popover n : light hollow muffin made of a puff batter (individual Yorkshire pudding) baked in a deep muffin cup
thumb|right|200px|Popovers A popover is a light, hollow roll made from an egg batter similar to that used in making Yorkshire pudding. The name "popover" comes from the fact that the batter swells or "pops" over the top of the muffin tin while baking. They can also be baked in individual custard cups.
Food historians generally agree that popovers are an American recipe, albeit derived from Yorkshire pudding and similar batter puddings made in England in the 17th century.
The oldest known reference to popovers is in a letter of E. E. Stuart's (a relative of Robert Stuart) in 1850. The first cookbook to print a recipe for popovers was Practical Cooking by M. N. Henderson published in 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."
Most popovers today, however, are not flavored with meat or herbs. Instead, they have a buttery taste. They are generally served at breakfast, with afternoon tea, or with meats at lunch and dinner.