Giant Yorkshire Puddings
There are two secrets to making great Yorkshires, and I will share them with you…..a little later :).
In case you missed my earlier post on Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding is traditionally served with roast beef. I understand that in England it was made in a square cake pan and the middle squares were kind of wet and pudding-like, hence the name Yorkshire “Pudding”. But I have only ever had them made in muffin tins, so that each one is puffed and crisp, with a hollow centre and just a hint of softer texture in the middle. I really love them this way, and have always made them like this.
My Nana’s sister, Aunt Vi, made these for us once when we went out to Drumheller for a visit. I’d had Yorkshires before (English heritage and all that), but her’s seemed so much bigger and better. So, I asked her for her recipe. It turns out though, that it isn’t so much the recipe that you use, but the way you do it that counts. The recipe only has four ingredients: eggs, milk, salt, and flour. It makes a thin batter that is cooked with a good amount of fat at the bottom of the pan, and at a high temperature. If you have done it right, the batter will puff up way past the top of the pan, and will have a sunken spot and a hole in the middle. It is supposed to be that way. That is where you put your gravy. The brown puffed up part should be nice and light and crisp, and the middle part is kind of rubbery. I know – it doesn’t sound so appetising, but it’s good believe me. Served fresh out of the oven, you put them on your plate and fill them up with gravy (yum, yum!). If you have left-overs, the next morning you heat them up in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes (so you don’t lose the crispiness), and serve them with jam for breakfast.
OK, now for the two secrets:
First, you have to make sure to beat the eggs really, really well. You can use your electric mixer, or a blender, or elbow grease and a whisk. I’d recommend the mixer or blender. Then, beat in the milk, and beat that all together really really well, until it looks foamy or frothy. Then you add your salt and flour and beat just till smooth.
The second secret is to pre-heat your pan (I use a muffin time) at a very high temperature, WITH about 2 tsps of oil in the bottom of each cup. You don’t really have to measure – you can just eyeball it. Yes, your pan will be smoking even before you start cooking these things. That is why it’s best to use an oil with a high smoking point, like safflower or peanut oil if you have it. Honestly though, I just use canola oil, and I add a touch of bacon grease or margarine for flavor. Take the smokin’ hot pan out of the oven, and ladle or pour the batter evenly into each cup. The batter should sizzle and start to puff up a little as soon as it hits the hot oil in the pan. That is how you know that your pan is hot enough. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture of this stage – maybe next time).
Then all you have left to do is to pop them back into the oven and wait for 25 to 30 minutes. Use this time to make your gravy. Make lots, you’ll need it!
For The Recipe: Printer Friendly Version
Giant Yorkshire Puddings
Make up the batter just before your roast of beef is ready to take out of the oven. Then crank up the heat in the oven, and cook up these little beauties!
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
- Put about 2 tsp oil in bottom of each cup of muffin pan. (Safflower, peanut, or canola. You can add a bit of bacon grease or margarine as well for flavor if you like.)
- Preheat muffin pan and oil in oven for at least 5 minutes, or until smokin’ hot.
- Beat eggs really well. Add milk and beat well again until frothy. Add salt and flour, and beat until smooth.
- CAREFULLY remove muffin tin from oven, set it on the top of the stove, and fill muffin cups with batter.
- Put back in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t open the oven door before then or they won’t rise. They should be puffed and golden brown. Serve with roast beef and gravy. Leftovers are good heated in the oven (to preserve crispiness) and served with good home-made jam.