Q: Why do my popovers deflate when I take them out of the oven? How can I prevent this problem?
A: If your popovers lose volume when they come out of the oven, they are probably underbaked. When these airy baked goods aren’t cooked enough, too much steam stays trapped inside. That moisture condenses once they’re removed from the oven, causing them to collapse. The perfect popover, however, is easy to master.
First, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. To make one dozen popovers, preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and grease two standard six-cup popover pans with unsalted butter. It’s best to use a tulip-shaped popover pan because it allows the hot air in the oven to circulate entirely around each popover, and the lipped rim helps the popover batter form a large crust dome, or top. If you don’t have a popover pan, use a large 12-cup muffin tin.
Popover pans must be piping hot before you pour batter into them. So place the oiled pans on a rimmed baking sheet, and heat them in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and pour in the room-temperature batter, filing each cup two-thirds full. Bake for 15 minutes, and resist the urge to open the oven door while baking, since that will lower the temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue to bake the popovers until they are well browned and crusty, about 20 minutes more.
Finally, remove the popovers from the oven to cool, invert them to unmold, and transfer them to a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel. An additional trick for keeping popovers crisp is to gently poke a hole in the side of each one with a sharp knife when you remove it from the pan to allow extra team to escape without deflating the crust dome. For our no-fail popover recipe, visit marthastewart.com/popovers.
Removing stains from jadeite
Q: What is the best way to remove stubborn, stuck-on stains from vintage jadeite bakeware?
A: Jadeite, a sturdy milky-green molded glass, was commonly used in the 1940s and ’50s. it can withstand the extreme heat of an oven or a stove and was therefore quite popular in homemakers’ kitchens. The first rule of caring for jadeite — or any glassware — is to wash it by hand. As tempting as it may be to use the dishwasher, the hot water and detergent inside can etch the jadeite’s surface, casing permanent damage. While hand-washing, avoid abrasive cleaners or sponges.