Shirley’s Mile-High Popovers

Shirley's Mile-High Popovers Recipe

These are magnificent and delicious. They’re deep brown and crusty and oh so good and deserve the best butter that you can buy.–Shirley O. Corriher

LC Privy To Popover Panaceas Note

The big secret of popovers? According to Shirley Corriher, the doyenne of all things food science, it’s “that everything is as warm as you can get it—the pan, heat from the bottom, the batter—everything.”

But that’s not all. Here, a few other pointers from Ms. Corriher: The milk and flour need to stand at least an hour so that the flour is fully hydrated. Adding hot cream to warm the batter just before it goes in the oven helps the batter to heat quickly, which produces steam for a great rise. The hot stone is vital in providing instant heat from beneath the pan to make the batter explode into a great puff.

Shirley's Mile-High Popovers Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 2 H, 35 M
  • Makes 6 popovers


  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cups spooned and leveled bread flour, preferably Pillsbury
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  • 1. Place the eggs in a bowl of very hot tap water to warm them. After a while, when the water cools, drain the eggs and cover them again with very hot tap water.
  • 2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until it feels warm to the touch. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl (if you have a large measuring cup with a spout, that is great) and, with a fork or whisk, beat in the milk, a little at a time, to prevent it from forming lumps. Allow the flour and milk mixture to stand at room temperature for at least an hour.
  • 3. After the flour/milk mixture has been standing for about 15 minutes, place a shelf in the lower third of the oven with a baking stone on it and preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C). If you think that your oven runs low, turn it to 500°F (260°C). It is important that the oven be very hot.
  • 4. After the flour and milk mixture has stood for over an hour, place the popover pan in the oven on the stone to heat.
  • 5. Separate 3 of the eggs, saving the whites and storing the yolks. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 3 egg whites together, then beat in about 1/2 cup of the flour and milk mixture. Then beat the egg mixture into the remaining flour and milk mixture.
  • 6. Heat the cream almost to a boil. Sprinkle the salt over the batter and whisk in the hot cream.
  • 7. Pull the hot popover pan out of the oven. I like to place the pan over the sink. Spray one cup of the popover pan well with nonstick cooking spray and immediately pour batter into that cup, filling it more than 3/4 full. This 6-cup batch of filling should be exactly enough for 6 cups. Repeat spraying and filling each cup. Place the popover pan on the hot stone and bake for 9 minutes. Do NOT open the oven. Turn down the heat to 425°F (218°C), and bake for 7 minutes more. Do NOT open the oven. Turn down the oven to 325°F (162°C), and leave the popovers in 20 to 25 minutes more for the popovers to dry out.
  • 8. Dump the popovers onto a rack to cool a minute. Serve immediately with really good butter and preserves. (You can make these popovers several hours ahead and rewarm them at 300°F (149°C) for 5 minutes. Or, when they are completely cool, you can seal them in heavy resealable freezer bags and freeze. Reheat them in a 300°F (149°C) oven for about 5 minutes.)
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  1. These popovers are a celebration. I made them for a friend on Memorial Day and we never left the kitchen counter. As soon as the popover pan hit the counter we were each grabbing one. She put butter on hers, I used apricot jam. We stood there moaning in delight and before we knew it they were all gone. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  2. Wow wow wow wow—Christmas has come early!! I come from a very long line of popover makers, spanning the Midwest to merry old England. And now I’ve found the recipe to put all others to shame! My family collectively gasped as we pulled these beauties from the oven—thank you, Leite’s!!!

    1. We can ask for no higher praise for a popover recipe, Kristen! Swell to hear it. Merry Christmas!

  3. I don’t know what I did wrong. Some rose really high and beautiful, others not so much. They all deflated when I took out of the oven. They all tasted delicious. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Gina, so sorry that some of the popovers were a “flop”. Popovers rely on steam to get their rise so a hot oven is paramount. I would start by making sure your oven is properly calibrated using an oven thermometer. Then carefully read Shirley’s notes the science behind creating the steam. Let us know what happens on your next batch. Now I’m hungry for a popover!

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