Breakfast apple popover (and a talk about “ratios” in the kitchen)
|April 20, 2011||Posted by ameliaps under apples, breakfast, dessert, sweets, Uncategorized|
Sometimes we get so bored of our breakfast routine in our house, so I try – on occasion – to change it a bit and add a pinch of creativity to get everyone excited, especially if it is a middle of the week day.
Yesterday morning I found 3 wrinkled, old-looking, forgotten golden delicious apples in my vegetable drawer in the fridge…so I decided to make a quick dessert with them.
Preface: I have been reading Michael Ruhlman’s “Ratio” book. Such a great concept, glad someone thought about it. There is a science in cooking and Ruhlman illustrates the formulas behind the basic recipes. Once you have those basics – this is especially important in baking – you will never need a cookbook again…you can just manipulate the ratio and create anything your imagination whispers.
Listen to Ruhlman explain all about recipe ratios, here on his blog.
I think we should all be “freed” of cookbooks and learn to cook intuitively, from an “alphabet” of recipe rules. This would make everyone’s life happier and simpler.
How easy will your life become once you know that the basic pasta dough is 3 parts flour : 2 parts egg, the classic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil : 1 part vinegar, and pound cake is 1 part butter : 1 part sugar : 1 part egg : 1 part flour? My favorite ratio? Cookies! All you have to remember is 1-2-3 (1 part sugar : 2 parts fat : 3 parts flour, plus flavorings, baking powder and/or eggs for texture).
My next goal is trying to master about 10-15 basic recipe ratios that I can freely elaborate on and modify with a variety of ingredient additions. I will also start providing you with measurements in various formats (US, UK and Metric), so that you can choose what works best for you. I like using this or this measurement converter, which both adapt the conversion based on the ingredient (1 cup of flour does not weight the same as 1 cup of sugar!).
One of the basic ratios Ruhlman provides in his book is the ratio for popovers. His ratio is 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part flour (for example: 8 oz. milk = 1 cup + 1 oz. melted butter; 4 oz. eggs = 2 eggs; 4 oz. flour = 1 scant cup). With that in mind, I set off to find a good “formula” for a sweet popover batter. I tried Michael’s ratio initially, but since it was breakfast and since I needed the recipe to hold together more tightly because of the apples addition, I increased (actually doubled) the amount of egg in the batter and gave it a bit more “substance”. The recipe below is inspired by Ruhlman’s popover ratio (2 parts liquid : 1 part egg : 1 part flour) and adapted from the joy of baking.
This process was also lots to fun for the whole family because the kids are avid science lovers and it gave us a chance to use the kitchen as a laboratory and have a simple chemistry and math lesson, as we kicked off the day!
Are you a recipe follower or a recipe creator?
|Breakfast apple popover||
- Sautéed apples:
- 3 small golden delicious apples (about 1 pound or 454 grams), peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices
- 1 oz. (2 tablespoons, 30 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 oz. (2 Tbsp., 30 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp apple pie spice, ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg
- Sweet popover batter:
- 2 parts liquid (~6 oz.) >>> 4 oz. milk (1/2 cup, 120 ml) + 1 oz. (2 tablespoons, 30 grams) melted butter + 1/4 oz. (2 tsp.) vanilla extract
- 2 parts egg (~6 oz.) >>> 6 oz. (3 large eggs, 3/4 cup beaten eggs)
- 1 part dry ingredients (~3 oz.) >>> 2 oz. (1/2 cup, 65 grams) all-purpose flour + 1 oz. (2 Tbsp., 30 grams) granulated sugar + 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a large (9-10 inch or 23-25 cm) heavy ovenproof skillet, melt the butter then add the apple slices, the sugar, and the spices.
- Toss and sauté the apples until soft bubbly and caramelized, just a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sweet popover batter.
- In a blender, mix and process all the popover batter ingredients for about 1 minute, until smooth and velvety.
- Pour the batter evenly over the sautéed apples.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until puffy.
- IMPORTANT: Do not open the oven while it is baking or it might deflate. Be VERY careful and wear oven mitts when pulling it out of the oven!