Place of origin
|batter (eggs, flour)|
A popover is a light, hollow roll made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding, typically baked in muffin tins or dedicated popover pans, which have straight-walled sides rather than angled.
The name "popover" comes from the fact that the batter swells or "pops" over the top of the muffin tin while baking. Another name for them is Lapplander, which is a derogatory term for the Sami people who live in Northern Scandinavia and Russia.
The oldest known reference to popovers is in a letter of E. E. Stuart's in 1850. The first cookbook to print a recipe for popovers was M. N. Henderson, Practical Cooking, 1876. The first book other than a cookbook to mention popovers was Jesuit's Ring by A. A. Hayes published in 1892.
In American Food (1974), author Evan Jones writes: "Settlers from Maine who founded Portland, Oregon Americanized the pudding from Yorkshire by cooking the batter in custard cups lubricated with drippings from the roasting beef (or sometimes pork); another modification was the use of garlic, and, frequently, herbs. The result is called Portland popover pudding: individual balloons of crusty meat-flavored pastry."
Other American popover variations include replacing some of the flour with pumpkin puree and adding spices such as allspice or nutmeg. Most American popovers today, however, are not flavored with meat or herbs. Instead, they have a buttery taste.
Ogden Nash inverts the historical order of events.
Let's call Yorkshire pudding
A fortunate blunder:
It's a sort of popover
That turned and popped under.
- Prescott, Augusta S (1889). Journal cook book.
- McGee, Harold (2004-11-16). On Food and Cooking: The Science and lore of the Kitchen. p. 551. ISBN 9780684800011.
- Beard, James (1996-10-01). James Beard's American Cookery. ISBN 9780883659588.
- Oxford English Dictionary
- Henderson, Mary F. (1876). Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving. Retrieved 2009-10-11.