Light and Airy Gruyère and Black Pepper Popovers

Gruyère and Black Pepper Popovers

Popovers are one of my favorite baked treats, and these gruyère and black pepper ones are light and airy. And decadent! This recipe is shared in the very first Bread Shop Mystery, Kneaded to Death.
The chalkboard had today’s baking plan: Gruyere and black pepper popovers. I’d never actually had a popover, but if the illustration, with its muffin-shaped base and the billowy, full top looked anything like it would taste, I knew it would become a favorite.
“You don’t usually make popovers for the bread shop, do you?” I asked Olaya as I tied on my ruffled apron.
Popovers are a quick delight, but are best when they are served warm. So no, I do not carry them normally. Cold popovers, not so good.”
“Terrible, in fact,” Consuelo commented. 
We got right to work, mixing the eggs and milk, then whisking in the flour mixture in three separate stages. Olaya had given us each a popover pan. “It is special for popovers,” she said, pointing to the six individual nonstick popover cups. “The air can circulate around each cup, forcing the batter up, up, up until it pops over the top of the pan. Now, the trick is to fill to nearly the top. None of this ‘fill it halfway’ stuff.”
She demonstrated at her own station, filling each of her prepared six cups to within a quarter inch of the top with the heavily peppered thin batter. “Take the cubes of gruyere and plop them in the center.” She fanned her hand across her pan like a game show host. “That is all. Now we bake.”
While the popovers were in the high-heat oven, we washed our dirtied dishes. The women chattered on about life after college, baking successes and failures, and the spring weather at the beach. “Tourists are coming,” Consuelo said. “We get more and more each year. Does nobody stay home anymore?”
“I need the tourists,” Olaya said. “They make my business.”
After a few minutes, the conversation turned to Jackie Makers. “The police, they have found nothing about Jackie’s murder?” Martina asked her sister.
Olaya shook her head. “Not that I know of.” ...
🥯 🥖 🥐
Keep Reading Kneaded to Death.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose
  • ¾ cups Gruyère cheese cut into small cubes.
  • Grated Gruyère cheese on top just after baking.


  • Preheat the oven to 450˚ and place the rack in the bottom third of the oven. Place a dot of butter in the bottom of each muffin or popover cup and allow to heat in the oven while you make the popover batter.
  • Use a small saucepan to warm milk at medium heat. It should be hot, but do not bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt and black pepper until smooth. Stir in the warm milk.
  • Add flour to the egg mixture. Combine. The batter should be the consistency of cream. A few lumps are okay!
  • Remove the muffin pans from the oven. Spray the pans generously with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about ⅓ cup of the batter into each of 16 muffin cups or into the popover pan. Place several cubes of cheese on top of the batter in each cup.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Bake the popovers until the tops puff up and are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remember, do not open the oven door while baking. You don’t want the popovers to collapse!
  • Turn onto a wire cooling rack right away to preserve the crispy edge of the popovers. Using a sharp knife, pierce the base of each popover to release the steam. Sprinkle grated Gruyère over finished popovers, if desired, and serve immediately.


*Recipe inspired by Jodi Elliott, owner and chef of Foreign & Domestic Food & Drink in Austin, Texas