Parmesan Herb Popovers- The Art and Soul of Baking

by White on Rice Couple on December 21, 2009

Warning: these parmesan popovers are way too easy and addicting to be legal. Crusty, crispy and savory popovers like these that are so easy to make, yet so quickly inhaled within a matter of seconds, should be against the law because they are that good. Really, really, really good.

These savory popovers so are light and airy, it’s amazing to watch them puff up to a crisp golden brown.  The fragrance of thyme and parmesan baking in the oven added the perfect warmth to this chilly day and all the steam from the inside of the popovers added extra heat! We don’t know why we’ve never made popovers before. Rumors of them tasting too much like egg or not puffing up enough had us uninterested until we looked through a new cookbook we got our hands on.

It’s hard not to get into the baking mood when flipping through the  Art and Soul of Baking book by Cindy Mushet. This book is packed with valuable baking information from cover to cover and it’s so comprehensive that the recipes and techniques can keep help anyone who loves to bake very, very busy in the kitchen.

This gigantic book isn’t just a book of recipes, but it’s like an encyclopedia of baking; full of valuable baking tips and methods. The fun recipes and step-by-step, easy to follow instructions and in-depth discussions of the science of baking is wonderful for baker of all levels. Simple recipes like cookies and tarts to more complicated flaky croissant and cakes with spun sugar are just a sample of the treasures in this amazing book.

These parmesan herb popovers are the perfect quick bread to make for dinner and since we’ve already logged in a gazillion hours at work, these popovers were a welcome treat to a long day. As a matter of fact, we just might be making a huge batch of these for Christmas but the first dozen will definitely be eaten by us first!

Parmesan Herb Popovers Recipe

Total Time: 30 Minutes

This recipe calls for the use of a standard 12-cup muffin pan. Of course, using a popover pan is perfect. We used these little tins and they worked well too!
Adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (preferably fresh, but dried will also work)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin pan with melted butter or high-heat canola-oil spray. Once the oven is fully heated, heat the prepared muffin pan in the oven for about 7 minutes.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, flour and salt until well blended. Then add the herbs and cheese, blend well.
  3. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into a measuring cup. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 400ºF and continue baking the popovers until they are puffed and deep golden brown color.
  4. Remove from oven and cool pan on rack for a few minutes. Remove popovers from pan and serve hot.

These popovers will quickly deflate, and do not hold or store well. So try to eat them fresh and hot from the oven!

Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Purple Foodie December 21, 2009 at 10:41 am

I’ve just bought myself a pot of thyme! and this looks like the perfect thing to start using my herbs with!

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2 White on Rice Couple December 21, 2009 at 10:48 pm

the Purple foodie- how wonderful that you have a little herb garden! go crazy and have fun with your fresh thyme.

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3 Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary December 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I’m thinking eating them fresh from the oven would so not be a problem!

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4 pam December 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I love those individual little tins!

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5 Simone (junglefrog) December 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I had never heard of popovers until today… Are they another name for soufle or is it really different? They kind of look the same… Well, they look delicious in any case!

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6 White on Rice Couple December 21, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Simone- they possibly could have a different name, we’re not sure. But from what we know, they’re called popovers. And you’re right, they do puff up like souffle’s !

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7 Tuty December 21, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I echo Pam’s love for those individual tins. May I know where one can purchase those?

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8 White on Rice Couple December 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Tuty and Pam – We found those cute tins at an antique store! They were the only ones available, so we don’t know where else you can find them at. But if we find out where to get more, we’ll let you know!

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9 Holly January 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Williams Sonoma

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10 Dani January 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I believe those are actually cannelé molds, for cannelés de Bordeaux. In my experience, they are actually easier to find here in the U.S. than they are in Paris! Mine are copper; I’ve also seen a cannelé pan at Sur La Table.

And if you’d never had a cannelé, they’re amazing—custardy, caramel-y, with a beautifully crisp yet chewy outside. They’re indescribable.

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11 Dani January 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

On closer examination, perhaps not…cannelé molds usually have less of an angle to their sides; they’re a bit more vertical. But that might be a good start to your search.

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12 Victoria December 22, 2009 at 2:46 am

Well, obviously I am going to have to make them while I am upstate on vacation from December 23rd to January 3rd. Yipee!

I put a second oven in the mudroom, just off the kitchen. It work brilliantly in the summer when I want to use the oven but don’t want the kitchen to get hot. We have no air conditioning in the mountains.

But the real reason I got the oven was so I could make popovers when I was using the kitchen oven for other things. So I will have to have our contractor over for dinner and make these. Thanks for this great recipe.

Merry Christmas, Todd and Diana. You guys are THE BEST.

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13 chocolate shavings December 22, 2009 at 6:19 am

Those popovers look delicious, and I love your photos!

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14 nico December 22, 2009 at 7:29 am

Yes, that book is really good, I borrowed it from the public library just to give it a test drive, I have to say that so far so good, all the recipes worked like a charm. Last night I made the souffle that is feature in the cover and it was like that, perfect.
nice pop overs by the way.
nico

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15 Carrie Minns December 22, 2009 at 8:29 am

I recently discovered your site and have so enjoyed reading your posts and admiring your beautiful photography. These popovers look delicious! I wonder how long it took you to prepare them? I would love to make them for Christmas Eve dinner but won’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen. Thanks for all of your wonderful inspiration!

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16 Neel | Learn Food Photography December 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

These tins look so wonderful in the photograph. I bet they would make any food photograph look awesome.

The popovers themselves look so yummy. Looking at these photographs, my mouth has just started watering ;)

In the first photograph, those herbs in the bottom right corner add a lot of value to the photograph.

Did you take these photos in natural light? or were these taking with artificial lights? Would love to know.

Thank you for sharing.
Neel

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17 Stephanie - Wasabimon December 22, 2009 at 10:17 am

I haven’t had popovers since I was a kid in my grandma’s kitchen!

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18 The Food Addicts December 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Those Parmesan Popovers look perfect for a holiday cocktail party. Of course, the guests have to enjoy them right out of the oven! I’m sure the herbs give it a burst of freshness and flavor!

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19 Brooke December 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

My mom made popovers when I was a kid, but they never looked as beautiful as these! I love the addition of cheese and thyme. What a great and simple recipe for the holidays.

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20 Marisa December 23, 2009 at 12:43 am

That looks seriously flavourful. Perfect for a sophisticated brunch.

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21 Susan December 23, 2009 at 6:51 am

Is it too early in the morning to be drooling? These sound delightful! Thanks so much for the recipe.

~Susan

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22 kellypea December 23, 2009 at 8:43 am

Just the thing I need to entertain my tastebuds during the marathon of present-wrapping that lies ahead of me tonight. Cute tins, too!

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23 Ed Schenk (woodsmanq) December 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Your recipe has inspired me to prepare some to go with our Christmas meal.
For Simone – a popover is closer to a cream puff. They are both hollow inside and made from eggs,flour,milk and shortening. It’s an American creation (1850) though to have been derived from Yorkshire pudding.

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24 Kate/Kajal December 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Hmmm … how amazing did your house smell when you made these. Absolutely amazing … now i’m hungry !
Wishing you both a very beautiful Christmas and all the best for 2010

XOXO

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25 Dawn December 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Hi Diane & Todd – Great recipe and photos, as always. My go-to popover recipe is from a decades-old bread book I snagged from my mom’s kitchen. It’s fun to tweak the basic recipe with different herbs, savory vs sweet flavors, etc. I imagine you could do the same with Cindy’s recipe.

@Simone (junglefrog) – as D&T said, popovers do puff up similar to a souffle, but the texture is totally different. In my experience, most souffles are airy and very moist. Popovers are similar to individual-sized Yorkshire Puddings, if you are familiar with that British food. Popovers are usually pretty crispy on the top, and the interior has a texture somewhat similar to the inside of a croissant in terms of “toothiness” (is that a word?). They will often have hollow pockets of air inside, as well. Popovers are super easy to make, and so delicious!

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26 giao December 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm

those popovers would be devoured in this household. gorgeous!

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27 Lauren December 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I adore these! They are adorable! Mom always used to make a version of these for Christmas, so your timing is impeccable. I might have to convert these to gluten free so I can try =D.

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28 megan December 24, 2009 at 7:47 am

First time to your blog – I found you through foodgawker. I really want to try these this weekend. I’m hoping I have time to experiment in the kitchen :) If I get around to them, I’ll let you know how they turned out!

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29 Hélène December 24, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Happy Holidays!

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30 Lisa P. December 26, 2009 at 7:50 am

I’ve made popovers for years and love them. My problem is that I rarely get them to puff and become airy, even your recipe. (They still tasted marvelous, just not puffy.) Even close consultation with my mother (and her perfect popover recipe) cannot tease out my mistakes. I warm the pan before pouring in the batter, I warm my ingredients to room temp so they mix well, I don’t peek in the oven when I turn down the heat. I’ve even tried different ovens (electric, gas). What else am I missing?

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31 Megan Gordon December 27, 2009 at 6:30 pm

I LOVE popovers…so light and eggy. These look amazing, and your photos are fantastic, as always. Thanks for the great recipe!

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32 Claudia D. January 1, 2010 at 10:02 am

I made a double recipe of these yesterday as a last-minute addition to bring to a New Year’s dinner. They was absolutely delicious and everyone absolutely loved them. I used fresh thyme, and since all I had on had cheese-wise was Pecorino Romano and Fontina, I used a mix of the two instead of the parmesan.

Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

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33 Claudia January 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I just made mini Yorkshire puds and was amazed how close they came to popovers. They tell you to chill the batter and put it into a piping hot pan with the butter or fat sizzling good, to get that high puff. The recipes are pretty much identical.

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34 mal January 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I think they are the same as English Yorkshire puddings but with added herbs
but Im gonna try them, should be good with any roast meat.

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35 Tickled Red January 25, 2010 at 7:52 am

These look absolutely scrumptious! They are going on my ever growing list of yummies to make.

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36 baseball notes February 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Really love this recipe and the herbs on top made it perfect!

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37 Flavia January 23, 2011 at 8:54 am

Hi,

I loved the recipe and pic- I am going to try out next week for sure… But that may be too much batter for me- do you think I could freeze half of it?? And defreeze it in the refrigerator???

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38 Beverly April 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Would you be willing to share the name of the type font you used on your title image? — The one that says Parmesan Popovers. Did you create that? It’s a lovely recipe and beautiful photos. I look forward to trying it. (would also love to buy that type font! :)
Thanks.

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39 White on Rice Couple May 2, 2013 at 11:14 pm

H Beverly. It has been a while since we did that photo but I think it is the Caeldera font. It was either on font already on our macs or else one we found on a free font site like Dafont.com.

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40 adele palmer November 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Living in Houston I’m never out of herbs in the garden. There is something great to work with year round.

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