I was writing an article on popovers for the San Francisco Chronicle and my kitchen looked like a popover lab. Everywhere you looked there were popovers----and even where you didn't look. (Karl accidentally sat on a batch that I had cooling on a chair.) I tested them with every type of gluten and nut flour available, and they all rose to glorious heights. Hundreds, if not thousands of popovers later, I thought I knew everything there was to know about popovers, but I was wrong.
I had tested them with almond and several other nut milks and they came out as flat as pancakes, so I mistakenly told people they couldn't be made lactose free. Then recently I received my first issue of a new magazine called, Bake from Scratch and there it was: A Coconut Popover recipe that is lactose free. Plus, it makes popovers that puff up like they have 3 tablespoons of baking powder in the batter. They rose right over the top of the pan so high they nearly hit the shelf 4-inches above them.
I had been looking for an easy, healthy appetizer for a class I had coming up, so I decided to try baking the batter in mini muffin tins. They popped perfectly, were slightly crisp on the outside and like a thin pancake within. Because the batter is made with no milk or butter, has only 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 3 eggs, I thought that they definitely qualified as healthy. But after eating at least a dozen, I changed my mind. They are only healthy if you can control how many you eat.
I happened to have a jar of my favorite Melon, Apple & Pear Chutney in my freezer, so I defrosted it and spooned a room temperature dollop on each mini popover. My newest appetizer was an instant success.
MINI COCONUT POPOVERS WITH CHUTNEY
1 ¼ cups coconut water
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 ½ teaspoons coconut extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Desired flavor chutney
- To make batter: In a medium-size bowl or 8 cup measure, whisk together coconut water, melted coconut oil, coconut extract, and eggs until sblended. Add flour, salt and pepper and whisk until combined (there may be some small lumps). Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
MAKE AHEAD: Batter can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature 2 hours before using.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place two 12 cup mini popover pans with cups measuring 1 3/4-inches deep on a rimmed baking sheet. Heat in oven for several minutes. Remove pan from oven and spray cups with nonstick coating. Return to the oven for 4 minutes until hot. Whisk batter and pour into cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
- Bake until puffed and deeply golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Lift out popovers, respray tins and repeat with remaining batter.
MAKE AHEAD: Popovers may be baked several hours ahead. Leave on a baking sheet uncovered. Reheat at 400°F until hot, about 5 minutes.
- Serve warm topped with a dollop of chutney.
TO MAKE LARGE POPOVERS
Pour 3/4 teaspoon vegetable oil into each cup of a 6-cup nonstick popover pan or 1 cup custard cups. Place pan(s) on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch oil drips) and preheat in oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly fill two-thirds with batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 6 large popovers.