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Gluten Free Popovers

by Karen on December 31st, 2013

simple mini popovers flavored with chives and white cheddar

Over the summer I was introduced to popovers by the daughter of a good friend.  Lulu loves to cook and uses a tapioca flour recipe to make mini popovers.  I love that she is into cooking, her older brother is too, at age 14 he mans the barbecue grill.  Both brother and sister have a leg up on many kids these days by learning to cook long before they are on their own.  These two are at that perfect age to embrace cooking.   In this post I will share with you recipes that can be used in mini muffin tins or a fancy popover pan like the one above.

Wistful for Home Economics Class

I really would like to bring home ec back.  Kids today are really missing out by not having the opportunity to learn about basic home making skills in school.  In middle school home ec class I learned how to cook,  do laundry, and sew— though my parents involved me in these activities at younger ages, I learned a few new skills from my teachers.  In high school I took a shop class to learn woodworking, metal, and electrical skills.  I was the only girl in the class and looking back I think it should have been a required course along with a personal finance class.  And car maintenance? No problem, my dad taught me how to change the oil in my car and how to change a tire—two things I have to admit I never taught my kids.

As our teachers spend time preparing for the required standardized tests we have lost these valuable “basic life skills” classes.  I remember all of these classes being a lot of fun and I use much of what I learned there every day.

The Popover Pan

I received a popover pan as a gift—something that was never on my radar screen.  The pan is designed to allow high oven heat to completely encircle the popover quickly to transform the liquid in the batter to steam, causing the batter to expand with air pockets and “pop-over” the pan.

To put the pan to the test, I used a few recipes that were unsuccessful.  Then I remembered Erin of The Sensitive Epicure. Erin is someone I have collaborated with in the past for The Gluten Free Ratio Rally. Her food-science approach to cooking has always impressed me so I figured if she had a popover recipe it would be a fully-vetted gluten free recipe that I could trust.  Sure enough after following her recipe exactly I found results!!!  The popover really did POP!

Guess I should have paid better attention in science class!

(the popover at the top of this post was made with Erin’s recipe exactly)

 

Karen’s Popover’s with Millet Flour, Sweet Rice Flour and Tapioca Flour

 

Erin's recipe made with equal parts sweet rice flour, tapioca, and millet flour

I like to tweak what works, so once I had a popover that really popped I decided to make a flour adjustment to see what would happen. I decided to go with equal parts of sweet rice flour, tapioca flour and millet flour.

Gluten Free Popover Recipe

well there is no point in me recreating the wheel.  Follow the link to Erin’s recipe, try it her way and also using equal parts  sweet rice flour, tapioca flour and millet flour.

 

This recipe requires a few more steps but often that is the case in gluten free baking—at least it is in the recipes that actually taste good.  And if you are going to spend time, money, and calories on gluten free baked goods then it better be worthwhile, otherwise you are simply following gorgeous food photography and not necessarily a good GF recipe.

Gluten Free Sweet or Savory Popovers

Popovers are so easy to prepare, they are versatile too — either sweet or savory.

You can add bits of bacon, garlic salt, herbs, and/or cheese.  I have seen recipes where popovers are split open and chicken pot pie filling is served over the popover.  In this case chicken stock replaces a bit of the milk in the popover recipe.

And plain popovers can be served sweet with Strawberries and Cream or Butter and Jam

 

Another Popover Recipe that’s simple and good

Let me introduce you to our Talented Cook Lulu….and did I mention she can dance?

With the mini muffin tin method we will have LuLu as our guide.
 Her recipe follows these pictures.
Simply combine the wet ingredients of the recipe in a blender and gradually add in the dry ingredients. Once you pour the batter into the tin you may top each one with a little cheese and bake.  Lulu uses only tapioca flour in her recipe……

Spray the muffin tin

 

that first step was easy

 

pour the batter into the prepared pan

batter was sprinkled with a little cheese and popovers emerge from oven 30 min later ready to serve

 

Lulu’s Gluten Free Tapioca Flour Popovers

A quick and easy recipe that works well for entertaining.
The popovers act as a crisp shell for the other flavors you add with cheese, herbs, or seasonings.

1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
1 ½ cups tapioca flour
1/8 teaspoon guar gum (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup queso fresco

Preheat oven to 400 °   Lightly butter or spray mini muffin tins.

Combine egg, oil, and milk in a blender.  With the motor running on low, gradually add in tapioca flour, gum and salt.
(At this point you may refrigerate the batter for a few hours until you are ready to bake popovers, a major plus to this recipe.)

Pour batter into muffin tin filling up to 2/3 full.  Top each with a little queso fresco or other filling choice. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove from pan to a cooling rack.

Popover Tips

-I found that if you pour some batter into another measuring cup and stir in your herbs, seasonings, and cheese before pouring it into the tin you can eliminate a big hole in the middle (see last photo below).
-The hole can be used to hold a little bit of butter though.
-Guar gum is probably not necessary, I don’t think Lulu used any at all.

Here are photos of the popovers I made with Lulu’s recipe:

 

The Breville Convection oven is fun to use, you can watch the action live.

 

clockwise from top left: jalapeno cheddar, chives and white cheddar, blue cheese

 

the far left and far right are both chives and white cheddar --for this version I poured some batter into a separate bowl and mixed in the filling, it seems to be a good method

simple mini popovers flavored with chives and white cheddar

From → Bread, The Food

6 Comments
  1. Lani Richerson permalink

    Interested in Gluten Free /Dairy Free.

  2. Karen permalink

    Lani,
    When my daughter is home I bake DF/GF too. Just haven’t tried these recipes that way yet myself. We always substitute Earth Balance margarine for butter and generally have favorable results. As for the milk substitute I would try using the coconut milk in a can (full fat) because it has a thickness the others don’t. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try. Start with Lulu’s recipe first, it’s super easy.
    Don’t worry about the queso fresco that is optional. Some people with a dairy sensitivity can tolerate parmesan and other aged cheese (there is a threshold of aging that reduces the lactose, I want to say the threshold is 18 months but am not positive)
    Karen

  3. Eve permalink

    Can this recipe work as a pizza crust?

  4. Karen permalink

    I don’t think so, sorry!

  5. Thanks for the recipe! Mine did not turn out right but my oven was acting up and not heating properly. They didn’t get holes in the middle and collapsed as soon as I took them out of the oven. I also used a mixer, because I don’t have a blender. My son and I are eating them as a bedtime snack anyway.

    As for the pizza crust comment, I have seen some tapioca starch and cheese pizza crust recipes.

  6. Karen permalink

    Jenn,
    Thank you for the feedback. Did you use Erin’s recipe or the one I provided from Lulu?

    I have found that Lulu’s recipe also works beautifully in the big popover pan. Lulu’s recipe fills 4 slots in the standard popover pan. We have found it is best to heat up the oven to at least 400 degrees for the mini popovers and 450 degrees is better when you use the standard popover pan. This particular recipe is very runny and I can’t imagine it working for pizza but I know some crusts are made with just tapioca starch flour.
    Karen

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