Unsurprisingly, Yorkshire puddings are taken very seriously up here. Not long after I moved up here, I invested in a lightweight Yorkshire pudding pan or tray or whatever you want to call it: like a fairy cake tray, but with four large dips instead of lots of little ones. I’ve never used it though, because I found that the key to making a great Yorkshire pudding – one that rises nice and high in the oven, and is cooked through without being too dry – is as much about the pan as it is about the recipe.
1) Use the thickest, heaviest pan or pot you own.
The blue pan in the picture is a cast iron “Indian wok”, whatever that may be. Not very thrifty in that it’s Le Creuset; thrifty in that it was a gift about 10 years ago :). It goes on the hob or in the oven and, despite being the size of a small cereal bowl, is pretty frickin heavy.
2) Heat it in the oven beforehand, with a dash of dripping or cooking oil, for as long as you dare….
I drizzle a little olive oil into the bottom of the empty pan and stick it in with the roast potatoes et al for half an hour before whipping it out, pouring in the batter and returning it to the oven ASAP.
Today’s Yorkshire pudding spent about 25 minutes in the oven. To be honest it could have risen a lot more if I had left it in for another 5-10 minutes – I’ve had them nudging the oven ceiling before – but it was cooked through and the brussels sprouts I was roasting today (an experiment) were beginning to char, so the whole lot came out.
The recipe I use comes from a Chinese cook called Tin Sung Yang, via the cookery writer Jane Grigson, via Nigella Lawson. From How To Eat:
“For years it was held to have a mystery ingredient – tai luk sauce – until, Jane Grigson reports, a niece of hers found that this was a Chinese joke. Nevertheless, the recipe is different from normal: it works backwards. That’s to say, you mix the eggs and milk and then stir in the flour, rather than making a well in the flour and adding the eggs and milk: and it works triumphantly; it billows up into a gloriously copper crown of a cushion.”
Yorkshire pudding recipe:
300 ml milk
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Beat the milk, eggs and salt together.
2. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
3. Whisk in the flour.
4. Add mixture to super-hot pan.
5. Cook for 25-35 minutes. No need to whack the oven temperature up high, unless you want to: 220’C, or whatever you’re cooking the rest of the roast at, should be fine.
This quantity requires a large pan and serves 4-6. I halve the ingredients and cook this in a small pan, for 2-3.
I love Yorkshire pudding but I’m sure I don’t have the monopoly on Yorkshire pudding secrets – especially since I’m an Essex transplant! – so if you have any good Yorkshire pudding tips, please share them!