These hazelnut and fresh herb popovers are a departure from the same-old popovers that have no nuts or herbs. What’s that about? The technique is the same but the flavors are off the charts! And who says Thanksgiving can’t include a tray of these herby, nutty little beauties? Not us, darling.
You’re probably reading this recipe and thinking—how could I possibly pull off popovers at Thanksgiving? The trick is to have the popover batter made, the butter melted, and the pan ready. As soon after the turkey comes out of the oven the muffin tin gets heated, buttered, and the hazelnut popovers go in. The burst of heat makes them puff and crisp—with a golden, nutty exterior and a soft, hollow interior. These popovers are divine.–Diane Morgan
Hazelnut and Fresh Herbs Popovers FAQs
The popover batter can be made up to 2 hours in advance. The popovers are best when baked right before serving. They deflate and don’t reheat very well.
Short answer? Temperature. The oven needs to be hot, and the tin needs to be hot. On top of that, the batter needs to be cool and the fat needs to be blistering hot. Preheat the oven, the muffin tin, and the fat. Then work quickly. Don’t open the oven too soon–that steam is what makes them puffy and gorgeous.
Popovers are best when eaten right away. When they’ve been around for a bit, they deflate and aren’t great–even though some of us will eat popovers NO. MATTER. WHAT. Even so, we do urge you to finish them off while they’re fresh. Leftovers can be doughy and chewy.
Hazelnut and Fresh Herb Popovers
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts toasted and finely ground
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon snipped chives
- 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter melted
- In a medium bowl, or preferably a 4-cup glass measuring cup, combine the flour, hazelnuts, pepper, and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and then add the parsley and chives. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Let the batter stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Whisk before using.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Have ready a standard 12-cup muffin pan, preferably nonstick.
- Place the muffin pan in the oven for about 10 minutes until hot. Remove the hot muffin pan from the oven. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the muffin cups with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups. Without opening the oven door at any time, bake the popovers for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350°F (175°C) and continue to bake the popovers for 7 to 10 minutes longer until puffy and golden brown.
- Turn the popovers out of the pan, loosening them with the edge of a paring knife, if necessary. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love popovers and have often added herbs, but I never tried them with nuts. It turns out they are really delicious that way. This recipe was straightforward and easy, and I plan to experiment with different nuts in the near future.
The recipe doesn’t say how much you should fill the muffin cups, however. In portioning them equally, I filled each cup about halfway. The popovers rose dramatically, at least 1 inch over the top of the pan, and were indeed crisp, golden, and nutty, yet soft and creamy.
My batch was a little darker than the recipe photo. The most time-consuming part of this recipe was preparing the ground nuts. If you can find hazelnuts already toasted and ground, that would help save time.
These hazelnut and fresh herb popovers is going to be my go-to popover recipe from now on. I love hazelnuts, and love the flavor they impart to this recipe. The texture was marvelous—so light and soft. The herbs really added great flavor and they inspire me to make similar popovers with different nut and herb combinations. They’re fun to make, and they look mighty and impressively puffy coming out of the oven.
We’re making prime rib Sunday and will make these again to serve with the jus. Just thinking about it makes me salivate. If you tend to shy away from making popovers, this is the recipe to try, as it is very simple and tasty. A keeper!
Originally published November 16, 2009