Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Beat the eggs at high speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, or until the mixture turns lemon yellow. Slow the mixer to a crawl and dribble in about ½ cup of milk, taking about 20 seconds to pour it in.
Into another bowl, sift the flour and measure 1 cup as exactly as you can, sift 100 g flour then add salt and baking soda and sift again. With the mixer still running on its slowest speed, add the dry ingredients to the eggs and milk. Turn the mixer off and use a rubber spatula to make sure that all of the flour has blended in with the liquid.
Set the mixer to medium speed and dribble in the remaining milk. Blend for 1 minute. Turn the mixer to its highest speed and beat for 10 minutes (or 5 minutes if you have a Kitchen-aid style mixer that uses a wire whip for beating). Extra beating can't hurt.
Filter the batter through a fine-mesh screen strainer to remove any lumps, then pour into well-buttered popover cups or custard cups. (If you must use a muffin tin, fill only the 4 corners.) Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, turn heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for 15 more minutes (20 minutes if your oven door has a window).
Serve immediately, with fresh jam and room-temperature butter.
* Popovers from the Jordan Pond teahouse — In Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor Maine, is Jordan Pond. A century ago the teahouse at Jordan Pond was a gathering place where the aristocracy had tea and popovers with strawberry jam each day at 4 o'clock.
The Jordan Pond Tea House burned down in 1978, but has been rebuilt. It now serves people sporting clothes announcing "Mommy and Daddy went to Naugatuck, and all they brought me was this crummy shirt," and who show up in station wagons, but the popovers are the same that were served to the idle rich of another era. Yield: 2 large popovers.
* These popovers turn out significantly better if they are baked in crockery custard cups rather than in metal or glass.
: Difficulty: moderate. : Time: 15 minutes preparation, 30 minutes baking. : Precision: measure carefully.
: Brian Reid : DEC Western Research Laboratory, Palo Alto CA
Your Jordan Pond House Popovers is ready. Good luck!
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