One of my earliest food memories (I was probably 3 or 4) is sitting at the table in my great-gran’s kitchen for Sunday lunch with a plate of Yorkshire puddings and gravy in front of me. Nothing else on the plate, just Yorkshire puddings and gravy. This was a traditional way of serving Sunday lunch, with Yorkshire puddings and gravy as a first course, to fill up the family to compensate for a shortage of meat. Not that there ever was a shortage of meat when I was little, it was only 20 years ago, but the tradition had stayed in my Gran’s house, and it was a tradition I was a massive fan of.
They’re not just for Sunday lunch either. I like with to pad out a casserole or stew as a lighter and healthier alternative to dumplings. Make a quick week-night roast buy cooking some chicken breast in foil in the oven and popping in a few home-made frozen Yorkshires. Cook some cocktail sausages to make toad-in-the-hole canapes with the mini Yorkshires. Some people even put jam on them and eat them as a dessert!
Perfectly risen Yorkshires with a soft bottom and crispy sides are my idea of heaven. They are so easy to make and much more tasty than sorry offerings supermarket freezers present. Yes, they may only take 3-5 minutes in the oven, but guess what – so can yours! Just make a big batch of real, home-made Yorkshires one weekend when you have plenty of time and freeze them yourself. And to make it especially easy my fool-proof recipe doesn’t require any weighing (though I have figured some out if you really want to get the scales out)!
This recipe is gives the timings for small bun tray Yorkshires, but the recipe works for giant Yorkshires (7″/18cm sandwich tin), medium Yorkshires (4-hole Yorkshire try), muffin tray Yorkshires, and mini Yorkshires (mini muffin tray). The timings just need adjusting slightly. The first stage is the same for all but the giant (8-9 minutes) and minis (3-4 minutes). The second stage is the same for most too, just check after the 10 minutes and see what you think. The giants will need at least 15 minutes, and check the minis after 7 minutes.
Ingredients: (These quantities make about 20 so cook them in batches. They can also be easily scaled up.)
Eggs – 3 large
Flour – 115g
Milk – 6fl.oz/170ml
Seasoning – Salt and pepper. Try adding some dried herbs for herby Yorkshires (oregano, thyme, sage, or tarragon work well).
Equipment: A glass or measuring jug, large mixing bowl, whisk or electric mixer, a 12-hole bun/Yorkshire pudding tray.
- Take a glass, any glass, or a measuring jug if you have one, crack the eggs into it, and make a note (mental or with a bit of felt tip) of where they come up to and pour in the mixing bowl.
- Rinse and dry the glass with kitchen towel, and add the same amount of flour to the glass and tip into the bowl. Whisk by hand or with a hand mixer until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the milk into the glass to the same point as the eggs and flour, pour half into the batter and stir in completely before adding the other half and stirring in.
- Pour the batter into the measuring jug if you’ve used one (this makes it really quick and easy to pour the batter into the trays) and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour or as long as you like.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C/Fan 220°C/Gas 9.
- Put a dab of dripping into each hole of the pudding trays and put it on the top shelf of the oven (at least 5 inches from the top though, or the Yorkshire can scrape against the top of the oven, especially the giant ones). Remove the trays when the fat is smoking hot. If the melted dripping doesn’t coat the bottom of each hole add a bit more dripping and put back in the oven until smoking hot again.
- Fill the trays about ½-¾ full, put in the oven and cook for 6 minutes. Don’t open the oven door during this time.
- Still don’t open the door! Turn the oven down to 180°C/Fan 165°C/Gas 4.
- After 10 minutes you can open the door and see if the Yorkshires are cooked, they might need a few more minutes.