All this rain and recuperating has left me craving for some serious summer comfort food. And when I think of indulging in hazy, hot, and humid weather a familiar afternoon delight is only thing that does the trick…
Sadly, my back injury has forced us to cancel our annual summer trip to Maine, which means I’m missing out on Mount Desert Island’s hidden treasure: afternoon popovers at Jordan Pond.
After a long trail walk around the pond, or a hike through Acadia National Park, the Jordan Pond House restaurant provides the perfect pick me up and dinner spoiler. It’s a summer tradition worth importing to all seasons. But if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad… and Muhammad can’t go to the mountain… well I guess this Muhammad will just have to go to the kitchen:
These crispy shelled mini mountains smell rich and floral as they leave the oven, but as soon as you break them open the sweet steam gives way to a light and hollow interior.
Although the lemon zest and thyme leaf addition strays from the pond’s popover, the time honored custom of eating a popover should still remain: Make a dent in the top, drop in a healthy spoonful of butter, and shake, shake, shake the popover letting the butter melt and coat the interior.
Popovers in Maine are a recent tradition for me, as I was introduce to this practice while dating my husband, but popovers in a mall have been a part of my life for years. Growing up, my mother and grandmother would always find a a rainy Saturday to get lost in the mall with me. Lunch was always spent at Neiman Marcus’ restaurant where popovers are served straight from the oven (and sometimes made it to your seat faster that you could).
No time to unfold your napkin, steaming custard puffs would appear alongside a ramekin filled with raspberry butter.
Like cotton candy for adults, the raspberry butter is forever a necessary partner for popovers anywhere.
Trust me: Adding a touch of pink, a hint of sweet jam, and bit of silky butter to these mountainous muffins make this the perfect meal to share with family.
Lemon Thyme Popovers with Raspberry Butter
adapted from King Arthur Flour
4 large organic eggs, room temperature
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups almond milk (can use hemp, or lowfat milk)
1/12 cups all purpose white flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons Lemon Thyme leaves (regular thyme leaves can be substituted)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Equipment * Popover pan works best for high results, but standard size muffin tins make just a beautiful and delicious popovers
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
1. Melt the butter slowly in a small sauce pot and keep warm (liquid) on side of stove
2. Warm milk in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir and make sure it is universally luke warm to the touch.
3. Combine the milk, room temperature eggs, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and thyme in a large bowl and whisk until the yolks and whites are fully combined. Sift the flour and add the flour all at once to the liquid mixture and whisk gently only until just just combined. This is important as you do not want to over mix the batter. Add all the melted butter and with a spatula gently fold the butter into the batter about 3-4 times and let the batter rest for 15 minutes covered at room temperature.
4. Spray grease the popover tins or muffin tins fully including the top and around the sides as the popovers will rise and expand over the top of the tin cups. Pour the batter into the tins filling them to 2/3-3/4 high.
Place the tins into the oven on a rack about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the oven and bake the popovers for exactly 20 minutes without opening the oven.
At 20 minutes decrease the oven to 350 degrees F and let the popovers continue to cook for 12-14 minutes.
Remove the popovers from the tins. Serve immediately with the Raspberry Thyme Butter recipe bellow
Makes 8 popovers in popover tins, or 12 muffin-tin popovers
Raspberry Thyme Butter
1 stick unsalted european style butter
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
1. In a small sauce pot combine sugar, raspberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt. Heat until raspberries juices begin to sweat and let simmer until slightly thick and fully pureed, stirring occasionally.
2. You can now choose to strain the puree or let it cool retaining the seeds in the butter if you want. When cool add the puree in stages to a bowl with room temperature butter and honey. Mix in the puree with a spatula until the butter has a bold raspberry flavor (and holds a bright pink color!)
3. Then add the thyme leaves and mold the butter as you desire. Let it set up in the fridge. Will hold best a for week, covered and stored in the fridge.
Popovers and Raspberry Butter…the perfect plan for weathering a summer storm or, in my case, a rather stormy summer.
If you find yourself on Mount Desert Island visit:
The Jordon Pond House
Park Loop Road, inside Acadia National Park
Seal Harbor, ME
T: +1 207 276 3610 (May 1- October 25)