Saturday, January 18, 2014

Proper English Yorkshire Pudding

DEBORAH CROMBIE:  In anticipation of tomorrow night's episode of Downton Abbey, as well as Episode 1 of Sherlock, Series 3 (in the US) we have a real treat for tomorrow's JRW--Charles Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge is going to visit Downton Abbey and solve a very mysterious crime!

To whet our appetites even more, I thought we could plan our Sunday around a roast with very proper Yorkshire Puddings.  Afterwards, you can have your mince tarts, and then curl up with your sherry for an evening of British telly.

Would you believe I had never made Yorkshire pudding until this last year, when my friend convinced me to try the recipe in Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook (which I had convinced her to buy. So what goes around, comes around.) Yorkshire pudding had always sounded daunting to me, and to be honest, the puddings I'd had in English restaurants had been a bit soggy and tough.

Oh, the revelation!  The delight! Jamie's puddings are light and fluffy and practically melt in your mouth.  And they are easy peasy!  I also discovered that as good as they are with savories like roast beef or lamb, they are perhaps even better for breakfast the next day, reheated and served with a dab of jam.  Good English jam, of course.

Here is Jamie's recipe.  It serves 12, but believe me, if you have leftovers, you'll be hoarding them for breakfast.

3 eggs, preferably free-range or organic
1 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
scant 1 1/4  cups milk
vegetable oil (I use canola.)

Whisk the eggs, flour, salt, and milk together really well in a bowl to make your batter. Pour the batter into a jug and let it rest to one side for 30 minutes before you use it--this helps to make it smoother, giving you wonderfully light and crispy puddings.

Turn the oven up to 475 F and let it preheat fully. As it's warming up, put a muffin pan on a cookie sheet and place on the top shelf of the oven. When the oven is up to temperature, carefully remove the pan and sheet, close the oven door, and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to each muffin hole in the muffin pan. Pop the pan and sheet back into the oven for 5 minutes until the oil is smoking hot.

Open the oven door and slide the rack with the pan and sheet on it halfway out. Quickly fill each muffin hole with batter, then slide the rack carefully back into the oven. Leave the oven door shut for at least 15 minutes, and don't open it to check on how the Yorkshires are doing, otherwise they'll end up all sunken.

After 15 minutes, the Yorkshires will be crisp and golden with a soft, fluffy center. If you prefer them to be crispy all the way through, turn the oven down to 300 F and cook 10 more minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven once the puddings are crisp, golden, and puffed up. Serve as soon as possible with your roast beef and gravy--or anything else you fancy...

I cooked them the way Jamie recommends, still fluffy in the center, and highly recommend it!

So, REDS and READERS, have you ever made Yorkshire puddings?   Did they turn out as well as Jamie's?

And what will you be doing to get you in the mood for a great night of British telly?


  1. I’ve definitely made Yorkshire pudding [and it always comes out perfect], but you’ve made this recipe sound so wonderful that now I’ve got to try it! Generally there’s none left over, so perhaps I’ll make some just to have with jam for breakfast . . . .
    As for what I’m doing to get in the mood for watching a great night of British telly, I’m going to make a currant cake to have with my tea while I enjoy watching Sherlock and Downton Abbey . . . .

  2. Mmmmm. Popovers. Right out of the oven, drizzled with honey and slatered with butter. The all time perfect breakfast. (Reading this and heading into the kitchen.)

  3. I have never made Yorkshire pudding, but now I will. Yum!

  4. I like Jack's answer!

    My daughter's mother-in-law always made Yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner. As she passed away a year ago, I doubt anyone will make them again, although Sunday roast is a big deal in their family. My daughter and her husband lived in London for nine months, and they got in the habit of either going out for Sunday roast or making it at home, but no pudding required.

    Having turned gluten-free, I will resist temptation, but those sound delicious.

  5. W HAVE made sYorkshire pudding! It's our go-to for the holidays--we have prime rib and YP on the big dinner nights when we don't have rack of lamb.

    It's always a scary moment with the hot grease! But worth it.

    CANNNOT wait for tomorrow..I do into see how Sherlock escaped .I do have some theories.. don't you?

  6. Tried a few years ago for the holidays and set the oiled pan on fire! A little scared to try again....

  7. Back in the days when a roast was a weekly staple of our diet I always made Yorkshire pudding with roast beef, and pretty much the way Jamie Oliver does. I've always liked the little individual ones rather than the big kind, but my family always made one big dish--too easy to go soggy.

  8. I've made them but so long ago! Time to try them again. We had prime rib for Christmas and these would have been perfect. Love the idea of having them for breakfast the next day! Yum!

  9. I've never made Yorkshire pudding, but this recipe begs to be tried. Quite honestly, I was expecting one of those "easy" recipes that seem easy only to people who have dabbled in this food before. I was so pleasantly surprised, as it indeed appears to be "elementary, my dear Watson."

    Looking forward to Downton Abbey tomorrow night. I'm embarrassed to say that I am arriving quite late at the party for Sherlock, as I plan to start watching it with tomorrow's night opening show for season 3, but I still have to go back and watch the first two seasons (hanging my head in shame).

    Jack, you are too funny. Joan, would you be willing to post your recipe for currant cake?

  10. Oh, I must try this, really. I have had YP very rarely,and certainly not in the last 40 years or so, but I remember when I did, it was lovely (but I don't think it can be saved until tomorrow, can it?)

    I love the recipe... Free range or organic eggs, canola oil. Mrs Bridges would have scorned such fal-lals, as would Mrs Patmore. Nothing but artery-hardening drippings from the roast, I'm sure.

    And now to confess.... I have finally given up on DA. Sorry, but I just can't bring myself to care any more. Self-absorbed lot of-- no, I won't go there, or I might be banned from JRW.

    So I'll make the YP (with canola oil) and put on my DVD of Gaudy Night, Testament of Youth or 84 Charing Cross Road (which see for Helene Hanff's celebration of Yorkshire Pud).

  11. I have to admit that while I have made pot roast many times, I've never made proper English roast beef. So I'm going to give it a try, a la Jamie.

    This particular Jamie Oliver cookbook is designed for people who don't know how to cook at all--the folks who live on fast food and frozen dinners.

    While there are gaps in my culinary education (roast beeef!) I've been cooking since I left home for college (so that means I've been cooking a really long time...) but interestingly, this cookbooks has become one of my favorite, if not THE favorite. You should see my copy--it's filled with post-its stuck on recipes I've tried and loved or recipes I want to try. Most of the recipes are simple but interesting--and fast, which is my biggest requirement for weeknight dinners.

    Enjoy your puds!

  12. Susan D, you won't be banned! I actually tend to agree with you. But the Todds and I thought we'd have a little fun with it tomorrow, so tune into JRW even if you don't intend to watch DA.

  13. I don't like roast beef so I've never bothered making it, and I've never had YP. This recipe sounds super easy, though, so I might just make it to have with a Saturday breakfast!

    Red Susan: A few years back when I was broiling salmon, something I have done many, many times, I set my broiler on fire, so I can sympathize with you about setting an oiled pan on fire!

    Susan D: Because I don't have TV, I wait until the end of the season, and then purchase the DVDs of DA. I started watching the program while visiting a sister in another state. I told my sister that I didn't know if I ever wanted to watch it again after the way last season ended. She agreed with me. Then her daughter found out how they could begin watching this season's episodes on the computer about three weeks ago. My sister now tells me she's enjoying it more than she did last year - but she thinks that I might have some issues with the writers of this year's episodes, a comment that really intrigues me! So now I don't know what to do!

  14. I've never made YP either, but I did used to make popovers. Are they identical? anyway, I'm with Hallie--butter and honey!

    I won't spoil anything for those who aren't up to date on DA, but last week's episode was very intense!

  15. I can't believe how this group turns me on to new recipes and cookbooks. Debs' comment, "This particular Jamie Oliver cookbook is designed for people who don't know how to cook at all--the folks who live on fast food and frozen dinners." just sold another copy of the man's cookbook. sigh.

  16. Kaye Barley, that is Jamie's mission--to get people to cook fresh, good quality food! Some of the cookbooks have considerably more complicated recipes, and the ones I've made are delicious. But Jamie's Food Revolution is the one I go to when I'm wondering what on earth I'm going to fix for dinner this week.

  17. Deb, you've sold another of Jamie's Food Revolution cookbooks. I may have to buy two to keep my daughter from borrowing mine.

  18. Debs, yes I have made Yorkshire pudding a number of times. Sometimes it was great and fabulous crispy. Sometimes it was gummy yuck. But now I know why mine has failed so often. I was failing at it so frequently that I haven't made it in a long time. I can't thank you enough for this post today, because now I know that I had the heat right. When I got it right it was an accident. All the other parts of the recipe and technique I had down. I knew the oil had to be very hot. What I had never caught onto was how I was losing heat before adding the batter to the cups. So—thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now I have to order a roast, so I'll be ready for tomorrow night. xoxoxo

  19. Mmmm should have said... now I know that I did not have the heat right.

    Can't blame my speech-to-text this time!

  20. I'll have to check out the cookbook. Don't have any "English" style food around. I guess I'll just have a Bushmills to drink.

  21. Can't wait to try them - thanks for the recipe, Deb!
    Vegetarian here, so they'll have to go with the tofu - or the breakfast suggestions.

  22. Nancy, the puds should be lovely with a veggie entry, too.

    Reine, when I poured the oil into the muffin cups, I was afraid the puddings were going to be really icky and greasy. But the trick of putting the oiled cups back in the over BEFORE adding the batter works a treat. They puds don't absorb much of the oil at all, and you take them out of the muffin pan as soon as they're done so they don't soak it up as they cool.

  23. Have any of you Yorkshire pudding lovers ever made small Yorkist with a small piece of roast beef in center ,and a dollop of hollandaise sauce,
    As a starter with a glass of burgundy ? Delish!

  24. Who's being anonymous with the mini-Yorkies? that sounds DELICIOUS!!

  25. Kathy:
    Sorry to be so late in replying; we are just in from our marathon drive home from Norfolk. Here's the currant cake recipe [a variation on currant buns for afternoon tea]:

    Currant Cake with Brandy Glaze

    Pour 5 tablespoons brandy over 1-1/2 cups currants; soak the currants for ten to fifteen minutes.

    Grease with shortening, then flour two 8-1/2 inch by 4-1/2 inch loaf pans; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Sift, then measure 1/2 cup flour; drain plumped currants, then stir them into the flour, making certain all currants are coated; set aside.

    Sift, then measure 3-1/2 cups flour; resift with:
    1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground salt; set aside.

    Cream until light:
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened; 2 cups sugar
    Beat in, one at a time, 5 eggs [beat just until yolk disappears, then add next egg]; add 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until light.

    Stir flour mixture into butter/egg mixture; beat just until thoroughly mixed; fold in floured currants.

    Divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans; bake in preheated oven for about one hour, until cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

    To make brandy glaze, mix together until smooth:
    1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon brandy, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Cool currant cake in pan for ten to fifteen minutes; remove from pan and cool completely; drizzle with brandy glaze.

  26. Debs, yes it's that second pan with oil back-in-the-oven heating that I missed. The time that I ended up with icky yucky gummy puddings must've been the times when the oil wasn't hot enough. A second pop back in the oven before adding the batter would have done it. You have saved my family from future Yorkshire pudding yuck festivals.

  27. Hank. yes the starter Yorkies are very tasty, Go over in a big way .and good with a dollop of horseradish,also.

  28. I have never made nor had Yorkshire pudding, but always wanted to try it = will try next time I make a roast

    Peg Cochran - when you have them for leftover at breakfast, how do you serve them, sausage gravy, butter, jam ????

    Thanks for sharing recipe Debs - I will have to try it

  29. Auntie-Mom makes Yorkshire pudding with the fat from the roast. She says, "Once a year won't kill you." She serves it with a sour cream horseradish sauce and au jus. We dip pieces of beef and pudding in the broth and horseradish sauce, in some of us put both on our baked potato. It's wicked.