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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

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter, for greasing the molds
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

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.

41 comments:

Simona said...

Dear Mary never fails .. I copy this recipe also .. I ask you a favor some time ago I saw on your blog seems like a cheese cake made ​​with pistachios, but I do not remember the title and I can not find more .. I think you I used a bag of prepared Budimir alpistacchi kiss Simmy

Simona said...

Dear Mary never fails .. I copy this recipe also .. I ask you a favor some time ago I saw on your blog seems like a cheese cake made ​​with pistachios, but I do not remember the title and I can not find more .. I think you I used a bag of pistachio pudding prepared to kiss Simmy

Hovkonditorn said...

These look great! Have a nice weekend!

Pondside said...

Popovers are such a luxury. I haven't made them for years, but this weekend I'm making the cinnamon and sugar ones - and these would be good with honey and butter!

Dzoli said...

Great recepies from a great woman.Thank you for the interesting reading:)

Anna A. said...

ooooooh so that is what those tins are for! i love popovers! my mom used to make them back in the 80s and i havent had them since. must make soon! thanks for the great post and recipe.

Coleen said...

Beautiful popovers!! My dyslexic brain saw Maida Heatter's name as Mad Hatter...lol. Oh well, what a great photo!!

Andrea said...

Wow, I love this series! I get so sick of women being left behind in a lot of ways in the food world, when their presence should be acknowledged as the backbone! I have several of Heatter books, and love them. What a beautiful post.

Rosemary said...

I'm a sucker for popovers yet I've never made them! (My excuse is no pan!) WOnderful tribute to an inpsiring woman -- the simplicity of the recipe you chose sounds like it suits her.

Sue/the view from great island said...

Mary, only you could claim that popovers are simple. These are gorgeous, and I think I'll make them for Thanksgiving.

Kim said...

These popovers looks really great, all golden, yummy!

Rita said...

Love this post and love your popover pan; so cute. Have not made this in year; thank you for inspiring me.
Rita

Clint said...

Can I please have an elephant steak? Medium rare? With a large baked potato with sour cream? And maybe a good African red wine? Thanking you in advance....

bellini said...

It was a very hard chcice to come up with a dessert recipe from the Queen of Baking with so many wonderful choices. Love the popovers and knowing Maida's success I am confident they turned out perfectly.

ARLENE said...

I still have my copy of Maida Heatter's first cookbook and probably use it at least a few times a year. Her sour cream coffee cake was the first I ever made. Great post.

girlichef said...

Such a great intro, and a wonderful choice to honor Maida. Your popovers look lovely!

Priya said...

They looks excellent..

Chanchal said...

The popovers look very tempting..
RecipeRaaga

Sandra said...

Very beautiful popovers..you did incredible job, and I do love your recipe and photo!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Love popovers, they look so good. I've love to have one of those, warm and slathered with some butter. Enjoy your weekend.

Gloria said...

I love popovers and these look amazing dear Mary, blessings, gloris

Chiara said...

another great recipe Mary!Gorgeous popovers! Have a good day....

Susan Lindquist said...

Popovers, for me, were always a mysterious treat. My friend Cathy makes them perfectly! It's always a luxury to have them! I love to fill the cavities with sweet things ...

Maida's recipe is so clearly written ... simplicity at its best!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Popovers are a personal favorite. I first tasted them at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park in Maine. Haven't made them in so long ...

Merisi said...

A perfect late September treat!

I had my first popover - a giant one at that - at a restaurant called Normandy Farm in Potomac, Maryland, just outside Washington DC. I have never had another one as good!

Kathleen said...

Mary these look wonderful. I can't wait to try these. Thank you so much for hosting this wonderful series :)

yummychunklet said...

Popovers and cream puffs always remind me of the children's book character Amelia Bedelia. These popovers look fun!

That Girl said...

I grew up without knowing who betty crocker was, but I definitely knew maida heater.

Emily Malloy said...

How wonderful!

Barbara said...

Super choice, Mary. Something NOT chocolate and not too sweet! I always feel I'm not splurging calories when I eat a popover!

Ginny said...

Now this is something I have actually made, but a long time ago. When I think of popovers, I think about the warning to never open the oven door to check, and this makes me think of temptation. But I have never heard of cutting a slit in the top partway through!

Katie said...

Your popovers look delicious. Thanks again for organizing us Mary!

Kathy said...

Your popovers are perfect...a great pick to honor Maida!

Joanne said...

I love how Maida started out as a home cook and then built her way up to baking fame! These popovers look delicious!

What's Baking?? said...

I should try this one of these days. Never tasted popovers. Looks great!

Jeanette said...

I haven't had popovers in so long, but these look lovely and remind me of how good popovers are fresh out of the oven. Thanks again for hosting this fun event. I love learning about all these amazing women.

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

I absolutely love popovers! My mom tells me my Grandma use to make them all the time. I must give this a try,

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

Great tip about cutting a slit in these. My kids love making popovers. We'll try this recipe next time.

scrambledhenfruit said...

Funny! I never knew about the elephant meat. :) Love this popover recipe!

sally said...

I'd love to have one of these popovers slathered in butter and jam.

Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed) said...

So simple and so yummy!

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