Yorkshire Puddings

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    8 × 10 cm

    puddings

Appears in

Served with roast beef, these must be the most famous of all our Great British dishes. A good basic Yorkshire pudding eats so well with a rich gravy, and these are perfect for that traditional lunch, served as individual puddings or larger puddings.

But why stop there? Yorkshire puddings can also have so many variations. The pudding mix itself can be flavoured with mustard, horseradish, fresh herbs and many other flavours. It really depends on what you want to serve them with. My favourite is a rich Onion Gravy. Another great classic is to make Toad in the Hole. This is, of course, sausages that have first been fried to give a golden brown colour and then baked in the Yorkshire batter. These can be made in one large tray or cooked in individual flan cases.

I also like to make the ‘complete roast’ as a starter in individual puddings. With this I use sautéed or pan-fried potatoes, black pudding, pieces of sausage and peas. Sit all these in the moulds and just pour the batter over. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and in 20-25 minutes time you have an almost complete meal! I like to serve these as a starter with a drop of the onion gravy.

Yorkshire puddings also eat very well with fish. For this I add the grated zest of 1 or 2 lemons to the batter along with some roughly chopped parsley. Cook them in the normal way and then serve them with roast cod, turbot or salmon with Fish Gravy and you have a real Alternative Great British Dish.

Another favourite of mine is to serve Yorkshire puddings with curry - does that sound odd? Well, they eat almost like a home-made naan bread, but with a lighter texture. All you need to do is add the grated zest of 2 limes and about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander; a pinch of curry powder can also be added to fire them up, perhaps make your own by mixing a pinch of turmeric with ground ginger, coriander and chilli. Once baked, serve them with Soured Cream, Lime and Mint Yoghurt. I can promise you they eat very well and create a lot of fun when you’ve cooked a home-made curry and rice for friends and then you bring a tray of Yorkshire puddings and sit them on the table! They certainly provide a good talking point. But just imagine when you break a piece of Yorkshire pudding, dip it into your curry and then spoon the soured cream on top - I told you it works.

But I still haven’t finished with ideas for this recipe. Yorkshire puddings also eat very well as sweets. Golden syrup can be added to the mix to give a rich batter. Once cooked, trickle more syrup over and serve with fresh cream or Vanilla Ice-cream. Or sweeten the batter by adding 25 g (1 oz) of caster or icing sugar, bake as individual cooked puds and serve with fresh cream. Serve with poached pears and Rich Chocolate Sauce, or apples with honey or golden syrup. They also eat very well if baked to an almost burnt edge on top. Once cooked and garnished with the fruit of your choice, dust heavily with icing sugar to give a bitter-sweet taste.

Here’s one more idea: how about Yorkshire Pudding ‘Suzette’, finishing the dish as you would for Crêpes Suzette - with reduced orange juice with caramelized caster sugar, Grand Marnier and maybe even a touch of brandy. Warm fresh orange segments in the sauce, spoon it over the puddings and serve the dish with clotted cream. So the next time you’re having a dinner party tell your friends it’s Yorkshire pudding for pudding!

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Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • 300-450 ml (10-15 fl oz) milk
  • Oil, lard or dripping for cooking

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Oil 8 × 10 cm (4 in) moulds or larger moulds and pre-heat in the oven until almost smoking.

Sift the flour with the salt. Add the eggs and egg white, if using. The egg white gives extra lift to the batter. Whisk in 300 ml (10 fl oz) of milk. This will give you a thick batter which works very well. To check the consistency, simply lift a spoon in and out. The batter should hold and coat the back of the spoon. If it seems to have congealed, then simply add the remaining milk. The batter is now ready to cook. It can be made up to 24 hours in advance and will still rise.

Once the fat in the moulds is almost smoking, it’s time to add the batter. Bake individual puddings in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes and large ones for 40-45 minutes.

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