Friday, September 23, 2011
50 Women Game Changers in Food - #16 Maida Heatter - Popovers
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Almost all cooks recognize her name, and her skills were such that Craig Claiborne called her "one of the world's best home dessert makers." Maida Heatter is one of those cooking phenoms that occasionally appear on the scene. She was trained in fashion design and initially earned her living as an illustrator and jewelry designer. She had no training as a pastry chef, yet using skills learned from her mother, she adapted old recipes and created new ones that eventually led to the publication of eight cookbooks, each of which had precise and foolproof recipes that could be made by the average home cook. She came to cooking through the back door. Her husband's job required long stretches of time away from home and to put an end to that, they opened a coffee bar that he managed while she did the baking. Customers asked her to give cooking lessons. She was happy to accommodate them and became a local food celebrity as the size of her classes grew. A publicity stunt moved her career as a baker into high gear in 1968. The Republican Party was holding its convention in Miami and she and her husband decided to put elephant meat on the menu. The stunt was covered by the press and brought Craig Claiborne to their restaurant. He loved her desserts and was so impressed with them that he urged her to write a cookbook. Her first cookbook, Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts, was the result of that suggestion. Her special gift has always been the clarity of her recipes and the helpful tone and tips she used in her instructions. She has remained constant and helpful through the years and the sales of her books reflect that. She really has earned her position on the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women Game Changers in food. The recipe I have chosen to represent her work will puzzle a lot of folks. I decided to feature her recipe for popovers despite its simplicity and lack of glitz. This was the first of her recipes that I tried, and I have some sentimental attachment to it. Here's the recipe as it appeared in 1966 .
Popovers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Maida Heatter
Unsalted butter, for greasing the molds
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease 10 4-ounce heatproof pottery custard cups (or a muffin or popover pan) with butter. Arrange cups (or muffin or popover pan) on a baking sheet.
2) Beat eggs lightly, then add milk and melted butter and stir to combine. Gradually stir in flour and salt. Beat just until mixture is smooth. Do not overbeat. If the mixture is not smooth, strain it.
3) Pour mixture into a pitcher and then pour into custard cups. Fill cups almost to the top.
4) Bake for 50 minutes. Do not open oven door during baking.
5) After 50 minutes, remove popovers from oven, cut several slits in the top of each and return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove popovers from the cups. Makes 10 popovers.
The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Maida Heatter today. I hope you'll visit all of them. They are all great cooks who have wonderful blogs.
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back Again
Martha - Lines from Linderhof
Nancy - Picadillo
Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Dorothy Hamilton. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Saturday, September 24th.