Let’s call Yorkshire pudding
A fortunate blunder:
It’s a sort of popover
That turned and popped under.
National Yorkshire Pudding Day and My Perfect Yorkies. The Yorkshire pudding it is said can only successfully be made by someone from that august county of England. My mum is from Yorkshire and makes wonderful Yorkshire’s. Perhaps the skill is inherited because I am pretty proud of most of my attempts. A Yorkshire pudding is made from a milk, egg, and flour batter. This was originally poured into a tin set under the roasting joint. The pudding cooked in the hot meat fat and absorbed any juices from the roast. A large slice was served to each dinner with meat gravy before the main course. The meat and vegetables then followed usually served with a parsley or white onion sauce.
The first recorded Yorkshire Pudding Recipe
In 1747 in ‘ The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy ‘ by Hannah Glasse, one of the first English female cookery writers, there is a recipe for Yorkshire pudding. This is the first time a batter or dripping pudding is recorded with the name. Recipes for a flatter less aerated dish had been cooked for many years previously. This dripping pudding was first mentioned ten years earlier. It was in a rather racy lifestyle book for its day. With tips on how to be a single woman called ‘The Whole Duty of a Woman’. Traditionally any leftover pudding could be eaten as a dessert with sugar or syrup.
The Yorkshire Pudding or Popover?
The Yorkshire pudding recipe popped over to America ( excuse the pun ). The first recipe for a Popover is recorded in ‘ Practical Cooking ‘ published in 1876 by M. N. Henderson. Popovers may be served either as a sweet, topped with fruit and whipped cream or for breakfast. With afternoon tea or with meats at lunch and dinner. Popovers tend to be individually baked in muffin tins and often include herbs or garlic in the recipe. Other popular variations replaced some of the flour with pumpkin puree. The name popover originated from the fact that the cooked batter swells or pops over the top of the baking tin.
The Science bit
In 2008 the Royal Society of Chemistry held a competition carried out to create a vouchsafe Yorkshire Pudding recipe. It was decided that a true Yorkshire Pudding cannot be less than four inches tall. They examined the effects of temperature, ingredients, and even altitude in the search for perfection. My knowledge of chemistry is limited to an ancient ‘ A ‘ level but quite simply the heat causes the two raising agents, the egg and whisked in air, to expand the batter mix. My recipe for success is simple. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature and get the fat in your baking tray smoking hot.
For the full Royal Society of Chemistry press release
Yorkshire Pudding Top Tip
In the recipe I have suggested you use beef dripping but you can use duck or goose fat. Animal fats have a a higher smoking point than vegetable oils and reach higher temperatures without burning. This helps the batter rise quickly.
My Perfect Yorkshire Puddings
- Muffin trays or shallow Yorkshire Pudding tins
- 90 gr Plain Flour
- 1 Fresh free-range Egg
- 240-270 ml half full fat Milk / half Water
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- A good pinch Freshly ground White Pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons Beef Dripping
- Preheat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7.
- Place a damp cloth on your work surface to stop your mixing bowl slipping. Sieve the flour, pepper, and salt into your bowl, make a well in the middle and add the egg.
- Start to beat together then gradually add the milk / water. Continue adding the milk/ water until the batter is smooth and the consistency of pouring cream.
- Leave the mixture to stand for ten minutes.
- While the mixture stands divide the beef dripping into Yorkshire Pudding tins and place the tins in the oven until the fat starts to smoke.
- Give the batter a final stir and pour quickly into the tins.
- Put them back in the oven and cook until well risen and golden brown, this will take about fifteen to twenty-five minutes depending on the size of your tin.