Chef Jenna Sprafkin

This is Jenna Sprafkin’s second year as head chef at the Chilmark Tavern. Just prior to coming to the Vineyard, she worked for a number of years at Primo, a top farm/restaurant in Rockland, Maine.

Brown Butter Popovers with Beach Plum Curd

Beach Plum Purée

Yields ½ cup

  • 2 cups beach plums (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons organic raw sugar (coconut sugar or granulated sugar also work)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

1. Place beach plums, sugar, salt, and half of the lemon juice into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar melts and beach plums begin to burst.

2. Once plums start to release their juices, use a whisk, spoon, or potato masher to help them along. It should take about 7 to 10 minutes for all liquid to be released. Be careful not to let the juice reduce too much by overboiling.

3. Add remaining teaspoon of lemon juice and mix well. Remove from heat.

4. Strain beach plum mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Press against beach plums with a spatula or bowl scraper to release additional juice while eliminating skins and large inedible seeds. Reserve purée for Beach Plum Curd (see recipe below).

Beach Plum Curd

Yields 1 ½ cups

  • 4 yolks
  • 1/2 cup organic raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup beach plum purée (see recipe above)
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1. Place yolks, sugar, and beach plum purée in a mixing bowl and whisk well until combined.

2. Transfer mixture to a heavy-bottom saucepan and place on a burner over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir continually until mixture has thickened and starts to release steam (about 5 to 8 minutes). Be careful not to cook the egg.

3. Remove pan from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each piece before adding the next one.

4. Transfer curd to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, laying it directly on the surface of the curd to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and serve with Brown Butter Popovers (see recipe below), or simply eat with a spoon.

Brown Butter Popovers

Makes 18 mini popovers or 12 large popovers

  • 1/3 cup melted brown butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat would also work)
  • 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter for greasing pans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease each cup of the popover pan with the regular unsalted butter and set aside on top of stove.

2. Combine whole eggs and 2 yolks in mixing bowl and whisk until frothy. Add milk, melted brown butter, salt, and sugar, and whisk again to fully incorporate. 

3. Add flour and mix until just combined. Batter should be mostly smooth but have a few lumps, like air pockets.

4. Place greased pan in pre-heated oven for 4 minutes. 

5. Remove heated pan from oven and immediately pour batter into pan until each cup is two-thirds or three-quarters full. Bake for 35 minutes for mini popovers and 55 minutes for large popovers; do not open the oven door while baking.  

6. When done, immediately remove popovers from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Take a small pairing knife and poke the side of each popover to release steam. Serve right away with beach plum curd.