Recipe: Raclette Popovers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce upon a time, my husband surprised me with a wine club subscription for Robert Sinskey Vineyards. They were the first local Organic/BioDynamic winery I ever fell in love with and he wanted to surprise me for my birthday by purchasing me a subscription to their wine club. This was way before I really got into wine, and I learned so much from the experience. I honestly think that wine club is what opened the doors to the wine world for me.

The RSV proprietor’s wife, Maria Sinskey, is somewhat of a dynamo in the kitchen, and with each club shipment came some of her delicious recipes. If you’ve ever been in their tasting room, you will remember the gougeres that come with each tasting flight. This is the recipe for those gougeres, but made in a popover pan.

I changed the recipe a little – just the type of cheese used in the gougere batter. I prepared this recipe for a Chardonnay wine tasting I was hosting, but wanted to use a more regional cheese than cheddar. You see, raclette pairs beautifully with Jura blanc, and I was pouring a Jacques Puffeney Chardonnay from Arbois. Raclette and Jura blanc are a match made in heaven.

I love this recipe because instead of tiny little gougeres, it produces huge and fluffy gougeres in the shape of a popover. They are crispy on the outside and airy on the inside, with that distinctive, eggy, chewy gougere-ness. These are great as a side dish at a dinner party or just as an appetizer. If you don’t have a popover pan, you can make little gougeres on a cookie sheet, but just be sure to adjust the baking time and temperature so you don’t over-cook them. I haven’t tried to make them this way so I can’t tell you how long or at what temperature, but if you bake at all (like Colleen!) I am sure you can figure it out.

Raclette Popovers
adapted from Maria Sinskey’s Aged Cheddar Cheese Popover Recipe

Special Tools:
Popover Pan
Stand Mixer (helpful, but not required)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons KOSHER salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
2 cups grated good quality raclette (I like Reading)
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water to brush tops

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Bring the water, butter and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour.
3. Return the pan to medium high heat and stir until batter pulls away from the side of the pan. Scrape into the bowl of a standing mixer. Turn the mixer on and allow the paddle to cool the dough slightly for about a minute.
4. On low speed, add the eggs one by one. After each egg is added increase the speed to medium and beat until the egg is incorporated. The eggs may also be beaten in by hand. Beat well after all eggs have been added. Add the grated cheese. Beat until well incorporated.
5. Spoon the batter into the pan. Fill the molds 3/4 full. Extra batter can be held and baked in a second round.
6. Brush the tops of the popovers lightly with egg wash.
7. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake 10 to 15 minutes more until puffed and golden. Serve warm.

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