Cornish saffron popovers with sweet saffron butter

20 April 2017 by
First published: 22 December 2016

Inspired by the classic British Yorkshire pudding, popovers are baked in a similar fashion and are often made with cheese. Using traditional Cornish saffron bread ingredients, this Cornish saffron popovers with sweet saffron butter recipe makes quick-as-you-can popovers that are great for afternoon tea or an after-dinner bit-of-something-sweet-and-surprising using this most alluring and expensive spice.


1/8 tsp saffron strands, lightly toasted

2 tbsp orange juice

Zest of ½ orange

125g plain flour

1 tsp sea salt

240ml full-fat milk, warmed to 38°C

4 large whole eggs, beaten

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

For the sweet saffron butter:

1/8 tsp saffron threads, lightly toasted

3 tbsp granulated sugar

100g softened butter

½ tsp lime zest

½ tsp ground cardamom seeds

Large pinch salt

2 tbsp currants plumped with 1 tbsp water or brandy


To make the sweet saffron butter, rub the toasted saffron threads into the sugar until combined. Put into a small bowl with all the remaining ingredients and whisk by hand or with a mixer until smooth and creamy. Cover and chill until needed.

To make the popovers, crumble the toasted saffron and dissolve in the orange juice. Set aside.

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the warm milk a little at a time. Whisk until smooth, then add 80ml (1/3 cup) of cold water and the saffron orange juice, whisking until bubbly. Incorporate the beaten eggs, transfer to a jug, cover and chill for 30 minutes or up to a day.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9. Brush mini- or standard-sized muffin cups with oil and put them on a baking tray. Place in the oven on the lower shelf until smoking hot.

Re-whisk the chilled batter, then carefully remove the trays from the oven, pour the batter into the hot tins to about three quarters full and return them to the oven. Avoid opening the oven door while they are cooking. Bake mini popovers for eight to 10 minutes, standard-sized ones for about 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for a further eight to 10 minutes until brown, crisp and risen.

Serve the popovers warm with the sweet saffron butter.

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Cornish saffron popovers with sweet saffron butter
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