I've been making popovers for a good long time, always with varied results. Most often, they pop but they end up looking like misshapen accidents instead of the nicely-rounded, firm-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside specimens I always see in the recipe photos. Still, they're usually delicious and get gobbled up quickly.
But yesterday I had another kind of popover disaster -- they never popped! They ended up looking like dense little hand grenades. I have a new popover pan -- one of those giant-cup, never-stick pans that makes six huge popovers. My recipe called for 1 cup of all-purpose flour sifted, 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1/2 tsp. salt. The ONLY thing I did yesterday that I've never done before is to mix the ingredients with a wire whisk rather than a hand mixer. Could it be that I hadn't incorporated enough air into the mixture? The recipe said to "mix until just blended" so I didn't think I'd have a problem using the whisk. I preheated the pan in a 450 degree oven for about 5 minutes, brushed the inside of the sections with melted butter and poured in the batter. I baked them at 450 for 25 minutes then lowered the heat to 375 and baked for about 20 minutes more. If there's a silver lining here, it's that the little buggers did slide out of the pan quite nicely.
So, what did I do wrong? More importantly, does anyone have a no-fail recipe for plain popovers (no cheese or other added ingredients, please)?