RICK'S PERFECT POPOVERS
Makes about 1 dozen.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. To prepare clarified butter, cut unsalted butter into small pieces and melt in a saucepan over low heat, simmering undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes but not allowing butter to sizzle, until fats separate. Strain mixture, discarding white milk solids and retaining clear yellow clarified butter. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed glass container for up to 1 month.
• 5 eggs plus 1 egg white
• 2 c. whole milk
• 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm to the touch
• 13/4 c. flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 6 tsp. clarified butter for pans (see Note)
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs and egg white until pale and frothy, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat milk in microwave oven (or in a saucepan over low heat) until it is just warm to the touch. Add milk to eggs and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
Add butter and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low, add flour and salt and mix just until batter is consistency of heavy cream (a few lumps may remain) and lightly bubbled, about 30 seconds. Cover with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 1/2 teaspoon clarified butter in each popover tin. Loosely cover pan with aluminum foil, place pan on a baking sheet and preheat pan for at least 15 minutes.
Transfer batter into a container with a spout. When pans are hot, remove from oven, remove and discard aluminum foil and carefully pour batter into prepared cups, filling just under two-thirds full.
Return popover pan to oven (keep pan on baking sheet) and bake 25 minutes. Without opening door, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake an additional 14 to 18 minutes until popovers are golden brown.
Remove from oven and let popovers rest 1 minute before gently lifting popovers from pans (some may require a little nudging with a dull-edged knife). Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 194 Fat 12 g Sodium 244 mg
Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 61 mg
Protein 6 g Cholesterol 113 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 1 medium-fat meat, 11/2 fat.
MEYER LEMON POPOVER STRATA
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: Popovers don't have much of a shelf life, which is why we asked Michelle Gayer, chef/owner of the Salty Tart (920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, www.saltytart.com) for a recipe that makes good use of leftover popovers. Gayer's idea -- which puts fragrant Meyer lemons front and center -- is so good, and so easy, that you'll find yourself making extra popovers, just so you'll have enough to prepare Michelle's strata. "I think vanilla beans and Meyer lemons are a perfect combination, a really great relationship," she said. "When Meyer lemons are in season I just want to put them in everything, including my bath water." Candied Meyer lemons and custard can be prepared in advance.
For candied Meyer lemons:
• 3 Meyer lemons
• 3 c. sugar
• 11/2 c. water
• 3 c. cream
• 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten
• Freshly grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
• 1/2 vanilla bean
• Butter for baking dish
• 6 medium-size popovers, torn into pieces
• 6 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1/4-in. pieces
To prepare candied Meyer lemons: Slice lemons into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a pot of gently simmering water, blanch lemon slices until almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Immediately shock lemon slices in cold water to stop cooking process and drain in a colander.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar with 11/2 cups water, stirring until sugar dissolves completely. Bring water to a gentle simmer and carefully add lemon slices, making sure not to crowd them in pan (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Cook lemon slices for approximately 3 minutes until fully translucent. Using a slotted spoon, remove lemon slices from water, transfer to prepared baking sheet and cool.
To prepare custard: In a large bowl, whisk together cream, eggs, and egg yolk until fully incorporated. Whisk in lemon zest. Using a paring knife, split vanilla bean. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add seeds and vanilla bean to custard. Cover and refrigerate custard until ready to use.
To prepare strata: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter sides and bottom of an 8- or 9-inch baking dish. Line bottom of baking dish with popover pieces.
Remove vanilla bean from custard, discarding vanilla bean. Pour custard over popover pieces. Arrange cream cheese pieces evenly over custard.
Arrange candied Meyer lemon slices on top of custard and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until custard is set. Remove from oven to a wire rack, cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.
Nutrition information per serving of 6:
Calories 560 Fat 38 g Sodium 440 mg
Carbohydrates 40 g Saturated fat 22 g Calcium 228 mg
Protein 16 g Cholesterol 295 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 21/2 other carb, 2 medium-fat meat, 51/2 fat.