Christmas or not, roast beef demands Yorkshire pudding. In fact, for many, all roast dinners demand Yorkshire pudding. Cheap and easy to make, as long as the rules are followed carefully, a good Yorkshire pudding will earn you more brownie points than the rest of your culinary talents combined. Opinions on how a good Yorkshire should be can vary but we all agree on the fact that they must rise and preferably stay risen; at least until they reach the table and hopefully beyond.
Here in the kitchen of WCF we take our food very seriously and have used the same Yorkshire pudding recipe for years. Quite simply because it works without fail. Taken from Nigella Lawson in her heyday, who in turn took it from Jane Grigson in hers, it has the hallmark of approval and longevity on it's side.
The principles of hot fat and cold batter still apply; giving it the necessary oomph. This batter seems to work even better after a day in the fridge but you will need to re mix it and it may look a little grey.
Contrary to popular belief, there is such thing as too hot an oven and we always find the ordinary oven gives better results than the fan; although are sure that many may disagree. 200 to 220 degrees works best, depending on how accurate your oven temperature is, how well it distributes heat, and where in the oven you put the puddings. A high shelf is necessary, but slightly lower down may often be more practical. We like a crisp dry pudding that holds it shape so just above the centre shelf at 200C suits our oven.
Recipe for Yorkshire pudding - makes 12 puddings
a generous pinch of salt
280ml cold milk
250g plain flour
fat for cooking
Preheat your oven to 220C and place the shelf on the second highest rung of the oven.
- Beat the eggs with the milk and the pinch of salt.
- Allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour until you have a smooth batter the consistency of double cream.
- Place a teaspoon of fat into each of the tray compartments. Solid fat such as lard, dripping, or even Trex, works best for Yorkshire puddings. Oil can leave them a little oily.
- Heat the tray in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the fat is smoking hot.
- Fill the tray with batter, working as quickly as you can. A jug makes this a lot easier.
- Close the oven door and leave well alone for 20 minutes.
- At this high temperature, the puddings will look risen and ready but are probably soft enough in the centre to collapse when they come out. Leave them alone for as long as you can without burning them. Turn the heat down if you need to. The longer you leave them in there, the crisper they will become and the less likely to collapse.
- When you are satisfied that they can take no more, remove from the oven and serve immediately.