Tips For Making Delicious Yorkshire Puddings
Once an obscure peasants’ food, Yorkshire pudding has risen to the rank of a traditional Sunday dinner dish. These days it’s even something of a gourmet item, as presented by chefs like Delia Smith and James Martin. Not too shabby for a simple savory dish made from nothing but the most basic ingredients. Its popularity speaks for its tastes, but there’s more to making a great Yorkshire than you might realise.
The Ideal Yorkshire Pudding?
As with any common, traditional dish, opinions vary on what makes the best Yorkshire pudding. Most fans can agree on a few essential qualities, though. While it should puff a bit, it shouldn’t be quite as high or light as, say, a popover. The inside should be soft, but not soggy, and the underside nice and crisp.
Originally Yorkshire pudding was served before the roast in the hope that people would fill up on that first, so the meat would go a bit further. But there’s an even better reason to eat it first, while it’s still piping hot. Straight out of the oven, the pudding is light and puffy, and the bottom is still satisfyingly crisp. As it cools, though, it tends to fall and get soggy on the bottom.
Yorkshire pudding batter consists of flour, eggs, and milk, and is traditionally baked in the drippings from roast beef. Some cooks, however, enhance the flavor with herbs like parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary. If you decide to experiment with herbs, use a light hand at first to avoid overpowering the flavor of the pudding and drippings.
While you can spice up your pudding with different ingredients, it’s the cooking technique that really makes the difference. These days you can buy pudding mix and even frozen Yorkshire puddings, but making it from scratch gives you more control over the process, so the outcome is usually better.
Yorkshire Pudding Cooking Tips
If there’s one thing that’s critical to making a delicious Yorkshire pudding, it’s temperature. This is not a delicate souffle that’s going to burn if it gets a degree too hot. High temperatures are a must. First of all, the cooking fat and the pan for the pudding must be hot before you add the batter. The fat should be smoking slightly and the batter should sizzle as it hits the fat in the pan.
What’s more, the pudding needs an oven temperature of about 225 C to cook properly. The trouble with this is that it’s too hot for the roast beef, so you don’t want them in the oven at the same time. One way around this is to remove the roast when it’s partially cooked and turn up the oven heat to cook the pudding. The pudding won’t take long and the roast will stay hot and continue to cook if covered.
Getting Yorkshire pudding to turn out just right takes a bit of practice, but there’s nothing complicated about it. Whether you’re planning on roast beef for your next Sunday dinner or you’re just in the mood for some old-fashioned comfort food, try making this pudding from scratch and you might be surprised how well it turns out.