I have been a WU member since September 2005. Now a retired teacher, enjoying my garden, writing, sketching, taking photos, and having great fun!
By: sandiquiz , 10:13 AM GMT on February 02, 2014
For the last six years, the first Sunday in February is designated "National Yorkshire Pudding Day."
Being a good Yorkshire lass, I could not allow it to pass without doing a blog on it. It's over half a century since I made my first Yorkshire pudding, watched over by my maternal grandma, whose ancestors have lived in Yorkshire for ten generations, making her an expert Yorkshire pudding maker!
It is thought that the traditional Yorkshire Pudding first got its name in 1747, when Hannah Glasse wrote a cookery book called "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Simple", which included the 'Yorkshire Pudding' recipe, although no-one really knows how far back the original recipe goes. It is believed that some form of 'batter' or 'dripping' pudding, as it was previously known, has been cooked for centuries.
The batter pudding was flatter than today's version and was cooked in a tin beneath the meat as it slowly roasted on a spit over a fire, allowing the pudding to catch all the savoury drippings from the meat. In the early days, the extra fat dripping from the meat gave flavour to the pudding.
The traditional Yorkshire pudding was usually served with onion gravy before the main roast dinner, in order to fill up hungry tummies so that less meat and vegetables were required for the main meal. This was the way my family always served them. A plate sized Yorkshire pudding for each of us, filled with onion gravy. The main dinner of roast beef, or indeed any roast meat, with roast potatoes and vegetables, would be served with the rest of the onion gravy!
Very occasionally, leftover Yorkshire pudding was eaten cold as a dessert course spread with a little jam or sprinkled with dried fruit.
Although this may seem strange, pancak batter is basically the same mixture.
In the 21st Century:
Today many people prefer to cook small individual-sized Yorkshire puddings, in a tin similar in size to a muffin tin but generally not quite so deep, rather than baking one plate sized, larger pudding. The smaller sized puddings are then eaten with the roast dinner, rather than before.
A 2008 ruling by the Royal Society of Chemistry states that.....
"A Yorkshire pudding cannot be called a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall"
Making Yorkshire Puddings
There are three main ingredients. (The quantity does not matter as long as the ratio stays the same.)
For a family of five or six -
8oz PLAIN flour **
1 pint of milk.**
(Either dripping, lard, duck fat or oil for the baking tins)
For less people
4oz of PLAIN flour
1/2 pint milk
And for yourself
2oz PLAIN flour
1/4 pint of milk
The eggs should be medium, not too large, and the milk not skimmed! (Not low fat)
** For American Measurements - 8 oz is the eqivilent to 1 and 3/4 cups and the pint of milk is 20 fluid ounces.
1. Place the flour and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper into a bowl.
2. Add the eggs, mixing in with a hand whisk, then gradually pour in the milk, mixing slowly to prevent lumps forming.
3. Cover the bowl with cling-film and chill in the fridge for several hours or even overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
5. Put a little of the fat or oil into the tins you are using - (if using a muffin tin only use the outer holes and not the middle ones to allow the heat to get to all the puddings.)
6. Place the tins in the oven until smoking hot.
7. Remove from the oven and quickly fill the hot tins with the batter. Return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and cook for a further 10 minutes to set the bottom of the puddings.
8. Remove from the oven and serve.
Five top tips
When cooking Yorkshire Puddings there are basically five things you have to remember :-
1 - Never use self-raising flour, or any kind of raising agent / baking powder. Using plain flour makes the puddings rise....which sounds double Dutch, but it does work!
2 - Make sure the batter is of the right consistency, like runny cream and as smooth as possible. Whisk by hand and not with an electric mixer, as this puts in too much air.
3 - Make sure you get the fat in the tins to almost smoking stage before adding the batter, so it begins to cook almost immediately.
4 - Never open the oven door during the cooking time to allow the puddings to rise and go brown without them collapsing.
5 - Enjoy whilst hot and crisp.
Plain Yorkshire pudding batter can be made into 'Toad in the Hole'.
This is a dish where sausages are placed in the batter before it goes into the oven to bake. Toad in the Hole is also sometimes referred to as 'The Poor Man's Roast', because it is filling, especially when served with vegetables such potatoes and carrots ..... and not forgetting the onion gravy! ***
***For the Recipe for my onion gravy see my reply to GG in #2
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