These baked delights are made from the same batter, so are they the same thing?
The Short Answer:
Popovers and Yorkshire Pudding are essentially the same things, though they are prepared in different ways.
The Long Answer:
To determine the differences between popovers and Yorkshire pudding we first have to talk about what defines popovers and Yorkshire pudding.
Both of these foods are mostly composed of a batter that is strikingly similar. The batter used for both contains eggs, flour, and milk or water. The difference comes into play when you look at how these two side dishes are prepared.
When finished, popovers are light, hollow rolls. This American recipe is primarily cooked in a muffin tin or a “popover pan.” The difference between a muffin tin and popover pan comes down to angles. The recesses in muffin tins are sloped at an angle whereas popover tin recesses are straight up and down. The name popover was coined because as the batter expands in the oven, it pops over the edge of the tin.
The muffin or popover tin cups are lubricated with the drippings from roasted beef or pork. The end result is a meat-flavored pastry. Popovers can also be served sweet with butter, fruit, whipped cream, and jam if had for breakfast. If served for lunch or dinner it is mostly paired with meats.
Yorkshire pudding is an English side dish. It’s not a “pudding” in the American sense, where one would think of chocolate or vanilla custard-based pudding. English puddings are typically a form of pastry involving eggs, starch, and dairy. They can be either savory or sweet. In fact, the term pudding is typically used in the UK in place of dessert.
Yorkshire pudding is more versatile than its American cousin, the popover. It was initially devised by English cooks as a way to make use of the fat that would drip into the pan while roasting meat. To make Yorkshire pudding, you pour batter into an oiled baking pan. Some recipes call for the batter to be placed under roasting meat in place of a drip pan so that it can soak up all of the fat drippings.
Yorkshire pudding can be stuffed with beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, and more. In 2007, Britain created a day honoring this longstanding side dish by declaring the first Sunday in February to be National Yorkshire Pudding Day.
So, there you have it. Two very similar dishes created on two different continents. Popovers and Yorkshire Pudding are, at their core, the same exact thing but popovers are traditionally more compact and prepared in a popover tray.
What’s your favorite English pudding? Have you ever tried your hand at Yorkshire pudding or popovers? Which do you prefer? Sound off below and let us know!