San Francisco is an incredible city if you're somebody like me and have a deep appreciation for all things food. And chances are, you'll find friends who also share your passion. Over two years ago, my dear friend Esha introduced me to an amazing new (at the time) spot in the Mission District called Craftsman and Wolves. She described it to me as a new bakery that just popped up and asked if I wanted to meet up and try it. That's all I was told and it was all I needed to hear. So when I arrived, early, per usual, I was a little overwhelmed by what I should order. Yes, it's a bakery but they also had salads on the menu and I wondered if I should try to be healthy. So instead of making a rash decision, I opted to ask the staff what their favorites were. Everyone agreed I should try The Rebel Within because it was something different. So I went that route and added something chocolate (which I've forgotten the name of because it's been a few years). I took them to a table and proceeded to wait for Esha. I twiddled my thumbs for about a minute and then decided I should cut the two pastries open so I'd be ready to share.
AND THEN WOAH, The Rebel Within oozed its gorgeous yolk and exposed a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg within a delicious (looking) savory muffin. And I had to wait because I wanted to be a good friend. So I waited, for what was luckily only a few minutes (but felt like an eternity), and then marveled over this magnificent muffin with someone who appreciated how magical this muffin really was. Naturally, I left thinking, I've got to make this. And if you fast forward to a year later, I found an awesome blogger who recreated this marvelous thing. And if you fast forward one more year, to today, I finally tried her recipe!! Thank you, Mijune at Follow Me Foodie. It's such a treat to be able to make these at home.
Please note, this recipe has a few steps but it's actually not difficult. The most challenging part of this recipe is peeling the extra-soft boiled eggs, which is why this process is spelled out in 10 steps. If you're as lucky as I am, you'll have a super awesome boyfriend who will help you with the tedious and somewhat daunting task of peeling these extra-softies! Good luck fixing and enjoy!
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 large eggs
- 2 c. ice cubes
- Cold tap water
- 50g Comté, finely grated
- 50g aged white cheddar, coarsely grated
- 50g Gruyere, coarsely grated
- 100g bacon, diced into 1/2” square pieces
- 60g Italian Sausage (remove casing)
- 60g finely diced shallots
- 310g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 305g buttermilk, room temperature
- 125g butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 20g finely sliced chives
- Cooking spray
- Optional: 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 6 cup popover pan
- Mixing bowls
- Glass measuring cup
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Silicone spatula
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Small fry pan
- 1 oz. cookie scoop
- Small spoon
- Disposable piping bag
- Tea towel
- Paper towels
- Place 2-3L of water in a large pot and bring to a full boil.
- While water is coming up to a boil, place eggs in a small bowl of warm tap water with enough water to cover. In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath with very cold tap water and the ice cubes.
- Line egg carton with plastic wrap. Peeled eggs will go back into the carton to be refrigerated overnight.
- Once the pot of water is boiling, add the salt. Gently but quickly lower the eggs into the water with a large spoon and place them on the bottom of the pot.
- Cook eggs for 4 minutes. When the eggs have boiled for the allotted time, promptly transfer to ice bath.
- Move bowl of ice-bathed eggs near your kitchen sink. As soon as eggs are cool enough to handle but still very warm, remove from the ice water.
- Gently tap each egg on the kitchen counter, at top and bottom ends of egg and a few taps on sides. Do not use too much force or the cooked egg whites will split open.
- Once all eggs are cracked, peel each egg under a thin stream of cool running water. Hold the egg vertically in one hand with widest end of the egg facing upwards and start peeling from the cracks in the wide end. Be sure to peel off the thin membrane, then work your way gently around the egg in a spiral. Carefully pry the tip of your index finger under the eggshell as you go to separate it from the egg. The trickiest section to peel is the last third (narrowest part. If the white sticks to the shell in one spot, try to peel from a different spot. Place the eggs back into the ice water once they are peeled.
- When all eggs are peeled, remove from the water and gently blot them dry with tea towel.
- Place eggs back into plastic-lined carton, cover with additional plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and place baking rack in middle of oven.
- Prepare your mise en place.
- Reserve about 25% of each type of cheese for the muffin tops.
- Heat fry pan over medium high heat and fry the bacon and sausage until crisp. Remove the meats from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Remove all but 2 tsp. bacon/sausage fat from the pan. Cook the shallots in the meat fat over medium heat until they are light brown in color and caramelized, stirring as needed. Remove pan from the heat and allow shallots to cool.
- Grease the insides of popover mold.
- In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, baking soda, and (optional) cayenne pepper so everything is distributed evenly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter until combined.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and stir with spatula until ingredients are mostly combined. Do not overmix; there should be a few clumps of flour that are still visible.
- Add 75% of parmesan, 75% of gruyere, and 75% of cheddar to the bowl. Add all of the bacon, green onions, and shallots and stir until just combined.
- Using cookie scoop, scoop about 2 Tbsp. of batter into bottom of each popover mold. Use small spoon to press the batter into the bottom of each cup to make a small depression in the middle of the batter. Place a soft boiled egg upright into each depression.
- Scrape the rest of the muffin batter into disposable piping bag and tightly twist the top. Cut the tip of the bag off to at least 1/2” wide.
- Pipe the batter around each egg in a spiral pattern, filling the rest of the cup and completely covering the egg. Be a little more generous at the top because the batter will slide off a little as it bakes and you do not want the top of the egg to become exposed.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheeses to tops of muffins.
- Bake muffins for 15 minutes and 30 seconds rotating halfway through the baking time. The tops of the muffins should be golden brown.
- Allow the muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Promptly remove from pan (carefully) and let cool for another 10 minutes on plate.
Note: Enjoy these on day of preparation.