For my father's family, Christmas Eve, Heiliger Abend, is the heart of Christmas. It is a magical dark and cold night, where old hymns are sung by memory in German, acapella, by candlelight. My sister and I would look forward to the special appearance of traditional Christmas sweet and savory foods made by my Oma for Christmas Eve snacking. For Heiliger Abend this year, our young family of three is once again together. We will start new traditions as a family, and borrow from the past. Tonight we will be making my Oma's roast meat filled pastries, fleisch pieroshki with pickles. As a nod to our ravenous little eater's current favorite breakfast, will crank up the oven Christmas morning to make a batch of these airy buttermilk popovers with homemade strawberry jam, before an afternoon Christmas feast with our family. We will be thinking of our family and friends far away this Christmas as we celebrate, Merry Christmas! This recipe is inspired by Jenny Rosenstrach and adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Yield: 12 popovers
- 4 eggs (warmed or room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (room temperature)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Prepare a standard 12 cup muffin pan by greasing the pan (including the spaces between the muffin cups).
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and salt until completely combined. Add flour and whisk vigorously for 1-2 minutes (or use a hand or stand mixer for about 30 seconds) until the mixture is bubbly and only very small lumps remain. Whisk in melted butter until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the muffin pan's cups, filling each cup to between 1/2 and 3/4 full. Slide the muffin pan into the oven (center rack) to bake.
- Note: since popovers are best served hot, prep your condiments and toppings while they are baking so you are ready to eat as soon as they come out of the oven.
- Bake the muffins at 450 for 20 minutes (do not open the door). Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 7-15 minutes. At 7 minutes into baking at this temperature, start checking the popovers (ideally without opening the oven) for doneness. You are looking for a big rise, large cracks in the surface, and dark browning (but not any burned spots).
- Remove from the oven and serve as soon as possible.
Serve Popovers with:
- quick strawberry jam (recipe below)
- blueberry bay leaf quick jam
- fresh guava jam
- popovers are also great slathered with butter, a lemon or lime curd, some whipped cream, jelly, fresh fruit, etc.
Quick Strawberry Jam
- 1 bag frozen strawberries (not in syrup or sweetened)
- 2 tablespoons-1/3 cup of sugar, depending on your preference (we typically don't add sugar to our jam)
- Dump the strawberries into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, add bit of water to the bottom of the pan to get them started.
- Once the strawberries boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the strawberries are soft and syrupy.
- Puree for a few seconds until smooth, or if you prefer some texture, leave some strawberry chunks. Taste, add lemon juice if you want like a brighter flavor.
- Store covered in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze for several months.