To blow off steam (idiom)

Also, to let off steam: (Of a person) Get rid of pent-up energy or strong emotion. (Of a baked good) Transform, as if by magic, from thin, lumpy batter to glorious popover in under one hour.

It’s the holiday season. Sure, there are the joys and the thanks and the givings. Also, though? There are all the extra little reasons you’ll need to blow off some steam. You know the ones I mean.

When times get tough, take a cue from some of New England’s earliest settlers and bake a bread that needs to let off a little steam just as much as you do. Popovers are crisp and buttery on the outside, and, owing to the copious amounts of steam they trap and ultimately release, positively ethereal on the inside. If you let them, they will be your soulmates in this holiday endeavor. Please let them.

  • Just stumbled upon your blog via tastespotting. This recipe looks lovely. I’ve never eaten popovers before so I might have to try and make them.ReplyCancel

    • Thanks, Debbie! I’d never had popovers, or heard of them, until I met my husband. The experience is definitely worth the minimal effort!ReplyCancel

  • It’s crazy but i dont think i’ve ever had a popover! Your pictures are gorgeous, and make me want to try them!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn, This recipe contains very different proportions and baking process from what I’ve traditionally used. I have long used the Rombauer/Joy o C recipe, aka Yorkshire Pudding.

    I ‘will’ try this one. Can you offer a comparison? and will it work in the traditional Yorkshire Pudding pan?

    My now 20 something, college kids ask for it all the time.ReplyCancel

    • Hi, Henry! I’m just looking at my Joy of Cooking (the 1997 edition). I hadn’t remembered making their popovers before, but in fact I think they’re the first ones I ever made. I remember being slightly terrified, and forgetting to puncture them, and them collapsing but still tasting delicious. So. (That’s their popover recipe, by the way, not the Yorkshire pudding. The recipes are similar, and I think you’re supposed to be able to use popover and Yorkshire Pudding batters interchangeably in general, but I must admit I’ve made nary a Yorkshire Pudding in my day.)

      The first line of the JoC popover recipe headnotes says, “Baking advice for these high, crusty, hollow beauties varies widely.” And I would agree that the baking instructions are quite different, although they both have the crisping-the-outside phase and the drying-the-inside phase. The proportions aren’t so different, though, are they? A tad more liquid in the JoC, but nothing to write home about, I don’t think.

      Which edition are you working from? Let’s make this faux-scientific!ReplyCancel

  • These look wonderful and perfectly formed. Mine have great flavor but look no where as neat as yours. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…MaryReplyCancel

    • Thanks, Mary. A couple of mine in the other pan looked pretty crazy. It’s part of the fun!ReplyCancel

  • Your popovers look delicious and puffed! I’ve never tried making them because I can justify buying the special pan for it. Perhaps I could use a muffin tray?ReplyCancel

    • You can absolutely use a muffin pan. Just grease it well. The recipe will yield 18 medium-sized popovers (from 1 1/2 muffin pans). Good luck!ReplyCancel

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  • I’ve never made popovers before, but these look easy enough!ReplyCancel

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