If you’re planning on cooking roast beast for all the Whos in your particular Whoville, you might want to think about serving a heaping platter of Yorkshire puddings to go with it.  These little babies are a British tradition and are the perfect accompaniment for any dish that involves gravy.

The best thing – they’re easy.  I’m talking so easy that it’s almost embarassing to write it down.  You just need to remember three key things:  1)  batter first.   2)  bake last.  3)  hot-hot-hot.

Yorkshire Pudding

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • hefty pinch thyme (optional)
  • light vegetable oil (canola or sunflower)

Here’s your first point – make the batter first thing – even before you start cooking the rest of the meal.  In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt together (if you’re using thyme, add to the dry mixture).  In a large measuring cup, mix the eggs and milk, then pour over the flour mixture, using a whisk, mix well to get rid of any lumps.  It’ll be the same consistency as pancake batter.  Pour into a jug and refrigerate until you need it.  And, yes, it is important that you pour it into a jug, because when it’s time to cook it later, you’re going to be moving quickly, so you won’t want to faff around with bowls and ladles.

Point number 2 – bake last.  You’re going to make your Yorkies while your roast beef (or your chicken or turkey) is resting.  This way, they’re going to the table piping hot and in their full puffed-up glory.  So, once you’ve taken the roast out of the oven, crank the oven all the way up to 500 F.  Pull out a 12-muffin tin and pour just enough oil to cover the bottom of each hollow – you don’t need loads, just a thin layer.  At this time I think it’s important to point out that you want to use a metal muffin tin – not silicon or anything else.  Metal.  Even if it’s a disposable aluminum one.

Last point – hot-hot-HOT!  Put the oiled muffin tin into the oven for at least five minutes to get surface-of-the-sun hot.  I can’t emphasize this point enough – the oil has to be incredibly hot for your Yorkshires to puff up like they’re supposed to.

Okay, so, your oven is hot.  Your muffin tin is hot.  Gird your loins, because now things need to move fast.  Get your batter out of the fridge and give it a quick stir.  Open your oven and fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way up – you should see the batter sizzle as it hits the oil.  If it doesn’t, don’t keep filling – stop after the first one and let it get hot.  As I said, do this quickly and shut the oven door and DO.  NOT.  OPEN.  IT.  Seriously, the Yorkies need about 20 minutes to cook – you don’t want to open the door and make the temperature drop.

Last thing – at about 17 or 18 minutes, they’ll probably look done – give them the extra 2 or 3 minutes in the oven so that they’ll be nice and crisp and won’t deflate when you pull them out of the oven (a lot of time, they’ll look done on the outside but will still be a bit doughy on the inside).  Then stand back and take a bow.

whether you call them pop-overs or Yorkshire puddings, they're seriously good!

Oh, and Merry Christmas, Andy (who requested this recipe)!!!