When I was a kid Christmas morning meant two things: Santa and breakfast - a fabulous breakfast made by my mom. My grandparents and other family members were always invited, and we had great, Southern fare: grits, bacon, sausage, eggs (scrambled and boiled), toast and my favorite ... gravy made from leftover turkey and drippings from Christmas Eve dinner. I still love breakfast, and a few years ago I was the one making Christmas breakfast for everybody. But I'm going to tell you what - I just don't know how my mom did it year after year. I love to cook for the people I love, and Christmas morning just screams out for a homemade spread, but phew; it's a lot of work! That's why I've been searching for homemade breakfast food that's easy on a tired brain but also makes stomachs happy. And people I have found it. Popovers. (Where have they been all my life?)
I can't believe how simple these were, and although I've been eyeing popover pans - they're so cute with their skinny cups, dancing together on wire - I'm okay without one. Muffin pans are the way to go because you still end up with glorious, delicate popovers, crisp on the outside with a creamy, eggy center. I love them plain, but how about dusting them with powdered sugar and sprinkling them with sparkling cranberries? Or maybe dousing them in syrup, with some good, spicy sausage alongside? And I daresay they wouldn't be half-bad with some of Mama's turkey gravy, either. But just go ahead and do yourself a favor; make a couple of pans of them. It's hard not to eat a whole dozen by yourself!
Adapted from Mark Bittman
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour a teaspoon of melted butter into each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. Put pan in oven while you make batter.
2. Beat eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon butter, sugar and salt. Beat in the flour a bit at a time. Mixture should be smooth once all flour is added.
3. Carefully remove muffin pan from oven and fill each cup about halfway. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees, and bake another 15 minutes , or until popovers are puffed and browned. Do not open oven door until popovers have baked 30 minutes. Serve hot.