Many years ago when I was a young child I used to watch in fascination whenever my mother cooked or baked. Her Yorkshire pudding recipe was in her head, she never measured ingredients, just seemed to have a sense of the perfect amounts. On Sundays we always had a roast and whether that roast was beef, lamb, pork, chicken or even turkey she always made Yorkshire puddings. What else would a Yorkshire lady make to compliment the Sunday roast?
Although mum never measured ingredients everything that she made always turned out delicious and perfect. Her Yorkshires always rose just right, crispy around the edges and leaving a hollow to collect the gravy in and they were always that lovely golden colour that we associate with Yorkshire puddings.
Traditionally Yorkshire puddings were a filler dish served with onion gravy before the main roast course in households that could not afford a lot of meat, but as far back as I can remember Yorkshires have been an integral part of the main course.
Although originating in Yorkshire they are popular all over the country, indeed the world. There are few places that you can go that you will not find the legend ‘Traditional British Sunday Dinner’ or indeed lunch on offer. The traditional British Sunday dinner always includes Yorkshire pudding as an integral part of the meal.
Although I prefer to make my own Yorkshire puddings, frozen cooked or uncooked versions are easily available and they taste almost as good. You can also get powdered batter mix where you just need to add milk or water, not quite as good in my opinion.
I should perhaps have used ready-made versions the first time that I attempted to make Yorkshire puddings. Newly married I was trying to impress my husband with a lovely Sunday lunch complete with Yorkshires. I did not have a recipe and tried to emulate my mother’s non-measuring method. An hour passed and my Yorkshire pudding still was not cooked. We ate the dinner but had to pass on the Yorkshires because I had added twice as much milk as necessary. I made sure that I used a recipe after that!
Yorkshire Pudding Recipe
This is the recipe that I use, a traditional pouring batter recipe that can be used for pancakes as well as Yorkshire pudding.
4oz (100g) Plain Flour
1 medium sized egg
pinch of salt
½ pint (280ml) of milk (or mixture of milk and water)
2oz (50g) lard/fat or 2 tablespoons of oil – as an healthier alternative I use vegetable or sunflower oil, or you can use fat from the meat.
Mix the flour and salt in a basin and make a hollow in middle. Drop the egg into the hollow and stir in with a wooden spoon. Add the milk (milk and water) gradually, stirring all of the time until the flour is worked in. Add rest of liquid and beat well. The end result should have a similar consistency to single cream.
Melt the fat in cooking tin until spitting hot. Can be one large tin square, rectangular, round or small tins or a bun tin. When the fat is hot enough pour in the batter just half filling small tins, patty tins or bun tins. Cook at 450F, 230C or gas mark 8. Large tins for about 30 minutes, small tins or bun tins 15 – 20 minutes.
When cooked they should turn out puffy, golden and crispy on the outside and sunken in the middle. Some people let the fat from the meat drip on to the Yorkshire puddings while cooking.
A popular addition to menus in recent years in restaurants, cafes and bars is a king size or giant Yorkshire pudding filled with onion gravy or different meat, vegetable and gravy concoctions. This dish is served as a separate course emulating the original filler course.
You can even buy delicious smaller Yorkshire puddings filled with steak in one large chain store, rather like traditional steak and kidney puddings but made with batter mix.
Another popular meal made with Yorkshire pudding batter is Toad in the Hole. This is a tasty low cost meal with sausages cooked in the batter. An alternative there is to use lamb chops.
Yorkshire Pudding Facts
The first known Yorkshire Pudding Recipe was published in 1737 in ‘The Whole Duty Of A Woman’ and named ‘A Dripping Pudding’. Eight years later a lady named Hannah Glasse published it in her Art of Cookery as Yorkshire Pudding.
The first British Yorkshire Pudding day was on February 3rd 2008 and in future the celebrations will be on the first Sunday of every February.
On Sunday 11th June 2000 the first Great Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race was held in Brawby in North Yorkshire. The organiser Simon Thackray arranged for 6 3ft in diameter Yorkshire puddings to be baked coated with yacht varnish. Each ‘boat’ used up 50 eggs.
Check out the Yorkshire Pudding Recipe blog where you can get more delicious Yorkshire Pudding Recipes.