}); World Turn'd Upside Down: Civil War Era Popover Recipe for Breakfast

April 14, 2011

Civil War Era Popover Recipe for Breakfast

Popovers are an egg-based, hollow roll that is shaped like a muffin. Due to its hollow nature, it is perfect for filling with butter, cheese or meat. It is an especially easy way to fix breakfast or to send the men off to battle with a snack. Popovers have the added benefit bread-like but not requiring any leavening agent other than the egg.  By the 1870s, Popovers were popular enough to have been included in Annie Frost's "The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts and Household Hints," as well as many other publications. For those of you who know what Yorkshire Pudding is, these are like individual Yorkshire Puddings.    

Below is Mrs. Hooper's Popover recipe from "Tit-Bits or How to Prepare a Dish at a Moderate Expense," a publication printed in 1864 in both Boston and New York. Other, similar recipes were printed from 1859.

Mrs. Hooper's Pop-Overs


- 4 Cups Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
- 4 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cups Flour

Makes 24 Popovers. This recipe can be easily halved or doubled. The general recipe for popovers calls for 1 Egg and 1 Cup of Milk for every Cup of Flour.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. It is very important to have a very hot oven for popovers. Beat Egg slightly in a medium sized bowl or batter bowl and add the melted Butter. Mix the Salt in with the Flour and add the Flour mixture to the Egg mixture slowly. Do not over stir. Butter 24 muffin slots and fill halfway with batter. You may also use individual muffin pans (individual pans or rings were used during the period.) Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. You can eat them warm with butter or let them cool and fill them with meats.   

And you thought popovers were postwar because Wikipedia said so!


  1. Yum. :) I am going to have to try to make one.

  2. Now someone can correct the Wikipedia article and have a source. :-)

    They sound great but, sadly, I don't have muffin pans. Do you think 9 cm (diameter) stoneware baking dishes from IKEA would work, too? ;-) Except that I only have six of them... or was it only five?
    Anyway, it sort of reminds me of my experimental omelettes. They tend to puff, too.

  3. I don't think the stone dishes will work. The best is a popover pan, which is like a muffin pan with individual cups held together with wires so the hot air can circulate. You should heat the pan with the oven, very hot, butter each cup and quickly pour in the batter and return it to the over. This is what makes them "puff" or "pop". It is the same recipe for Yorkshire Pudding, which is done the same way in a lasagna sized rectangular pan.

  4. Heather, those are so great tips! I never thought to heat the pans with the oven but can see how that would help.

  5. This recipe looks good. I love old recipe and collect Civil war ones. Infact I jsut put soem up on blog. Drp in! You can follow me too. I will read your blog often.

  6. Yummm...I love popovers! Thanks for sharing the recipe:).

    I wanted to answer your question about the movie. Towards the end of the movie there is a scene where Aiken (James McAvoy) goes to the gentleman's club with Sara. He gets into an argument with her in her carraige and our carriage goes by (I'm sitting next to Kevin Kline). You see our carriage stop and we get out and then we go up the stairs to the club when Aiken stops to argue with Stanton. Mr. Stanton sends me inside with the Colonel and that's it:). Being a history major I think you will like this movie. Even if hubby and I had not been extras in it we would have loved it:). I think Robert Redford did an excellent job staying true to the history.


    Kim aka Mrs. Stanton:).

  7. Heather, thanks so much for the answer - but seeing as I live in the Czech Republic, with no popover tradition and no popover pans, I guess I'll have to forget about them... for now.


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