Strawberry season is not yet here and when it does arrive many farms will not have any. The flooding this spring has washed out the strawberries at our CSA and our closest you pick farm. Memorial day weekend we had visitors from New York City who snacked on local strawberries during their car ride. When I woke up to a handful of perfectly ripe sweet berries there seemed to be only one thing I could do. Popovers, hot from the oven with a crisp exterior and a soft custard like lining accompanied by strawberry butter. The strawberry butter glides across the interior, melting in pools of summer sweetness accentuated by the richness of butter.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature (if your food processor is in good condition it can be done with cold butter, it will just take longer)
2 Tbsp honey
4 large ripe strawberries (for local berries I figure 3-4 smaller berries equals 1 large one)
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor with the metal chopping blade or in a stand mixer. Mix until the butter is light and fluffy and all the ingredients are emulsified together. Serve immediately with warm popovers, good bread, pancakes, waffles... Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container. It is best served at room temperature but that is not stopping anyone around here from spreading it on bread, toast a spoon etc.
Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook (although there are missing steps in the newest edition)
Yield 12 small muffin tin sized popovers or 6 large popover pan ones
Many popover recipes say you can skip the step of prewarming the tins in the oven. From my limited tests you can skip this step but your popovers will not "pop" or expand as impressively. Also after many years of making popovers I think part of the trick to getting them to pop so you don't need to serve them as egg muffins is whisking them enough for gluten to form. The tenderness on the inside does not come from a delicate touch but the eggs. You can make these in a regular muffin tin, once you are properly addicted I suggest investing in a popover pan.
1 cup milk (Lowfat, whole etc does not matter)
1/3 cup spelt flour (if you don't want to use spelt do 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup white)
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 375°, with convection if you have it, with the empty muffin tin or popover pan inside
Beat together the eggs and milk in a large bowl, preferably one with a pouring spout.
Add the flour and salt and then beat vigorously with a whisk or fork until the mixture is uniform.
Brush the bottom and sides of the tin generously with the melted butter. You need to do the buttering and filling steps quickly so the tin retains its heat.
Fill each hole evenly with batter, about 2/3 or a little more full. Place in the oven. If you don't mind a little fussing turn the oven up to 400° for the first 5 minutes. If using convection after 5 minutes reduce the heat to 350° and continue baking for 30 more minutes, without convection lower it back to 375°
Do not open the oven while the popovers are baking for at least the first 30 minutes, if you do they will deflate. When you remove the popovers from the oven pierce the popovers with the tip of a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape. Serve immediately with strawberry butter or butter and jam.