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Differences between popovers, turnovers and Pop-Tarts

Differences between popovers, turnovers and Pop-Tarts
Differences between popovers, turnovers and Pop-Tarts
Margaret Minnicks

People eat popovers, turnovers and Pop-tarts all the time; however, they might not know that there are differences between popovers, turnover and Pop-Tarts. Popovers and turnovers are both baked goods, but that is where their similarities end. Turnovers are pastries while popovers are quick bread. Both have a hollow center, which may or may not be filled.

You can tell the difference between popovers and turnovers because they do not have the same shape. Popovers resemble oven-risen muffins with a custard cup-shaped base and a hollow interior. They are called popovers because they "pop over" the top of the muffin cup. Turnovers are triangular pastries folded flat over a sweet or savory pie filling. They are similar to half-moon-shaped empanadas and square toaster pastries.

The crust of popovers and turnovers are different. Popovers contain eggs, flour, salt, milk and butter. The crust of the popovers is light and eggy in flavor, similar to the taste of an omelet. On the on the other hand, turnovers use a variety of crusts, depending on the filling inside. Sweet fruit fillings use a flaky or short pie dough or a puff pastry dough for the crust, but risen yeast crusts similar to pizza crusts are used for some savory turnovers.

Popovers usually do not contain a filling. Their moist interior is butter and served like a dinner roll. Turnovers do contain a filling. Turnovers resemble hand-held pies, and the fillings are only limited by size to those ingredients that can fit into the turnover crust. Fruit fillings such as apple, cherry or blueberry create sweet turnovers, but savory turnover recipes using meats and vegetables also exist.

Popovers and turnovers are not eaten the same way. Popovers are served fresh out of the oven. Popovers should be served as soon as possible because as they cool, the eggs will make the popovers rubbery in texture. Hot popovers are best eaten like warm bread, split and spread with plain or flavored butter on their moist interior. Turnovers can be served hot or at room temperature, in the same way that pie is served. A scoop of ice cream goes good on top of a sweet turnover.

Pop-Tarts are entirely different from popover and turnovers. Pop-Tarts are a brand name for pre-baked toaster pastries made by the Kellogg Company. The letters are capitalized because Pop-Tarts are a brand. Although sold pre-cooked, they are designed to be warmed inside a toaster or microwave oven. Pop-Tarts are not shaped like popovers and turnovers. They are rectangular and thinner. They have a sugary filling sealed inside the two thin layers of pastry crust. Most varieties are also frosted. They are usually sold in pairs inside foil packages, and they do not need to be refrigerated.

Pop-Tarts are Kellogg's most popular brand in the United States with millions of Pop-Tarts sold each year. Pop-Tarts are more like Toaster Strudels than they are like popovers and turnovers. Pop-Tarts are intended as a breakfast food and snack that is warmed in a bread toaster. Pop-Tarts are thin, and the crust has very different texture and flavor. Pop-Tarts do not need to be refrigerated,