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Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding, once an English staple and apparently a simple thing, is in fact difficult to cook well. The Editor has been particularly inept at making it, but this recipe produces an excellent pudding. It appears at britishfoodinamerica through the kind courtesy of Sheila Gill. You will need a cupcake pan.

Girl with Cake- 4 oz flour

- a pinch of salt

- 1 egg

- 10 oz milk and water (more water than milk)

- a cupcake pan

  1. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the egg and about 1/3 of the liquid. Mix to a smooth batter with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add another 1/3 of the liquid and beat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining liquid and beat for 2 more minutes.
  4. Place the batter in the fridge for at least half an hour to settle and chill.
  5. Meanwhile, place a small amount of meat dripping into each cup of a small cake (cupcake) pan (if there is not enough dripping, top up with lard) and place the cake pan tray into the hot oven until the dripping is very hot and sizzling.
  6. Remove the batter from the fridge and whisk for a second time. Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the batter into the tins as quickly as possible. Return immediately to the oven.
  7. Cook at 440° for approximately 15-20 minutes: Do not open the oven door until the puddings are golden brown.


- Chilling the batter and whisking it in two violent stages are keys to making this airy pudding.

- If you do not have a cupcake pan, you could make a single larger pudding to divide for service. A traditional English enamelled oblong pie pan will do, or a shallow brownie pan. The individual puddings turn out consistently better, however, and make a nice presentation.

- We like non-traditional nonstick pans to allay our anxiety at attempting Yorkshire pudding.

- The Editor’s mother has sets of ‘pans’ for making individual popovers, a traditional New England variation on Yorkshire pudding. Each ‘pan’ is not a pan at all, but rather two rows of three nonstick cups connected by heavy wire; handy for making Sheila Gill’s Yorkshire puddings.

- It would strike readers as perverse, or at least irritating, to post such a good recipe for Yorkshire pudding without offering instructions to roast beef. The two dishes, however, have not always shared an exclusive association; as late as the early twentieth century, Yorkshire pudding went to table with all kinds of roast meats. As to the beef, we request patience and will cover the great roast of England in considerable detail in a future number.

- Meanwhile The New York Times has published an intriguing method for roasting beef that gets good, reliable results. We prefer other recipes for roasting beef when in confident mode, but this one is handy when you have a crowd and do not want to deal in last minute kitchen operations to the neglect of your guests.

- The Times recipe appeared in an article in its Sunday Magazine by Melissa Clarke published on 30 January, 2011. Clarke credits the recipe to Craig Claiborne “back in the 1960s” and he in turn cited Anne Seranne, an editor at Gourmet magazine. Essentially you roast the beef in a 500° oven for a short time that depends on the weight of the roast, extinguish the heat and let the meat cook in the unheated oven without opening the door until the oven goes lukewarm, usually in about two hours. The only unexamined hitch here is how you determine whether the oven is lukewarm without opening the door, but since you can let the roast sit in the unheated oven “for as long as four hours,” throw the prepared meat into the oven with time to spare.

Here is the britishfoodinamerica adaptation, double or nothing roast beef.