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You’re French aren’t you?: BLT’s Popovers.

December 13, 2006

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Even the name “popover” sounds like an invitation to eat. And who could refuse, really?

These roly poly, inflated and chewy bread rolls were the conversation starter at a meal my husband and I ate at a swanky French bistro-cum-steakhouse in DC called BLT Steak (for Bistro Laurent Tourondel…. Steak). Comically large and mishapen, with balloon-like tops crusted with baked on cheese, they also came with a meaty salt shaker and — we were told — special European butter that is 98% butter fat. Yes, please!

I liked them well enough in the heady atmosphere of a swanky steakhouse, but would the novel recipe conjure similar culinary magic in our humble abode? Answer: Yes, and then some.

Following Tourondel’s gratis instructions, my husband concocted these beauties in our very own oven. And maybe it’s just my bias talking (he is my husband, after all) but I think they were even more delightful than the restaurant’s. (Sacre bleu!) The popovers weren’t quite as dark brown and crusty, which to my mind is a good thing, and I could eat them with something besides steak. (Because I don’t think popover when I think steak.) Instead, they were properly golden brown and delicious, chewy on the inside and with a more cheesy and less eggy bread interior.

Am I saying that my husband made better popovers than Laurent Tourondel — using the chef’s own recipe? Well, if a wife can’t say it, then who will?

Click here to download the recipe for BLT Popovers.

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Backgrounder…
We don’t do restaurant reviews. I mean we could do restaurant reviews. We like to eat out. We’ve hit the big DC places (Citronelle, Minibar, Charlie Palmer Steak…). We even considered it early on. Yet, we ditched the idea when we started because eating out for us is a time to enjoy. We did not want to worry if we remembered all the details, or if we tanked a restaurant because it was just a bad night. Yet, here I am with a big name restaurant’s recipe, and I’ve no qualms about cooking their food and telling you what I think. Fortunately for them, it’s all good.

For some context, BLT is a group of restaurants that began in NYC with BLT Prime, BLT Steak and BLT Fish. Recently, Chef Tournedel brought DC BLT Steak which is located on Eye Street in Northwest. Seeing that it’s only three blocks from the White House and K street, I suspect this is an ideal location to find tourists, lobbyists, lawyers and politicos.

For those of you who don’t know DC restaurants, bringing a steakhouse to DC, even a good one, seems risky. Because if the nation’s capitol had an official restaurant, it would be the steakhouse. I suspect outside of Manhattan, no other place has a higher concentration of high-end steak slingers than DC. In addition to multiple forms of the standard bears, Ruth’s Chris and Morton’s, we have a number of others who are both local and national. So, if you are here visiting and can’t find a properly cooked hunk of beef, I recommend you walk a few blocks and you’ll find some place who is doing it right.

So BLT Steak falls into the group and does a good job. I don’t want to go into it too much, but I recommend the creamed spinach. One of the fun surprises for me was that the bread basket was replaced with warm popovers. So what made it fun for me other than eating them? They place the recipe right on the plate. It was an open invitation to now criticize them from the confines of my own kitchen! I mean it was inviting me to take them on. If I can do Olive Oil Bon Bons from Minibar, I can do baked goods when they give me the instructions.

So how did it go? Great. I agree with my wife that I think they were even better at home. I’m not sure whether it has to do with pride of workmanship or the fact I was crafting a much smaller batch, but the results seemed better coming out of my oven. The popovers are tasty and tangy with a cavernous center and chewy, crusty texture. The recipe itself is extremely easy to follow and requires only a decent amount of time for them to bake. I will definitely be reusing the recipe and encourage others to try it as well.

Finally, I just want to remind you this is not my recipe. While most everything we do at MHC is my own, this one is definitely not and is copied verbatim from BLT’s recipe. So if you pass it along please make sure you credit the original source. Thanks and enjoy!

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BLT’s Popovers

Yields: 12 to 14 popovers
Ingredients:
4 cups milk (warmed)
8 large eggs
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

Directions
:
1. Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to 350F.

2. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside.

3. Whisk egg until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside.

4. Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add this mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth. Once the mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth.

5. Once combined remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is slight warm or room temperature, fill each popover cup with 3/4 full.

6. Top each popover with approximately 2 1/2 Tbsp. of grated gruyere.

7. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking.

8. Remove fro the oven, remove from the pan and serve immediately.

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23 comments

  1. Popovers are one of those things I keep thinking “I should make those” but never have… I should make those.


    • Thanks for this! I lost the litle recipe they give you when you eat at the restaurant. I just made these and they were a hit at our party. I thought it important to note that I dont have a popover pan so I used a muffin pan instead and the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons (tbsp) and you have the abbreviation for teaspoons (tsp). Makes a diff if you’re wanting that extra salty taste but not a huge deal.


  2. Popovers were a special treat my mom made when we were kids! Once or twice a year, usually on cold evenings, she would make “just plain” popovers, no fillings or toppings. Nothing better than piping hot, fresh out of the oven popovers! We would peel back the top, put in a dap of butter and a lot of honey, put the top back in place and dive in. Needless to say this also involved melting butter and warm honey running down our chins, which made them taste even better! This is a childhood favorite I have since shared with my family and they love them just as much!


  3. Hi, just wanted you to know that I can’t read the top of the popover recipe because the picture is in the way. Just wondered if it was similar to my mother in law’s recipe, which is divine.


  4. A good deal of the time you can’t see the recipe because of browsers issues. Internet Explorer apparently doesn’t read the justification on the photos quite right. The site is best viewed with an updated version of IE or on Firefox. But, here is the recipe ingredient list:

    BLT’s Popovers
    Yields: 12 to 14 popovers
    Ingredients:
    4 cups milk (warmed)
    8 large eggs
    4 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    2 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

    If you want the full run down, I’m happy to email you. Just contact me at myhusbandcooks@gmail.com


  5. oh so beautiful!


  6. I made your popovers for a holiday dinner. They looked perfect, tasted fabulous, and were the hit of the dinner, as some of the guests had never eaten popovers before. Thank you, thank you!


  7. Hi there! Great post. One thing I noticed is that the recipe I have from BLT Steak calls for 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS of salt but you indicated “teaspoons.” Does that work for you?


  8. You can see in the photo the recipe says TBSP, not tsp


  9. Hi there,

    I am too a big fan of BLT popovers, they are divine.
    I tried, however, baking them twice following this recipe. Every time I threw away the whole batch of them because they weren’t cooked through inside and were doughy and gross. On the outside they were gorgeous and brown. I followed the recipe exactly and with the second time, I cooked them for 20 minutes more. Could you tell me what I am doing wrong? Our oven is very hot, do you think this could be the reason and I should cook them at the lower heat?

    Thank you,

    Camilla


  10. Hi do u know where I can get the popovers tray from or a website
    thanks
    martin


  11. I have tried to make this recipe 5 times now and we can not get the popovers to pop. We have experimented with whipping the eggs more, the temperature, the amount of cheese, the time, the amount of salt and we have still not been able to get the large heads on these like BLT. They look OK, they taste a little doughy, but they just dont pop like the BLT ones. Any ideas would be appreciated


  12. Well, I asked my husband to help you troubleshoot why the recipe isn’t working for you. (And my sympathies — how frustrating to try five times and never once be rewarded with popover joy. Fie!)

    He says:
    1. Make sure that the dough is room temperature.
    2. Make sure that the popover pan — and the fat inside it — is HOT.
    3. If you are using a very large muffin tin, it could affect how much the popovers “pop.” (A narrower tin might lead to more popping.)

    He notes that there is no leavener in the dough, so the temperature is very important.

    I surely hope you have success on lucky try no. 6??!? Let us know!


  13. [...] and foremost, the popovers at BLT Prime are the single greatest table bread ever – hands down, no contest. These hollow, [...]


  14. i have tried the recipe on numerous occasions and even though the taste is perfect, they do not rise nearly as much as in BLT.


  15. I am having the same problem the taste is their but no matter what I do they dont rise or pop! I really want to get this right could it be the flour I used all purpose? This is my second try! As well what about putting a towel over the concoction and letting it warm to temp?


    • Is your flour fresh? To keep it from drying out or from holding too much water from the humidity(which will make a difference in cakes and breads) seal it well and keep it in the fridge.
      If your in the Southern region where it’s humid, I changed it by just using less milk only 3 1/2 cups instead of 4 and they turned out awesome! I also used whole milk and not skim or 2% which is what I usually have in my fridge!


  16. I used this recipe for the 1st time yesterday. TO DIE FOR!!! I cut the recipe in 1/2 because i was experimenting. I ended up with 9 popovers. i’ve never made a popover in my life. I followed the directions to a T. Reading some of the other posts, i’m wondering if people dont realize that the ‘head’ of the popover will be doughy but cooked. It’s not going to be like a cream puff. Anyway, i’m planning on including this in my Christmas Brunch.


  17. Hello, what size popover pan did you use?


  18. Popover pans are. Standard sized 6 per pan. Thin at bottom wider at top. William Sonoma has them and bed bath and beyond shouuld.
    Food network showed chef from BLT make them, he filled batter nearly to top and then put about 1 tbs. Cheese ontop. He said I like big tops. This was on TheBestThing I Ever Ate-appetizers. Hope this helps.


  19. Very professional….
    Giving credit to BLT
    Unlike some!


  20. Tried these at the BLT in DC….came with the recipie on a little card stock next to the popover!
    Tried them at my home in Missouri and they turned out great! Tried them at my home in Galveston, Texas and they did not pop! Called the resteraunt and explained. Was told that anytime you bake, you have to keep humidity and altitude in mind. You have to adjust your recipie to your humidity (use less liquid and keep your flour in the fridge but let it come to room temp before using..oh and make sure it is fresh)and your altitude(the higher you are the less flour you use)

    Hope this helps you out!


  21. Thanks for this! I lost the litle recipe they give you when you eat at the restaurant. I just made these and they were a hit at our party. I thought it important to note that I dont have a popover pan so I used a muffin pan instead and the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons (tbsp) and you have the abbreviation for teaspoons (tsp). Makes a diff if you’re wanting that extra salty taste but not a huge deal.



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