When I was younger, my family returned to Maine each summer to visit family and friends during whatever two week period we could all align our schedules. Even little girls have busy lives!
On one of the days during our vacation, we would drive to Acadia National Park, enjoy the views and the serenity followed by afternoon tea and popovers at Jordan Pond House.
This tradition was surely one of our classier ones and I always felt like Samantha from our American Girl books - sitting-up perfectly straight, surrounded by the rich and middle-class alike and sticking out my pinkie finger as I sipped my raspberry lemonade.
Even today, when I return to Maine in the summer, my only request is to visit Jordan Pond House.
As I have grown older, the raspberry lemonade has been replaced with coffee. Although, if my sister happens to be visiting as well, I usually steal a few glorious sips of her raspberry lemonade. And since she misses me, she lets me get away with it. It's good being the older sister.
But my popover order has not changed in the least. With just a smear of strawberry jam, I am in heaven, surrounded by mountains, trees, water and sunshine. And it must be strawberry jam. Other flavors just don't cut it.
I have resisted making popovers because I do not have a popover pan. I don't have a popover pan because it won't fit in my tiny counter-top oven. Whimper.
But with all the rain and gloom of last week, I needed to be transported somewhere sunny and warm, with just a slight breeze blowing through. I needed to go there even if it was just through my breakfast plate.
I prepared the batter the night before so it had time to properly age before baking on Sunday morning.
The recipe was easy enough and it whipped up in no time.
First, two eggs in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for about 3 minutes until they are lemon-y yellow.
While the eggs are whisking, combine 1 cup AP flour, 1/4 teaspoon table salt and a pinch of baking soda in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together to combine. Also, measure out 1 cup whole milk.
When the eggs are lemon colored, reduce the speed to low and stream-in half of the milk.
When the milk and eggs are combined, pour in the flour mixture and whisk on low-medium speed until combined.
Add the remaining milk and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Then, beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes.
Pour the batter through a fine-mesh sieve and refrigerate overnight.
The following morning, with the pan in the oven, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. At the stern instruction of my Dad, the pan must be heated before the batter is placed in the pan.
When the oven is heated and your pan is hot, carefully remove it from the oven and spray with non-stick spray. Pour the batter evenly into the pans.
Place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
When the popovers are golden brown, they are ready to be enjoyed. Make sure you have plenty of condiments ready - I decided on strawberry jam (of course), butter (for Mike) and the delectable Meyer lemon curd I created earlier this week.
Keep the popovers warm and serve immediately.
This very last step made me appreciate, just a bit more, how the kitchen at Jordan Pond House must operate. I imagined industrial-sized popover pans, underpaid-overworked cooks cranking out thousands of popovers every day, each fresh batch being whisked off to hungry, anticipating customers.
Funny how working in a restaurant can make you stop and appreciate all the behind-the scenes work involved in creating some of your fondest childhood memories.
The sun was finally shining brightly and I temporarily blinded Mike as I sprung open the blinds to allow the sunshine to come pouring into the room as we enjoyed brunch together.
As you can see, popovers made in a muffin pan do work, but they aren't going to be the tall, airy delights created with an actual popover pan.
The taste was the same, just a bit denser. But, this didn't stop us from gobbling up three popovers each. Piglets.
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
Pinch of baking soda
Fine mesh sieve
Popover pan or standard muffin tin
One day before serving:
Beat the eggs on high speed until lemon colored, about 3 minutes.
While the eggs are beating, measure out milk. In small mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking soda.
When eggs are properly colored, reduce speed to low and stream in ½ cup milk. Beat until combined.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture and combine on low-medium speed.
Add remaining ½ cup milk to mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Increase speed to high and mix for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour batter through fine-mesh sieve into container. Refrigerate overnight.
Day of serving:
With popover/muffin pan in oven, preheat to 425 degrees.
When oven is properly heated, carefully remove pan and spray with non-stick spray.
Remove popover batter from refrigerator and gently whisk. Divide batter evenly among the pans.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking an additional 15-20 minutes, until golden.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.