What Sunday roast would be complete without light as air, gravy smothered Yorkshire Puddings? A British favourite, they are created from a basic batter which when baked at high heat expand up into crispy puff-ball like side dishes complete with a hollow centre. Traditionally served with roast beef or lamb and with accompanying gravy, they are a staple of the British weekend experience. Though many people opt to buy them frozen and heat them up in the oven they're really very easy to make and I really encourage everyone to try it at least once. I guarantee that if you try the recipe below you'll be not only astounded at their simplicity but also their divine taste. As with anything these days, shop bought is generally lower in quality and flavour than anything you can make at home!
Though essentially simple to make, it literally took me several years to discover what I consider to be the easiest and best recipe for Yorshire puddings. And to be perfectly honest, my first couple of tries were disasters - though I blame my old oven for that! I've found that the important tricks of the trade are in the pan you choose to make your puddings in, the correct ratio of ingredients, having a very hot oven and being quick in filling the pans.
Though other Yorkshire Puddings you might have had or seen resemble perfect little cups, you'll notice that mine are much puffier and somewhat asymmetrical. No matter that, they are absolutely delicious and in my opinion unequaled in flavour and texture.
Equal volume of flour to eggs
Equal volume of milk to eggs
Pinch to 1/4 tsp Sea Salt - depending on preference
2 Tbsp Roast drippings or Olive Oil
1. Though many people will want to accompany their Yorkshire Puddings with roast, it is very easy to make a vegetarian version using olive oil and serve them up with a lovely mushroom gravy. For those who are making the carnivorous version, the first step you'll need to do is prepare your meat and begin roasting it in the oven.
2. Crack your eggs into a glass measuring cup and measure the volume - in this case my four eggs equal about 3/4 of a cup. Eggs come in many different sizes so measuring them initially will ensure that you have the proper amounts of flour and milk in your recipe.
3. Now place your eggs with equal volume of milk (3/4 cup in this case) into a mixing bowl and add the sea salt. Whisk thoroughly and then leave to stand for ten minutes.
4. Gradually add the same volume of flour (3/4 cup in this case) into the mixing bowl and beat again until the batter resembles thick cream. If there are any lumps remaining that you really can't get out then pass the batter through a fine-mesh strainer/sieve. Now leave the batter to rest at room temperature for at least thirty minutes - longer if possible.
5. When your roast has hit about 60-65°C/140-150°F, take it out of the oven, pour off the drippings and then insulate the roast with tin foil. It's residual heat will continue cooking it for the next ten-twenty minutes out of the oven and will also give you time to prepare your gravy and Yorkshire Puddings.
6. Crank the heat up on your oven to 230°C/450°F - but no hotter since the fat might burn at higher temperatures.
7. Using an ordinary muffin tin, pour about 1/4 tsp of fat or oil into each cavity. If you only have enough drippings left to make the gravy then just use olive oil like I've done this time. When the oven has hit the desired temperature, place this pan into the oven to get the fat/oil super hot and slightly smoking. It will take around a minute or two so hang around the oven and keep an eye on it.
8. When the oil is smoking hot, quickly, but safely, take the pan out of the oven and fill each cavity about 1/3 of the way full with your batter and quickly place the pan back in the oven. If you're taking pictures like I have for this blog post you really have to move like superwoman!
9. Leave the batter to cook and puff up for about twenty minutes using a conventional oven or as little as ten to fifteen minutes with a fan assisted oven. They should be deep golden brown on top and not deflate so much when taken away from the heat. And while they're in the oven you should have enough time to whip up a rich gravy and steamed veggies and towards the end of the time you can slice your roast as well.
10. Serve the puddings up on a plate with slices of roast, veggies of your choice and with a rich gravy over the top ~ Enjoy :)