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Popover v Individual Yorkshire pud.


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#1 Adam Balic

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 07:52 AM

Have come across various references to "Popovers" in American literature and stupid me, I thought they might be some Indian (eh, sub-continental) type thing, like Sri-lankan hopper.

Apparently they are a batter pudding made in muffin tins. Is this correct and what would be the difference between a popover and a Jamie Oliver style individual Yorkshire pudding?

#2 Fat Guy

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 07:59 AM

The difference being that, as far as I know, Yorkshire pudding almost always utilizes some sort of animal fat, either beef drippings, lard, or bacon fat, whereas American-style popovers are just flour, salt, eggs, and milk.
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#3 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:03 AM

Have come across various references to "Popovers" in American literature and stupid me, I thought they might be some Indian (eh, sub-continental) type thing, like Sri-lankan hopper.

Apparently they are a batter pudding made in muffin tins. Is this correct and what would be the difference between a popover and a Jamie Oliver style individual Yorkshire pudding?

Not familiar with the Jamie Oliver pud, but can tell you that popovers are identical to Yorkshire pud in their composition, except that they are made without the all-important beef dripping - and the tin therefore is not pre-heated. So the taste and texture end up being somewhat more... tame. A popover, partly because of the lack of dripping and partly because of its smaller size, is generally a bit drier than a Y pud. Lends itself, while still hot, to being ripped asunder and slathered with butter. They're very good - I love 'em - but they're not exactly at home with roast beef.

Spose you could make 'em with dripping, though, and that would change the equation materially (though size still does matter...). Spose if I'd done my homework before posting I'd see that this is pretty much what Jamie O has done and therefore most of this post is pointless... but there you are, that's the kind of guy I'm. But even if you did make a popover with dripping, you'd still get a slightly different texture from Yorkshire pud because of the muffin tin. I don't have the physics/chemistry vocabulary to address this in the correct technical terms, but what it amounts to is that because the tin is so narrow, the batter has no place to go but up, so the entire popover is like the puffier edge of the Yorkshire pud; you don't get any of that lovely soft greasy un-puffed bit that you get in the middle of the pud.


EDIT: There, see? What Fat Guy said (while I was still typing away) - only less succinct.

Edited by balmagowry, 15 June 2004 - 08:05 AM.


#4 jgarner53

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:04 AM

But they're both heavenly!

Does anyone else remember the cartoon (I believe it was a Bugs Bunny one) where he feeds the bad guy (not Yosemite Sam, someone else, I'm thinking Bluebeard the pirate) a plate full of bombs, and bad guy says, "Mmmmm, popovers," and proceeds to gobble them up? A moment later BLAM!

I ALWAYS think of that whenever anyone mentions popovers.
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#5 JAZ

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:08 AM

Not familiar with the Jamie Oliver pud, but can tell you that popovers are identical to Yorkshire pud in their composition, except that they are made without the all-important beef dripping - and the tin therefore is not pre-heated. So the taste and texture end up being somewhat more... tame. A popover, partly because of the lack of dripping and partly because of its smaller size, is generally a bit drier than a Y pud. Lends itself, while still hot, to being ripped asunder and slathered with butter.

Maybe my recipes are different from yours, but I've always made popovers with a blob of butter in each tin, preheated them and added the batter to the hot buttered pan. So the difference is the type of fat used, not the presence of fat.

#6 Adam Balic

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:13 AM

Have come across various references to "Popovers" in American literature and stupid me, I thought they might be some Indian (eh, sub-continental) type thing, like Sri-lankan hopper.

Apparently they are a batter pudding made in muffin tins. Is this correct and what would be the difference between a popover and a Jamie Oliver style individual Yorkshire pudding?

Not familiar with the Jamie Oliver pud, but can tell you that popovers are identical to Yorkshire pud in their composition, except that they are made without the all-important beef dripping - and the tin therefore is not pre-heated. So the taste and texture end up being somewhat more... tame. A popover, partly because of the lack of dripping and partly because of its smaller size, is generally a bit drier than a Y pud. Lends itself, while still hot, to being ripped asunder and slathered with butter. They're very good - I love 'em - but they're not exactly at home with roast beef.

Spose you could make 'em with dripping, though, and that would change the equation materially (though size still does matter...). Spose if I'd done my homework before posting I'd see that this is pretty much what Jamie O has done and therefore most of this post is pointless... but there you are, that's the kind of guy I'm. But even if you did make a popover with dripping, you'd still get a slightly different texture from Yorkshire pud because of the muffin tin. I don't have the physics/chemistry vocabulary to address this in the correct technical terms, but what it amounts to is that because the tin is so narrow, the batter has no place to go but up, so the entire popover is like the puffier edge of the Yorkshire pud; you don't get any of that lovely soft greasy un-puffed bit that you get in the middle of the pud.


EDIT: There, see? What Fat Guy said (while I was still typing away) - only less succinct.

Should have guess that UK=lard.

Lets see. Ye Olde type batter puddings were batter (like pancake batter) cooked under the roast, where they got saturated with drippings and juices and ended up like a thick custard thing. Modern Yorshire puddings are similar, but often the batter is poured into hot fat and they puff up at the edges and are soft in the middle. Post-modern YPs are often made in muffin tins, hot oil in the bottom of the tin, batter placed in tin, tin shoved into a very hot oven. Puddings expand over the muffin tin top. These are higher, dried and crisper then the old style versions.

So a popover would never be cooked in the hot fat? Even in a muffin tin.

Edited by Adam Balic, 15 June 2004 - 08:19 AM.


#7 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:13 AM

Not familiar with the Jamie Oliver pud, but can tell you that popovers are identical to Yorkshire pud in their composition, except that they are made without the all-important beef dripping - and the tin therefore is not pre-heated. So the taste and texture end up being somewhat more... tame. A popover, partly because of the lack of dripping and partly because of its smaller size, is generally a bit drier than a Y pud. Lends itself, while still hot, to being ripped asunder and slathered with butter.

Maybe my recipes are different from yours, but I've always made popovers with a blob of butter in each tin, preheated them and added the batter to the hot buttered pan. So the difference is the type of fat used, not the presence of fat.

Ah - true. It's been so long that I didn't remember the preheating part - right you are. But the type of fat still does make a huge difference to taste & texture. And a popover is still drier than a Y pud because of the vertical ratio thingy.


EDIT: dammit, now I'm all mouth-watery; I'm going to have to make a batch of popovers soon and pig out on them, I can just tell. Damn eGullet!

Edited by balmagowry, 15 June 2004 - 08:15 AM.


#8 YKL

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:15 AM

from memory the Jamie Oliver recipe adds an extra egg so you get more billowy fluffiness rather than the crispiness. but the basic principle of scorching hot fat and oven for a good Yorkshire is pretty much it.

did a quick google before replying and where the recipe is not a "mix-it-all-in-one-go" method, there seems to be subtle differences in method i.e. Yorkshires you start with flour, add eggs, and then milk .. popovers the eggs get added to milk and then flour gets mixed in. Does this make any difference to the final product? Or am I trying to introduce molecular gastronomy unnecessarily?

Mind you - the close relationship between the two might explain Nigella Lawson's fondness for eating hers with golden syrup (fresh from the oven that is)

Edited by YKL, 15 June 2004 - 08:16 AM.


#9 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:19 AM

Damn you all.


Must make Yorkshire Pudding (WITH beef fat, thankyouverymuch).

#10 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:19 AM

Lets see. Ye Olde type batter puddings where batter (like pancake batter) cooked under the roast, where they got saturated with drippings and juices and ended up like a thick custard thing. Modern Yorshire puddings are similar, but often the batter is poured into hot fat and they puff up at the edges and are soft in the middle. Post-modern YPs are often made in muffin tins, hot oil in the bottom of the tin, batter placed in tin, tin shoved into a very hot oven. Puddings expand over the muffin tin top. These are higer, dried and crisper then the old style versions.

Precisely so. I like a Yorkshire pud that does both - puffs and crisps at the edge but remains soft and battery in the middle (with heavenly greasy crisp crust underneath). Just as well, since neither my oven nor my hearth is built to accommodate the old-fashioned approach.

So a popover would never be cooked in the hot fat? Even in a muffin tin.

I've never seen it done, but that doesn't mean it couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't be. The only question is, would it still be a popover? The distinctions that define it are the type of fat and the shape of the tin; take either of those away and you end up with a hybrid; take both away and poof! Yorkshire pud. ("Bloody January again!")

#11 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:23 AM

Does this make any difference to the final product?

In my experience, probably not. But then, I always whisk the batter, so it wouldn't. And I don't know why you wouldn't whisk the batter - in both cases you do want it to be smoothly combined. No chemical difference I can think of either, since the batter is supposed to sit for a bit before being poured. I'd bet that the different approaches to mixing are simply traditions handed down from one great-grandmother or another - i.e., old wives' tales.

Wide open, of course, to being proved wrong. Anyone?

#12 Adam Balic

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:27 AM

So a popover would never be cooked in the hot fat? Even in a muffin tin.

I've never seen it done, but that doesn't mean it couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't be. The only question is, would it still be a popover? The distinctions that define it are the type of fat and the shape of the tin; take either of those away and you end up with a hybrid; take both away and poof! Yorkshire pud. ("Bloody January again!")

So you would have a 'Yorkover' or a 'Popshire'?

Ah, batter and hot fat is there anything finer.

#13 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 10:15 AM

So a popover would never be cooked in the hot fat? Even in a muffin tin.

I've never seen it done, but that doesn't mean it couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't be. The only question is, would it still be a popover? The distinctions that define it are the type of fat and the shape of the tin; take either of those away and you end up with a hybrid; take both away and poof! Yorkshire pud. ("Bloody January again!")

So you would have a 'Yorkover' or a 'Popshire'?

Ah, batter and hot fat is there anything finer.

Nope. Oh, bless you and curse you, Adam Balic, you've just added two delicious phenomena to the batter pudding lineup. The Yorkshire, the Popover, the Yorkover, the Popshire, now I want them all. Right NOW.

#14 Varmint

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 10:24 AM

Tee hee. I'm going to Maine this Friday, and I can't wait to get to the Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers!!!
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#15 cakes

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 10:35 AM

I was in England a few years ago and the Brit I was with had never heard of popovers and thought what we would call popovers were Yorkshire puddings.

I grew up with popovers (love them!) and it was only about 5 years ago that Mom and I got brave and made Yorkshire pudding.

I want both...........NOW!

#16 JAZ

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:10 PM

Well, and just to confuse things further, there's the whole Dutch Baby/Finnish Pancake thing as well.

My mom and sister always used to make these, which were like giant popovers cooked in a cast iron skillet. Start out with a ton of butter in the pan, heat it up really hot, pour in the batter and pop the whole thing in the oven. It tastes like a popover, but -- because of the size -- has that denser, moist center like a YP. It's really, really good too.

#17 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:22 PM

I seem to remember it being a bit eggier, though - no? also that it's eaten with powdered sugar and lemon, which gives it a whole different feeling. Yum.

#18 ruthcooks

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:59 PM

Popovers with jam and cream has always sounded good. Or, popovers with BACON.

We never make popovers, but always a double batch of YP with our pot roast. I know it's traditional with a standing rib, but gotta have our gravy.
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#19 balmagowry

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 10:08 PM

Ah, but the two ain't mutually exclusive - in fact, YP is particularly glorious with a hefty slather of gravy in its vicinity. I make a point of always having enough dripping for both.

Popovers cooked in bacon fat - now there's a sublime Yorkover or Popshire concept.

#20 Adam Balic

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 01:36 AM

So a popover would never be cooked in the hot fat? Even in a muffin tin.

I've never seen it done, but that doesn't mean it couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't be. The only question is, would it still be a popover? The distinctions that define it are the type of fat and the shape of the tin; take either of those away and you end up with a hybrid; take both away and poof! Yorkshire pud. ("Bloody January again!")

So you would have a 'Yorkover' or a 'Popshire'?

Ah, batter and hot fat is there anything finer.

Nope. Oh, bless you and curse you, Adam Balic, you've just added two delicious phenomena to the batter pudding lineup. The Yorkshire, the Popover, the Yorkover, the Popshire, now I want them all. Right NOW.

There are also puddings placed under roasting meat in mediaval arabic cooking sources so these would be 'Abassidiovers'.

Ah, the Yorkover and the Popshire, never has so little effort been expended in creating a fushion cuisine.

#21 balmagowry

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 06:09 AM

Wot? Ain't there even steam coming out your ears from the mighty intellectual effort? Is from mine.

#22 Fat Guy

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 06:39 AM

I don't think of the butter used to grease popover tins as an ingredient as such. The popover sequence is that you preheat the tins, then brush with butter or shortening, then add batter, then bake. With Yorkshire pudding, you put fat into the tins, then you heat them so the fat is good and hot, then you add the batter, and then you bake. I think you also use more fat, of a more concentrated essence -- it is a major flavor component of Yorkshire pudding as opposed to mostly a lubricant for popovers.
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#23 foodie52

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 06:49 AM

Which brings to mind something that has puzzled me all my life.

Why is the sanctioned popover baking pan so weird looking? It looks like a series of cups connected by metal rods. I've never used one. In fact, I've never made popovers. Plenty of YP's though.

#24 JAZ

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 06:55 AM

I don't think of the butter used to grease popover tins as an ingredient as such. The popover sequence is that you preheat the tins, then brush with butter or shortening, then add batter, then bake. With Yorkshire pudding, you put fat into the tins, then you heat them so the fat is good and hot, then you add the batter, and then you bake. I think you also use more fat, of a more concentrated essence -- it is a major flavor component of Yorkshire pudding as opposed to mostly a lubricant for popovers.

Hmmm. I haven't made popovers in several years, and I wouldn't bet that I made them correctly when I did, but the method I learned was more like what you describe for yorkshire pudding -- heating the tins with a hunk of butter, so you end up with a very hot pan with a pool of butter in each tin.

I agree, though, that the drippings/beef fat are a much more integral part of YP than the butter is of popovers.

#25 Adam Balic

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:10 AM

I don't think of the butter used to grease popover tins as an ingredient as such. The popover sequence is that you preheat the tins, then brush with butter or shortening, then add batter, then bake. With Yorkshire pudding, you put fat into the tins, then you heat them so the fat is good and hot, then you add the batter, and then you bake. I think you also use more fat, of a more concentrated essence -- it is a major flavor component of Yorkshire pudding as opposed to mostly a lubricant for popovers.

You don't use that much fat when making a traditional type Yorkshire pudding. Bow to the Delia. 2 tablespoons in a large dish is just lubrication and flavour. But, yes it is easier to make the smaller individual ones if the moulds have more hot fat.

#26 ned

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:20 AM

This is a genus-species question. In other words, a ship is a boat but a boat is not necessarily a ship. Animal fat notwithstanding, yorkshire pudding is a popover. But all popovers are not yorkshire pudding.
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#27 jackal10

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:34 AM

I have a problem.
When I make Yorkshire Puddings, the rise amazingly. Too well, since they rise all over, rther than just around the edges. Not that I am complaining too much, but you don't get the centres to fill with stuff. Too many eggs? Can you wise eG's help?
I use

2 eggs
4oz flour (maybe 1/2 cup AP flour)
1 pt milk

Smoking hot fat etc, preferably with shards of roast onion in it..

Is this the essential differnece? Popovers, I believe, are puffed all over, while in Yorkshire puddings the centre is sunk, and only the edge puffed.

I olden times, Yorkshires were served with gravy as a seperate course before the meat to lessen peoples appetities, and make the meat go further. They are also good as sweet with golden syrup, treacle or jam...

Yorkshire puds freeze well.

#28 balmagowry

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:37 AM

[EDIT: this was in response to Ned's post, now two up-thread.]

Not sure I buy that. I've always understood that one of the defining factors of a popover is its shape - hence the special tins. Like madeleines - if you didn't make 'em in a madeleine tin, would they still be madeleines? Nope. (Conversely, if you make something else in a madeleine tin, that don't make it a madeleine - gotta have the shape AND the substance.)

And Adam - with all due respect to Delia, I like a lot of dripping to my Yorkshire pud. If you think about its origins and the amount of dripping wot dripped as the roast roasted, seems only reasonable. Besides... it's so GOOD.

Edited by balmagowry, 16 June 2004 - 07:38 AM.


#29 Adam Balic

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:42 AM

Try making it at sea level, then at high attitude. Plot the puffocity v altitude, then select the level of puffocity you desire then work out what altitude you will have to make you Yorkshire puddings at. For some reason it always turns out to be Leeds.

#30 balmagowry

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:47 AM

I have a problem.
When I make Yorkshire Puddings, the rise amazingly. Too well, since they rise all over, rther than just around the edges. Not that I am complaining too much, but you don't get the centres to fill with stuff. Too many eggs? Can you wise eG's help?
I use

2 eggs
4oz flour (maybe 1/2 cup AP flour)
1 pt milk

Smoking hot fat etc, preferably with shards of roast onion in it..

Is this the essential differnece? Popovers, I believe, are puffed all over, while in Yorkshire puddings the centre is sunk, and only the edge puffed.

Too many eggs? It's certainly eggier than mine. I use twice that amount of AP flour and half the amount of milk. (Uh-oh - don't remember whether you guys still use the imperial pint - I'm basing my measurements on the 16-oz pint.) Works perfectly every time, and produces plaudits I'd blush to repeat.

Other factors:

Ideally the batter should be well chilled before being poured into the hot dripping - dunno how feasible this was in the old days, but the more contrast in temperature between the two, the more dramatic the reaction.

Size of pan. I honestly don't know what would happen if your pan were too big (batter spread too thin) or too small (batter crowded); my best unscientific guess is that erring on the too small side is better than the other way. But then again, I can imagine a contrary logic - someone more scientifically inclined will have to address this. Anyway, it may be moot - temperature and composition of batter may solve the problem. Try it and report!


EDIT: Dang, shoulda saved my breath; as usual, Adam has it right and is more succinct. Leeds it is.

Edited by balmagowry, 16 June 2004 - 07:48 AM.