Introduction: Yorkshire Puddings - Your Way
So, some of you will say, "oh, yes, I know how to make them", well feel free to move on, however you may pick up a tip or two from here - I have been making them for 39 years (as of 18th August 2015).
OK, welcome to the rest of you. Some of you may say "What are Yorkshire puddings?".
You may notice that in the UK most of the wealth resides in the south, in and around London. Some of it moves north but a lot gets very tired in the Midlands, about Birmingham... Therefore, the Scottish are well know for their frugality. The good folk in Yorkshire are also frugal, but this is less well known; I have a clutch of cousins in and around Yorkshire so I have connections ;-)
"Well?" you may well ask. OK, how do you spin out the Sunday roast? In Yorkshire you tip the fat and juices off the meat about half an hour before the meat is ready and make Yorkshire puddings with it; the pudding takes up the flavour of the meat so Mum gets away with serving less meat, so there is some left over for Tuesday. Let the spuds (potatoes) roast in the with meat as well, and its win-win.
Of course, these puddings can be served with any meat, but traditionally it is roast beef.
Make them with clean lard or oil and you can serve them as a pudding if you like, say with jam...
This Instructable lets you into the secret of making Yorkshire puddings, I've billed it as "your way" because there are tips for how to make them either the traditional pudding texture, or really crisp and light, or something in between.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
You will need:
- Plain flour
- an egg or two
- Oil - sunflower or canola (rapeseed)
- Curry powder (controversial, I know)
...yes, not really many ingredients at all...which begs the question: what do they put in Yorkshire pudding packet mix if you still need to add an egg and milk???
Step 2: Utensils
You will need:
- dessert spoon to measure the flour with (...you will see scales in one image, but these are not necessary, I was calibrating my spoon!!!)
- tea spoon (5ml)
- fork, to beat out the lumps
- whisk, to whip air in
- mixing bowl or jug (I've tried both and the bowl wins hands-down!)
- sieve for the flour
- Yorkshire pudding/cup-cake/bun tin to cook them in (I'm making individual ones here)
Step 3: Making the Batter
Place the sieve over your mixing bowl.
For 12 good-sized individual puddings you will need 4 heaped tablespoons of flour (slightly over 4oz, 125g if you want the security of using scales!)
Then add about 1 teaspoon of curry powder - if you have it - if not you can use paprika, garlic granules/powder, onion salt, or whatever you fancy.
Add a pinch of salt ...well no more that 1/4 tea-spoon (if you are using onion or garlic salt you may not need any further added salt!)
Now sift this through the sieve into the bowl - use the tablespoon to break up any lumps of spice or flavouring.
Make a well in the centre and crack a large egg into this (or two small ones). Then add about 1/4 pint (5 fl oz, 150ml) milk and mix it together with the fork and work it well to get all the lumps out. Then beat well to get some air into the mix. Then put it into the refrigerator for about half an hour. So... you will have worked out that if you want your puddings ready with the rest of the meal you want to make them about 1 hour in advance...
Step 4: The Proof of the Pudding ...
First, prepare your tin ... place a small amount of oil in each cup then use something to thoroughly coat the inside of each compartment, I use a pastry brush, but grease proof paper could also be used. Make sure there is a small puddle in the bottom of each cup.
Wind the temperature of the oven up to 200C (400F) and put the tin in to heat up.... but not for too long ...you don't want to spoil your meal, you just need that tin to be really hot!
Get your batter out of the fridge and whip in about another 1/4 pint of milk and a tea spoon of oil. Now whip it again to get lots of air into it ... loads of small bubbles will cover the top like a foam, stir them into the batter then whip again.
Now quickly take the hot tin from the oven, pour the batter into the cups and get it back into the oven. Give it a minute or two to warm up then turn the oven back down to the cooking temperature of your other dishes.
The puddings will want between 25 and 35 minutes... please see the next step for more details...
Step 5: Puddings Your Way!
So... how do you like your puddings? Do you like them the traditional pudding texture (soft and creamy) or do you like them crisp and brittle? Or crisp, but a bit chewy? Well, as you can see from the images, I've been calibrating the process. The more batter you put in each cup, the more moist/soft each pudding will be. The longer you cook them the more moisture you drive out so the crisper they will be.
In the first two images you can see I have filled the left-most row to the brim, the next row are half full then the third row were about 1/4 full. In the oven at 185C (362F) each row rose up, the left-most over the top of the cups. I gave that tin 25 minutes only. The result was that the left-most row were soft and melting, the middle crisp and chewy the third row were really crisp, but not brittle-crisp.
The fifth image shows the result of filling the cups completely and giving them 35 minutes at 190C (375F), again they rise up, however do not collapse when the tin comes out of the oven. So, to get really crisp and crunchy "puddings" like my kids love you need to only fill each cup 1/4 full, then cook them at 190C (375F) for 35 minutes... but beware you don't want to be removing the joint from the oven to stand too soon in the cooking cycle... so what you could do is take the meat from the oven, cover it and keep it warm to let it stand and go juicy, while you cook your Yorkshire Puddings to perfection in a hot oven.
Later Note: A contributor from Yorkshire has kindly pointed out that traditional Yorkshire Puddings rise to 3 times their volume and are light and fluffy... unfortunately an aspiration a lot of restaurants fail to meet in my experience! To get them to rise that much you need to be whipping plenty of air into the batter, and not removing them from the oven until they have risen and set. One egg can absorb up to 1 pint of milk (just look a quiche!!!) so do not worry if you add "too much" milk; your puddings will be more fluffy than if you stick to just 1/2 pint for the crispy version.