Yorkshire puddings are similar to popovers. There are differences though, for example, Yorkshire puddings are usually unflavored and are intended to be eaten with roasted meat and gravy, whereas popovers can have a variety of additions, including herbs, cheese and garlic etc, and are often eaten as a bread roll. Some loonies actually buy “special” pans to make popovers?!?!?!
Anyhow… I’ve was craving a plate of roast beef (sorry vegan/vegetarian friends), roasted root vegetables, crisp roast potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire puddings at 9 AM one work day. After that, I just could not get them out of my head. It was the thought of biting into the crunchy exterior to reveal the light and fluffy interior, and using them to mop up gravy from my plate.
The funniest thing is that we didn’t have Sunday roasts whilst growing up, nor did I even eat Yorkshire puddings as a kid. The first time I tried it was in 1999, when I went for lunch at University. As if this wasn’t a strange enough occurrence already! They had huge Yorkshire puddings filled with meat and gravy. It was the only option that was barely appetizing to me. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had, in fact, it was pretty dire. But I was determined to know what the big fuss was about. Many months went by when I never had another Yorkshire pudding, until I had a roast dinner, which had Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshires and roast potatoes in it.
You might be asking two questions now:
1. Who’s Aunt Bessie?
I have no idea. I do not recall ever having an aunt called Bessie. All I know is that she makes a variety of ready-made items, such as Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, dumplings, gravy granules and puddings. She’s one busy lady! They’re all pretty good if you can’t be bothered to make your own.
2. Why was I eating ready-made foods like this?
My journey into becoming a food snob, and making almost everything from scratch was a gradual process. I’ve come a long way from the times of using instant mash, instant gravy and instant custard (*quietly gags in the corner*).
I didn’t end up having crispy roast potatoes or roast beef with these Yorkshires, but pan-fried chicken thighs and mashed kabocha squash. Of course, I had to make gravy.
This recipe is based on my toad in the hole batter, and is pretty simple. All you need to make sure is that the oven is preheated and hot; the pan is hot; there’s oil in the bottom of each well and do not to open the door whilst cooking. The resulting Yorkshires are crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. Perfect for sopping up gravy or juices.
Adapted from Toad in the Hole
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 150 g (1 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 large eggs
- 175 ml (⅔ c and 1 tablespoon) milk/milk alternative
- 100 ml (⅓ c and 4 teaspoons) water
- 1 pinch salt
1. Preheat oven to 250°C (485°F).
2. Meanwhile, blitz together the flour, eggs, milk, water and salt together in a liquidizer (blender) for 2 minutes.
3. Divide the oil in 9-10 holes of a muffin tin. Pop the muffin tin into the oven to preheat for 5 minutes.
4. Blitz the batter for another 30 seconds, before taking out the preheated muffin tin.
5. Quickly pour the batter evenly amongst the holes of the muffin tin, and return to the middle of the oven immediately.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, without opening the oven door.
7. Reduce the oven to 220°C (430°F) and bake for another 10 minutes, without opening the oven door.
8. Remove from the oven and enjoy immediately.