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Yorkshire pudding

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Yorkshire pudding is a dish that originated in Yorkshire, England, and has attained wide popularity. It is made from batter and most often served with roast beef, chicken, or any meal in which there is gravy.

Left: Mini Yorkshire puddings, served as part of a traditional Sunday roast.

When wheat flour began to come into common use for making cakes and puddings, cooks in the north of England devised a means of making use of the fat that dropped into the dripping pan to cook a batter pudding while the meat roasted. In 1737 a recipe for 'A dripping pudding' was published in "The Whole Duty of a Woman":

 

Make a good batter as for pancakes; put in a hot toss-pan over the fire with a bit of butter to fry the bottom a little then put the pan and butter under a shoulder of mutton, instead of a dripping pan, keeping frequently shaking it by the handle and it will be light and savoury, and fit to take up when your mutton is enough; then turn it in a dish and serve it hot.

The Yorkshire pudding is a staple of the British Sunday lunch and in some cases is eaten as a separate course prior to the main meat dish. This was the traditional method of eating the pudding and is still common in parts of Yorkshire today. Because the rich gravy from the roast meat drippings was used up with the first course, the main meat and vegetable course was often served with a parsley or white sauce.

It is often claimed that the purpose of the dish was to provide a cheap way to fill the diners - the Yorkshire pudding being much cheaper than the other constituents of the meal - thus stretching a lesser amount of the more expensive ingredients as the Yorkshire pudding was traditionally served first.

Yorkshire pudding is cooked by pouring a thin batter made from flour, eggs, butter, milk and seasoning into a preheated greased baking tin containing very hot fat or oil and baking at very high heat until it has risen and browned. It is then served in slices or quarters, depending on the size of the tray in which it was cooked.

In recent years, it has become more popular to cook them in batches in bun tins (baked in muffin trays or baking tins like Popovers), making individual mini puddings.

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Traditionally, Yorkshire pudding is cooked in a large tin underneath a roasting joint of meat in order to catch the dripping fat and then cut appropriately. Yorkshire pudding may also be made in the same pan as the meat, after the meat has been cooked and moved to a serving platter, which also takes advantage of the meat fat that is left behind.

When baked with sausages (within the batter), the dish is known as toad in the hole.

In pub cuisine, Yorkshire puddings may be offered with a multitude of fillings, with the pudding acting as a bowl.

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe (Serves 6)

 
Milk 300 ml
Eggs

4

Flour 260 g
Salt, ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil (lard) 2 tbsp

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  • Heat the oven to the highest temperature possible, however, do not exceed 450° F/230° C or the fat may burn.

  • Pour the eggs and milk into a large mixing bowl and add the pinch of salt. Whisk thoroughly with an electric hand beater or hand whisk. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.

  • Gradually sieve the same volume of flour (as the eggs) into the milk and egg mixture, again using an electric hand beater or hand-whisk to create a lump free batter resembling thick cream, if there are any lumps pass the batter through a fine sieve.

  • Leave the batter to rest in the kitchen for a minimum of 30 minutes:

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  • Place a pea-sized piece of lard, dripping or 0.5 tsp vegetable oil in a 12-hole muffin tin or Yorkshire pudding tin (4 x 2"/5cm hole tin) and heat in the oven until the fat is smoking. Give the batter another good whisk adding 2 tbsps of cold water and fill a third of each section of the tin with batter and return quickly to the oven.

  • Leave to cook until golden brown approx 20 minutes. Repeat the last step again until all the batter is used up:

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Serving Yorkshire Pudding
  • In Yorkshire the pudding is traditionally served with gravy as a starter dish followed by the meat and vegetables. More often smaller puddings cooked in muffin tins are served alongside meat and vegetables.

  • Yorkshire pudding isn’t reserved only for Sunday lunch. A large pudding filled with a meaty stew or chili is a dish in its own right.

  • Cold left-over Yorkshire Puddings make a lovely snack with a little jam or honey.

  • Yorkshire Puddings do not reheat well, becoming brittle and dry.

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Recipe source: supercook.org

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