I spent a summer in Europe after I graduated from high school. On my travels, I went to visit a friend in Leeds and her grandmother made Yorkshire pudding for dinner on a particularly cold day in August. I don’t remember what I was expecting, probably dessert, but I was smitten from the first bite. Traditionally Yorkshire pudding batter is spooned into a pan in which roast beef is being cooked, and is baked in the drippings. My friend’s grandmother made the pudding as a separate side dish in a glass baking bowl, then served it with chicken and gravy, kind of a British chicken and biscuits. Since I don’t often eat my fellow mammals and don’t want to eat fat-soaked starches, I have tried my best to recreate that long-ago pudding without the drippings, leaving roast beef for others. On that occasion, Granny greased her bowl with a liberal amount of rendered chicken fat;being squeamish, I used butter.
This dish is beautiful, sort of a large dinner popover. My husband was very enthusiastic about the taste. Just use a sharp knife to cut off whatever serving size you want, stick it on a plate or bowl and drown it in your favorite savory sauce. It will deflate a bit once you cut it, but has a nice crusty, chewy texture even when it is semi-flattened. I made no-fuss chicken and mushrooms in wine sauce to go with the pudding, but you can make whatever you like that creates gravy or sauce or stew.
My Yorkshire pudding follows Granny’s recipe, with a peek at the internet to see baking temperatures and times.
RECIPE: YORKSHIRE PUDDING
- 1 cup milk
- 2 or 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- two tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a medium (I used 2.5 quart) pyrex glass bowl in the oven as it preheats.
Whisk together the milk and eggs in a large bowl; use a mixer if you have one. Beat until foamy. Mix in the salt, then add the flour and beat until completely combined and lumpless. The batter will be liquid, but will coat a fork.
Remove the hot bowl from the oven when it comes up to temperature. Swirl two or three tablespoons of unsalted butter around the hot bowl with a fork, being sure to grease the entire surface.
Pour the batter into the hot, greased bowl and place back in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 20 more minutes until the top is golden and crusty, but the inside is still a bit custard-like.
Serve in the bowl or invert onto a platter and cut pieces off with a knife. Place a piece of the pudding on a plate or bowl and pour savory sauce or gravy over it.