When I was a little girl, my dad cooked a roast dinner every Sunday. Gradually, he stopped – maybe roasts got too expensive, or family schedules too complicated, I don’t know. But I do remember years where Sunday night meant The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, roast beef, and bath-before-bed.
We were a meat-and-four-veg family – typically potatoes, beans, corn and carrots, but sometimes squash, peas, beets, broccoli, spinach or chard featured instead. Whatever the vegetable, it was always boiled or steamed.
But I couldn’t have cared less about roast meat or boiled veg – for me, that dinner was all about the Yorkshire pudding. Never mind that dad’s Yorkshire puddings were often the size and density of hockey pucks – they were utterly delicious, and capable of holding a generous splash of gravy.
While I now know that airy puff is what you’re aiming for with Yorkshire puddings, I retain a fondness for the dense little numbers of my childhood. (I’ve noticed many recipes call for twice the number of eggs dad used, which would no doubt make a difference to the rise.)
Making Yorkshire puddings is pretty straightforward: chill the batter, heat the oil; take the roast out, crank the heat, pop the puddings in.
Despite measuring out the batter, some of my Yorkshire puddings puff like mushrooms, while others barely crest the rim of their cup.
“These look like they were made by eight different bakers,”my daughter observed, before reminding me that the Bake-off contestants were expected to make identical Yorkshire puddings. I blame my oven…;-)
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- two eggs
- 2 Tb sunflower oil, lard or dripping
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- Stir in the milk, then add the eggs. Beat until smooth and free from lumps.
- Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Divide the fat between eight muffin cups, and heat in the oven until the fat is smoking.
- Divide the batter equally between the cups (they should be about half full). Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown.