popovers with black pepper, chives & parmesan

FamilyStyle Food

Last week I attended a conference for food professionals {IACP} in Portland, one of my very favorite cities for eating and living well. What a great experience – with so many people representing a huge array of expertise in the field of food and cooking, the exchange of information is amazing and energizing; I love that we all have something to learn from each other.

I found myself sitting next to pastry chef Cindy Mushet during one session. Cindy is the author of  the award-winning The Art & Soul of Baking, a big door stopper of a book. I have to admit it’s not one I invite into bed with me since it must weigh in at more than five pounds, way too unwieldy to perch on my teetering pile on the bedside table.

But the other day I needed to get busy baking something, so I flipped through it; there’s lots to learn in there, the book is full of beautiful photos and basic techniques as well as some advanced recipe variations for more adventerous bakers.

I wasn’t feeling like spending the whole day baking, so when I saw a recipe for Parmesan Herb popovers I was all in. Popovers are the best at delivering bang for the buck; minimal ingredients, time and technique but big on the “wow” factor.

FamilyStyle Food

They are also delicious. Warm out of the oven and popped into your mouth they have a crisp exterior and a soft, almost creamy interior. Popovers are commonly sweet, but I like the idea of savory ones to serve instead of  the usual rolls or bread for a dinner party. Popovers are so easy to make at the last minute, and you can flavor them however you like.

I took Cindy’s basic recipe and tweaked it by adding freshly cracked black pepper, lemon zest and some of the chives that are blooming in big clumps in my yard right now.

While my popovers rose impressively, I noticed when I cut one open that they weren’t hollow inside as popovers typically are, but had a more substance. I might have to make another batch to practice my baking science, since I’m not sure why that happened. Did I use too much flour? Don’t know, but they were still light and delicious to eat.

Popovers with Black Pepper, Chives & Parmesan

Yield: 12 popovers


  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 scant cups flour (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat a 12-cup popover pan or muffin tin with melted butter or oil.
  3. Whisk together the milk, eggs and butter in a large bowl until blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Place the empty pan in the oven to heat for 7 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and fill the cups evenly with the batter (this is less messy if you transfer batter to a 4 cup liquid measuring cup).
  5. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until the popovers are deep golden brown, 15 - 18 more minutes.
  6. Cool briefly in the pan before removing and serving. You can reheat cooled popovers in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.


  1. I have never made popovers, I think it is time I go shopping and buy a pan so I can make your recipe.

  2. Hey, Karen, I was at IACP last week as well. Sorry I missed you! What a fun city- I am lucky to have a sister that lives outside Portland so I stayed with her and had a great time. I could have stayed another week! Loved the food at the opening reception- my niece lives in Olympia and was shucking oysters for Taylor Shellfish! Hope to meet you at a future meeting. BTW, these popovers look great, even if they didn’t rise and create a hollow middle!

  3. Yum! Just made these. I used asiago and extra chives, and only have a mini muffin pan at the moment. Turned out GREAT! Mine weren’t dense at all, had a lovely, hollow center.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. they look beautiful!

    • Janice – I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you! I have family in Portland, too. I feel so lucky…hope to see you in Austin next year.

      Maria, you don’t need to buy a special pan since a regular muffin tin will work, but I will say that you get a much higher rise with the popover pan. So much fun and a great excuse for another kitchen toy.

      Tayla, I’m so happy to hear from you, and that your popovers were a success. Yay! I bet they were delicious with the Asiago cheese, too.

      Thanks, Laura. I think you would like to eat one, no?

  5. These look amazing!
    Love your site!

  6. I love making popovers and this recipe looks amazing. I am going to build an entree around this next week.

  7. I just started looking around for a variation on popovers and found this recipe. It sounds heavenly with the cheese and black pepper and there’s a pot of chives growing on the kitchen windowsill. My recipe is one from my grandmother who moved west when she was in her early twenties from Massachussetts back in the early twentieth century. I grew up eating them on the weekends and make them for my own family. I also use a regular muffin tin and they puff up like a chef’s hat. Will definitely try this variation.

  8. I just made these last night, and they turned out terrible!! At first they looked great: golden brown and they had risen a lot. Then I took them out to cool and they completely shrank down, and when I opened one, it was very doughy inside!! It wasn’t bread-like, like the photo, or hollow like a popover. Where did I go wrong?


  1. […] Troppo uovo? Non saprei: io ho scelto questa ricetta, ma l’ho confrontata con altre (questa questa questa) e non mi sembra di aver messo troppe uova. Quindi, ecco alcune considerazioni: forse non […]

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