Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Popover Pancake with Strawberry Sauce

Slice of Pancake on Plate with Strawberries and Maple Syrup
Easy to Make and Fun to Serve

Recipes by Philippa and Mom

As the years go by, I appreciate my cousins more and more. Most are far away but remain close to my heart. A few years back, after a 30-year hiatus, I visited my cousin/godfather Dick, and Philippa, his wife of nearly 50 years, in Pennsylvania. Both had inspired my early study of music by their interest and by their own musicianship. Amongst the catching up, Philippa whipped up the most amazing meals, including a light and airy popover pancake for breakfast one morning. She assured me that it was easy to make. It didn’t seem possible that its puffy, soufflĂ© like proportions could be easily duplicated. But surprisingly this impressive dish takes little time and effort and uses few ingredients.

Serve with Strawberries, Maple Syrup, or Both
Popover pancakes originated in the Pennsylvania Dutch or Amish culture. These 17th and 18th century “Dutch” immigrants were actually from Germany; Dutch is a mistranslation of Deutsch. It seems doubly inappropriate that these giant popovers are also called Dutch Babies, though this is how they sometimes appear on menus on both coasts.

Plate with Partially Eaten Popover Pancake
Every Bite a Triumph of Flavor and Texture
My cousin’s recipe uses ½ cup (1 stick) of butter, but more modernized recipes use as little as 3 tablespoons. I reduced the butter to 1/3 cup, still enough to add plenty of flavor and perfume the house with buttery goodness. Watch the butter carefully as it melts, and slosh it around in the pan to melt it evenly. A little browning is fine, but don’t let it burn. I’ve also added just a touch of salt for contrast with the sweet topping.

Giant Contorted Popover Pancake Puffs up as it Bakes
Oven Monster or Popover Pancake Baking?
Philippa pours maple syrup over the pancake when it comes out of the oven, just before serving it, which tastes fabulous. Because we had spring berries (and to celebrate my husband’s birthday), I made some of my mom’s strawberry sauce for topping and served maple syrup on the side. Other types of berries, peaches, or fruit syrups can be used as alternative toppings. Bananas sautĂ©ed in butter with a bit of brown sugar and rum make a fun, if hefty, topping for winter.

Expect to hear some ooohs and ahhhhs when you present the popover pancake at the table. Don’t be surprised if diners ask for seconds. Let us know in a comment how you and yours like the giant popover, or if you have some fun topping ideas.

Closeup of Popover Pancake with Strawberries
Fun Food for All Ages
Popover Pancake with Strawberry Sauce
serves 6 - 8

1/3 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
Double recipe of strawberry sauce

Make the strawberry sauce ahead of time or during the time when the popover pancake is baking. You will need 2 pints of strawberries and sweetener to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Put butter into 9” x 13” pan. You may use a round 3½ - 4 quart pan as long as the sides measure 2” or less.

Beat eggs in a medium bowl with a pouring spout. Beat in milk. Beat in flour and salt, using a hand rotary mixer or stand mixer, until batter is consistent and lumps are gone.

Put pan in oven and melt butter. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Slosh butter around in pan to melt evenly if necessary. A little browning of the butter is okay. This will take 3 – 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and pour in batter quickly and evenly. Immediately return pan to oven.

Bake until puffed and evenly brown, 20 – 30 minutes. Check at 10 minutes and rotate 180 degrees if one side is rising faster than the other.  Check at 20 minutes and bake longer as needed.

Remove from oven. Spoon on strawberry sauce and cut into pieces. Serve with warm maple syrup. 

Pan of Baked Popover Pancake with Strawberries on Side
Spoon on Strawberries

Pan of Popover Pancake with Strawberries Spooned on
Cut and Serve

Plated Popover Pancake


  1. I love this, looks so delicious and interesting. For topping, of course I have honey with banana and melted peanut butter with raisins in my mind. Should taste really good. :)

    1. Thanks Yung...excellent topping ideas. Honey could be good with other fruits as well, like peaches.

  2. We call this Finnish pancakes, we make a huge batch as everyone loves them, topped with plain yogurt, cut up fresh berries, and a little maple syrup . Fun to make with the kids. Enjoying perusing your recipes, will be trying many, thanks!