I am Yorkshire born and bred, but until recently I’d never made Yorkshire puddings myself. I think this is because when I was growing up, Sundays brought with them a special kind of anxiety: would the puddings rise this week? It was even worse if we had company. The shame that would attach if that week’s batch loitered limply in the tin, as opposed to floating puffy and crisp on the plate! More often than not they were perfect, but it seemed as if the magic secret ingredient – whisked in with the egg, flour and milk - was actually the worry itself.
Recently when visiting home for Sunday lunch I noticed my Mum was much less stressed than usual. What was the cause of the diminished anxiety? “I’ve started weighing the flour. Two ounces for each egg. Works every time.” What? A lifetime’s worth of uncertainty swept away, just like that?! It made me realise this was not rocket science, not some weird alchemy, just the simple application of a formula. I could do it, too. And given that my children have always LOVED Granny’s Yorkshires, it seemed worth a go.
The ‘traditional Sunday lunch’ keeps the food separatists happy, while being hearty and satisfying enough for parents, too. I don’t insist on serving the Yorkshires in the traditional way (that is, before the meat, as a starter), but that makes a nice change every now and again. Along with a roast beast, some roast potatoes and a couple of veggies, this is perfect family food.
Makes 12 small puddings
110g plain flour
175ml milk (you may need a little extra)
pinch of salt
Whisk together the flour, eggs, milk and salt until it the mixture is lump-free, and just slightly thicker than single cream. Some people say that you should do this ahead of time and leave the mixture to stand (my Mum always does this) but I have to be honest and say I’m not sure what this accomplishes. When you’re ready to cook them (ideally while the meat is resting), crank up the oven to 220C. Get your Yorkshire pudding tin (I just use a 12-hole muffin tin) and place a little fingernail-sized piece of lard in the bottom of each hole. Put the tin in the oven until the lard is really, really hot, then divide the batter between the holes and put the tin back into the oven for 20 minutes or until it’s puffed up and golden brown. Serve with lashings of gravy.
Family friendliness rating: This one’s a winner with my crew
Cleanup rating: Fine, especially since you’re not supposed to even wash Yorkshire pudding tins!
Can I freeze it? I expect so – can Aunt Bessie be wrong? I haven’t tried it, though.