, without the obligation to family that the holiday would otherwise require. But now that I had two (American) children, I felt the need to establish our own traditions that would teach them about their country’s history, as well as to understand and be grateful for the food we are so lucky to enjoy together. And so, I came up with these Maple Bacon Popovers—my first attempt at starting a family Thanksgiving ritual.

My version includes maple syrup and bacon in the batter, as well as more maple brushed on top, giving the adapted American dish a distinctly Canadian accent, just like me. To make them, you’ll want a popover pan or a muffin tin. Preheat the pan in the oven—that step is key to the popover’s dramatic rise.

We served them for Thanksgiving last year (and hope to for many years to come), but they’re so good—airy and eggy, sweetly glazed from the maple, with salty and crunchy bites from the bacon—they’re sure to become a favorite for weekend breakfasts all year long.

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat oven to 425°F with oven rack in lower third of oven. Cook chopped bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Allow drippings to cool slightly in skillet, about 5 minutes; pour into a small heatproof bowl.

Step 2    

Add 2 tablespoons melted butter to drippings; stir to combine. Spoon 1 teaspoon drippings mixture into each cup of a 12-cup popover pan or large muffin pan. (Discard any remaining drippings mixture.) Place pan in oven to heat.

Step 3    

Stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, maple syrup, eggs, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Gradually whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until almost smooth; fold in cooked bacon. Transfer batter to a 4-cup spouted measuring cup.

Step 4    

Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Pour batter into popover cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven until popovers are puffed and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Lightly brush tops with additional maple syrup. Remove from pan, and serve immediately.

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