After coming up with this on my own, I found several recipes online. So if you should choose to delete it, that's okay. I do like the apple-gruyere version, so it could be published as that.
It is a tradition to serve appetizers when defending one's dissertation. I gave my dissertation defense at 9:00 in the morning and wanted something tasty that was reminiscent of breakfast (I also didn't want to cause food poisoning -- did I mention that my PhD is in Microbiology?). So I wondered if mini-popovers were possible (having not ever heard of them before). The basic popover recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking, but I use 2X salted butter and lose the salt. —EL
Milk at room Temperature
Melted butter, (I use salted) at room temperature
Egg at room temperature
ea. of various cheeses as wanted
chives, scallions, baby leeks
fruit (such as apples, pears)
Other seasonings as desired
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
Grease your mini muffin pan (extremely important) or use a silpat (is such a thing available?) mini muffin pan. I only have/want two mini pans (twelve ea.) so I make 1/2 the popover recipe. But should you have more mini-pans, you can double the main ingredients. I also feel that salted butter and cheese contain plenty of salt so I don't add extra, but again, that's a matter of taste.
Melt the butter in the microwave for about 10 -- 20 seconds until melted (do 10 secs at a time and then check).
Mix the milk and melted butter together with the flour in a small mixing bowl.
Add the egg and beat until smooth (but don't overbeat -- this should be done by hand).
If you plan on serving these hot, (which I couldn't), then you really don't need other ingredients. So just fill the mini muffin pans to just below the rims.
To add ingredients: First fill the muffin cups about 1/2 full (some batter will be left over)Then add any combination of ingredients that you think will go well together (you can't add a lot, so strong flavors/combos are good). Some that I tried were: Any sharp cheese and black pepper, apple and gruyere, chives and cheddar, Any cheese by itself, bacon bits and gruyere with apple. . .
Add a bit of left-over batter to each of the cups to try and cover the added ingredients.
Place the popovers into the 450˚ oven for 10 minutes (this time will vary from oven to oven and so you should check on them without opening the door.
After 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350˚F without opening the door to take a peek.
Bake for about 15 more minutes, or until the popovers start to brown. If you remove them too soon, they will collapse (they won't look good, but probably will taste good!).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough so that they don't burn your mouth. If your pan was not greased well, these may be difficult to remove. Do it gently. Silpat is good. These can be served cool/cold, but should not be stored in a closed container or plastic bag, as they lose their crunchiness. These are basically vegetarian, but meat can be added.