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4 February 2011

Putting my Yorkshire Pudding demons to rest

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had “issues” with Yorkshire Pudding.  You wouldn’t think it, would you?  I mean, so many people seem to have the ability to produce a risen, puffy, golden, appetisingly crisp Yorkshire Pudding without any difficulty at all.  Up until recently, my Toad in the Hole has been reminiscent of a Toad in the Swamp and it was pointless even trying to create those lovely little crisp puddings that go so well with a roast dinner.

I wasn’t happy about this state of affairs.  After all, I’m supposed to be fairly good at this cooking malarkey, yet the delights of Yorkshire Pudding remained way beyond my reach.  It was a situation that nagged away in the back of my head.  Not right up there with “can we afford to eat this week”, but it was there nonetheless.

Hence, when the New Year was upon us and folk were deciding upon their resolutions, I resolved to practice the art of Yorkshire Pudding making until that shiny day when I was able to rely on mine.

The first thing was to ensure I had the proper equipment.  I decided to begin with the “accompaniment to a roast dinner” style of Yorkshire Pudding and would work up to the Toad in the Hole version.

So, I bought a new Yorkie tray.  Non-stick, it sat there and quietly laughed at my heartfelt hopes that it would provide the perfect runway for individual Yorkies to take flight.

I bought some Lard, as there seemed to be three approaches to the fat involved – lard, vegetable oil or meat drippings.  I resolved to try all three until one hit the spot.

I researched recipes, finally settling on Delia Smith’s tried and tested milk, flour, water, eggs, salt & pepper version.

For my first attempt, I went with the Lard recommendation.  I put a teensy bit of the hard Lard into each tiny tin and popped it into the oven to heat up.  The urge to take it out “before it burst into flames” might give you an idea of the anxiety with which I embarked upon this project.  I restrained the urge and, having poured the batter into a jug to make decanting it easier, opened the door and began to pour (which was much easier than I had expected, so yay! for the jug method).

Then came the wait.  I’m surprised I had any fingernails left by the end of cooking time.  The cooker alarm sounded and I opened the door with a mixture of trepidation and excitement.  There, incredibly, were twelve risen, crispy, wonderful little Yorkshire Puddings.

If I could have jumped up (I cook sitting down) and danced around the kitchen, I would have done.  As it was, I just settled for a whoop of joy.
Never has anyone been prouder of twelve little semi-spherical crisply cooked batters.  Even the family were astounded that I’d succeeded.  They’d got far too used to the soggy and depressing examples I’d turned out previously.

Since then, I’ve tried the “meat drippings” version.  I usually pot-roast a chicken instead of just plain old roasting them, which involves a half hour in the oven so as to get a good colour on the chicken skin.  I always pour a little oil over the chicken, so following its removal to the pot-roasting pan, I used the drippings and chickeny oil for the Yorkshires.


If the first attempt rated some 8/10, these little beauties were 10/10.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my previous attempts have failed largely due to my being a complete wimp regarding temperature.  I’ve quite simply not had the tin hot enough.

So, with my new-found bravery, do I dare to attempt a Toad in the Hole? 

7 comments:

  1. This is SO spooky - especially as in my blogpost I wrote about the trick being that you needed the tin and oil HOT, HOT, HOT!

    Well done for mastering them, easy when you know how ;-)

    PS There is a nice toad-in-the-hole recipe on my blog x

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  2. I love this Blog......Jenny you deserve a medal..!
    Let me tell ya......!
    I only have 24 cookery books, used to have a lot more, but....."Willie, have you got a cookery book on"? And, never see it again.
    But to be honest, l don't really use them a lot, look at the pictures, read it a bit, just for ideas.....Then do my own thing....!
    Much the same as some cookery programs, l watch, and not many of them either.
    Anyway, what l was gonna say was.......
    I have never, ever read an article/recipe, so lovely and so well written, and so interesting, ....AND...AND....On Yorkshire Puddings......! Amazing......!
    I REST MY CASE.....Goood evening......I'm off to have a curry......I made Earlier.....!
    GOD bless the Yorkshire Pudd'in.
    And, Mrs Jenny Eatwell.... :0). Lovely...

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  3. A toad in the hole recipe, Mrs M? I'm off to take a look - and probably pinch it and blog about it in due course. ~rolls eyes~ I'm just going to have to stop looking at your blog! (Not!) LOL

    Thankyou Willie, thankyou! ~takes a cursey~ I do try to make the writing as interesting as possible, along with as grammatically correct as possible. :) It's lovely to have my efforts appreciated. Curry? I think we'll have one of those, next week!

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  4. I blogged about Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire puds, Clafoutis etc recently, but it sounds like you've cracked it anyway - the only thing I'd suggest here is to use a lower temp when cooking Toad - hot for the initial "sizzle" when you fill the tin, then turn it down so it cooks right through

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  5. Aaah yes! Now why didn't I think of that. ~rolls eyes~ It would solve the problem of the sausages getting overcooked ends, too. Maybe if I'd have been a bit calmer over cooking it, the idea may have occurred to me, but I doubt it. LOL Thanks! :)

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  6. Jenny...next time try using muffin tins..i have found that they come out better...HOT tins.. HOT Fat.. HOT oven..will get Deb to post our yorkies..and if you want the recipe just ask ...

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  7. Currently, I've just got the silicone muffin "tins", so I'll have to find some metal ones, I think. Although I have heard of folk successfully doing Yorkshires in silicone "tins", but knowing my luck with Yorkies ....

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