What is a Yorkshire Pudding and why is it from Yorkshire?
Yorkshire Pud (as we Brits sometimes refer to it) comes, not surprisingly, from the North of England. When wheat flour became common in England for use in cakes and puddings, cooks in the North came up with a way to use up the drippings from cooking meat by making a batter, similar to pancake batter, which was cooked and served on the side with the meal (or in some cases before the meal), which they named 'dripping pudding', which by all accounts was a somewhat flatter and less puffy affair than the Yorkshires we know today. However, it was a Yorkshire lady named Hannah Glasse that renamed it 'Yorkshire Pudding' for her 1747 cookbook entitled "The Art Of Cookery Made Plain and Simple". It is similar to the American popover. Traditionally it is served with the Sunday roast.
|This one is the Swift 'Flat Cap' pan, available from Amazon.|
Yorkshire pudding is cooked by pouring a thin batter made from flour, eggs, butter, milk and seasoning into a preheated greased baking tin containing very hot fat or oil and baking at very high heat until it has risen and browned. It is then served in slices or quarters, depending on the size of the tray in which it was cooked. However the method that is illustrated (and one that I prefer) is to cook individual ones in a muffin pan or similar. You can even get pans specifically made for Yorkshires, where the individual sections are wider and somewhat shallower than a traditional muffin pan, making for lighter and puffier puds.
Here's the inevitable recipe:
275ml/½ pint milk
beef dripping (or cooking oil if not serving beef)
Mix together the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt.
Add the milk, stirring constantly, until you have a runny batter.
Leave this to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
Place 1cm/½in of beef dripping or oil in the bottom of each pudding mould, or if you are using a rectangular roasting tray, place 1cm/½in of beef dripping or oil across the bottom.
Heat the oil in the oven (at 240C/460F/Gas 8) for about ten minutes, until it is piping hot.
Remove the roasting tray from the oven, pour in the batter, and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, making sure not to open the oven door for the first 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with your roast.
Now, to my mind nothing goes better with Yorkshires than a good Sunday roast, be it beef, pork, turkey, lamb or chicken, but to be sure, as long as you have a good gravy, you're halfway there. Now go to it, folks!
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