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Popovers - fried?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by indygal, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. indygal

    indygal

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    Hi everyone,

    When I was young out family spent several Sunday mornings trying to duplicate the "popovers" my father had in France while in WWII.  He was adamant that they were fried not baked, and that they turned over in the frying process because of the air pocket in them.  

    My father was not ignorant about food, he was a USDA processing/import inspector and not only knew about American food, but foreign food.  He swears his popovers in France were fried.

    He never succeeded in making them, and since my mother had fits over the mess, the experimenting did not continue very long.

    Does anyone know if this was a figment of his imagination?  Could it be he ate something else and thought it was a popover?   A few years ago I thought I just had to have popovers, and I bought a pan for it.  But I didn't like the result, it tasted "eggy" to me and not in a good way.   (I don't care for Yorkshire Pudding either, same reason).   Sold my popover pan (a good cast iron one) and never missed it a bit.

    I've long wondered about this.  I'd appreciate anyone who might have some info about it, especially someone familiar with street vendor food in Nice or thereabouts.

    Thanks!

    Donna
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Probably one of the regional variations on beignets.
     
  3. indygal

    indygal

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    Would they turn over while cooking?   I always thought they were kind of like a donut, only a rectangle with cruchy sugar on the outside.   I have not had one anywhere, though.  Thanks for the thought.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    They are made many different ways with name variations and seasonings.

    As to rolling over, I don't know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  5. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I'll second the beignet answer. Yes, they are turned over. Typically square. The dough is rolled, cut and slid into the fat. They rise to the surface of the oil and float, thereby browning only on one side and need to be turned over to brown evenly. 

    At the Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, you can see the process. 

    Popovers usually done in a muffin type pan and baked in the over, not really a good street food. The dough will puff much like a beignet, actually more so for the amount of batter used but the shape is naturally different. If you used popover dough in place of beignets you may get a similar result but then it would be beignet. Without researching the similarity in dough ingredients, I think the doughs are very similar. It's more the style of cooking that the distinction is founded on. 

    So we'll give Dad half credit. 

    And if you ever get to New Orleans, Cafe du Monde is not just for tourists. In my experience as a local many years ago, we would go in the early morning after an all night drinking session. The beignets come buried in powdered sugar, which we proceeded to blow all over each other before eating the beignets. A lot of fun and always resulted in amused looks from fellow trolley riders on the way home. 
     
  6. a delcambre

    a delcambre

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    Dad was 100% right. Popovers are not exactly like beignets. My mom made these for us when we were young. She would drop the dough into the oil by spoonfuls and we would watch them pop over automatically when one side was cooked. The dough was not rolled out and they were not cut like the ones in New Orleans. I'm from Louisiana and I've had plenty of beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Popovers are just not the same. We would eat ours buttered but you could surely dust them with powdered sugar or drizzle them with syrup. Yummy! If I ever find my recipe I will post it for everyone.
     
  7. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I stand informed. Popovers in my experience are baked in a hot oven, not in deep fat. They come out like a big hollow muffin. Once cool enough to handle, you put butter and jam on them. Apparently there is more than one use for the term. 
     
  8. a delcambre

    a delcambre

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  9. a delcambre

    a delcambre

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    Hey everyone!
    Update on the old time fried popovers. I've done some research and came to the conclusion that popovers are actually Pazzoles. The recipe is almost the same except we never added ricotta. They even state that they pop over by themselves while cooking but should be watched. Just google Grams Pazzoles for the recipe. Hope this helps those of you that wondered about the fried popovers. Good luck if you try them out.
     
  10. a delcambre

    a delcambre

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    Sorry it's actually "Grams Zeppoles".