Friday Try-day: Popovers

By Marcus Samuelsson |

A forecast of a cold and icy mix this evening has diverted me from going anywhere, and seeing how its been this way for quite awhile now especially compared to last years “would we even call it” winter, the cabin fever has started to kick in. Therefore, I’ve decided to put my excess energy to use. And with thyme and lemon in my fridge, I’ve been inspired to make popovers, lemon and thyme popovers. I thought if anything, the oven should keep the apartment warm and toasty, and the spare thyme and time I have can go toward this delicious cocktail I call The Thyme-ly Dalmatian.


Lemon-Thyme Popovers with Apple Butter

Lemon-Thyme Popovers
Yields: 1 dozen Popovers
These popovers are the perfect winter treat. Similar to English Yorkshire Pudding, they are hollow rolls made from egg batter. The secret to making these bad boys rise is the temperature of the initial ingredients, and keeping the oven closed through the duration of baking. The addition of fresh thyme and lemon zest in this particular recipe gives them a warm yet fresh lemony zing that is perfect with a cup of tea, hot toddy, or a winter meal.


Apple Butter:
Yields: 1 cup of butter
This apple butter is anything but traditional. First, I like to keep the skins on the small-diced apples as it intensifies the apple flavor, and as a person who likes my peanut butter chunky, I skip any milling or blending. However, if you’re more for the smooth team, it’s best to peel the apples before you dice, and to blend or mill them after caramelizing. The second difference is I like to make it more of an indulgent condiment by upping the amount of butter in the apple to butter ratio. Think of it more as butter with caramelized apples in it, then apples as a substitute for butter. However, if you are trying to keep it light, you can always just half, or third the amount of butter or even substitute with vegetable oil spread. 


These tasty, light’n’airy, crunchy and in a strange way custard-y treats with apple butter are a sure fire way to stay warm this weekend, and may even tempt friends to pop over (pun most definitely intended). They are great for a salty-sweet breakfast with tea, or as an accompaniment to a savory rib eye steak or vegetarian chili.

Prep Details

Servings: 1 dozen

Calories per serving: 172 per serving

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes


For Popovers

1 ½ cup all purpose flour

¾ tsp salt

4 Eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp fresh Thyme, finely chopped

Zest of ½ lemon

1 ½ cups milk (room temperature)

3 tbsp of unsalted Butter (melted)

For Apple Butter

1 apple of choice (I like Honey Crisp or Fuji), cored and small-diced

Zest of ½ lemon

1 tbsp of sugar

½ cup of water

1 stick of butter (room temperature)


photo by: stevewhitaker

Photo: julochka

Photo: michelle@TNS

For Popovers:

1. Place oven rack on lowest rung, preheat the oven to 450°F, and grease pop over pan or muffin pan. Mix together flour, salt, and thyme in one bowl. In another bowl combine eggs, milk, and zest until well blended.

2. Add flour mixture to egg mixture until well mixed and only small lumps are present. Add in melted butter and mix again.

3. Fill cups in pan about 2/3 of the way, and then put into the oven. Let them bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F, and let cook for a remaining 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown. (NOTE: although it is tempting to open the oven door, as if to only warm up a bit, keep the door shut throughout the cooking process as the egg (the main rising factor) relying on that hot air staying inside the oven to keep the puff at its peak.)

4. Let popovers rest for 10 minutes, serve with apple butter and Enjoy!

For Apple Butter:

1. Place apples, sugar, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add lemon zest, and reduce down to a simmer. Simmer until apple’s become soft and start to caramelize. Remove from heat.

2. Add butter into pan and whisk until incorporated and slightly fluffy. Serve with Thyme Popovers. (NOTE: Can be made the night before or while popovers bake. Will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.)