Goat cheese popovers with blueberry sauce

August 6, 2012 § 15 Comments

First off, foremost, and before anything else, thank you!  Seriously, thank you.  Jumping up and down clapping my hands thank you.  I’m 8 and I just got the Playmobile Victorian dollhouse set I’ve been coveting all year, thank you.  Your enthusiasm, and support, and encouragement for Joel’s and my thoughts and plans mean so very, very much to me, and you will definitely be hearing stories as we get going with our new adventures!

And now, because when I’m overwhelmed with gratitude transitions go completely out the window, without further ado let’s go ahead and talk about breakfast.  Or snack.  Or breakfast standing in as dinner.  Or however you want to serve these popovers.  (The first, followed by the second, followed by the third works quite well.  I can say from experience.)

Though in the end they became the sauce rather than the apparent centerpiece, it was actually the blueberries that started the wheels turning and rolled me down the path that led eventually to popovers.

I saw them (the blueberries, that is), majestically portly and dusty midnight blue, piled high in their cardboard pints at our tiny neighborhood farmer’s market, and I simply couldn’t resist.  The word that comes to mind is peak.  Blueberries are at their peak, and they looked it.

The blueberry acquisition was followed, in short order, by a creamy white round of chevre, and I began to form a plan.  It was only the vaguest of plans though.  It went something like:  blueberries and chevre…together.  The question of how I most wished to eat them together remained unanswered for a couple of days.

And now we journey briefly into the tortured vicissitudes of a mind that can spend several days pondering various permutations of blueberries and goat cheese.  A mind that distracts its proprietor so much that she looses track of her place in such gripping reads as Transforming Qualitative Data: Thematic Analysis and Code Development because she is instead internally debating the merits of galettes versus crepes.

I did consider a sweet goat cheese and blueberry galette, or goat cheese and blueberry stuffed crepes.  I thought about making tartines, parfaits, bars, ice cream, salad….  And any of those would have been delicious.  And many of them I probably will make someday.

But, in the end I decided on popovers. Not even because I felt that popovers would necessarily be the very best way of delivering my two ingredients of choice.  Mostly, the decision was based on the fact that I suddenly really felt like having a popover for breakfast.  And we had a smidgen of milk to use up.

Even then the decision making wasn’t entirely done.  Oh no.  I had to waffle back and forth for a while about whether I wanted to put the blueberries or the cheese inside the popovers. Or both.  Or neither.  Ultimately I went for warm melty cheese tucked in the middles of the golden puffed popovers, tangy smudges of cream lodged between the crisped ridges of batter.

The blueberries I served as sauce because that seemed like the best way to get the most blueberries onto each popover.  Why dribble a few berries in when you can spoon large piles of berries on top, I ask you?  I chose a sauce over plain old blueberries because, though I do love to eat them by the handful, I feel that blueberries are at their most blueberry, they find their true blueberry nature, when they’ve been cooked a bit.

The bronzed and cracked domes of the popovers when they come out of the oven are punctuated by the crumbles of gently baked cheese.  The airy, but nicely doughy and eggy little muffins strut about as though they’re pancakes once doused with the blueberry sauce – which is laced with a bit of maple, adding further to making things pancake like.

But, the popovers as well as the cheese have a solid savory aspect, which keeps the whole dish from being too sugary or leaving me with the shakes, which is my major complaint when I have pancakes.

Basically, these are a definite, and delightful, point for the “why choose?” camp in the sweet versus savory breakfast debate.

Serve a bit of leftover champagne that a friend brought you on the side, and you can give the same answer to the question, “dinner or dessert?”

Don’t you think some peak season blueberries are calling your name?

Goat Cheese Popovers with Blueberry Sauce (makes 9 popovers)

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. melted butter, divided
  • 3 oz. soft young goat cheese (like chevre), crumbled into small pieces
  • 1/2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.  In a fairly large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, salt, sugar, vanilla, thyme (if using), and 2 Tbs. melted butter until smooth. (You can also blend them together in a blender. I’ve never done it this way, but I hear it works well.)
  2. Generously brush 9 cups of a muffin pan with the remaining melted butter.  Place the pan in the oven for 2 minutes to heat up.
  3. Take the pan back out, divide the batter between the 9 greased muffin cups (each cup will be pretty much full), then drop some crumbled goat cheese into each.  Put the pan back into the oven on the middle rack and shut the door.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.  Don’t open the door while the popovers are baking!  This is the cardinal rule of popovers!  Opening the door can deflate them.  Apparently.  I’ve never tested this.  I’ve never dared.  You can carefully peak at 30 minutes, though, to make sure everything is going alright.
  5. While the popovers are baking, make the blueberry sauce by melting 1/2 Tbs. butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the blueberries and maple syrup and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the blueberries are soft and some are bursting and the syrup has turned blue.  Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
  6. When the popovers come out of the oven, use a knife to turn them out of the muffin tin.  Serve warm topped with the blueberry sauce.

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