Yorkshire pudding, a dish unfamiliar to many Americans (or known to them as popovers), has a long history in England. The first recipe for it was printed in 1737. Orignally made in a single large pan or dish, it’s now evolved into smaller individual servings, usually cooked in muffin tins. Aside from that small change, the recipe has remained virtually the same over all those years.
Like many traditional foods, Yorkshire pudding started out as a frugal housewife’s trick to extend the number of servings from a single dish. Eggs, milk, and flour were available to most home cooks and, by cooking them in meat drippings or suet, one could make a dish that was flavoured with meat while containing little or no actual meat at all. Served with gravy, a Yorkshire pudding helped to stretch a small amount of meat to serve as many people as possible.
Leftover “Yorkies” are very tasty and are often served cold with either jam and cream or with golden syrup.
A recent conversation with Rebecca from Chow and Chatter, reminiscing about eating Yorkies doused in golden syrup, got me thinking: Yorkshire puddings are made with the same ingredients as many pancakes. They taste great with syrup or with jam. Why not serve them for breakfast?
So that’s what I did. I made a single large Yorkie, cut it into quarters and served it for breakfast. My husband loved it and so did I.
Making a good Yorkshire pudding is really very simple. Just follow a few basic steps and you’ll have perfect results:
- First, heat the oven very hot.
- Second, ensure that the pan and the fat into which you pour the batter is very hot.
- Third, make sure that the batter is very smooth and that you incorporate as much air as possible into the eggs. You can either whisk it vigourously or you can mix it in the blender. (I’m a blender girl myself.)
I chose to make a single large pudding and to cut it into portions for service. You can use the same recipe to make individual puddings, if that’s what you prefer. Just divide the fat into several muffin cups in a hot pan, ladle the dough into the individual cups, and adjust the cooking time to allow for the smaller quantities.
My recipe calls for beef drippings. If you don’t have beef drippings, you can use bacon fat or schmaltz. If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can use canola oil or peanut oil. Today I used pork fat rendered from the rind of our last slow cooker roast.
To make my breafast Yorkie, you’ll need:
- 4 Tablespoons of beef drippings
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
When the oven is hot, put the drippings or fat into a 9 x 9 inch pan. Put the pan in the oven until the drippings are melted and just below the smoking point.
When the pan in the oven is just about ready, put the eggs, milk, flour, and salt in a blender and process them until you have a very smooth, thin batter. (Or you can put the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them vigourously.)
Remove the hot pan from the oven and immediately pour the batter into the pan. Return the pan to the oven as quickly as possible and cook the pudding for 20 to 25 minutes. It will rise very high around the edges and brown. The center won’t brown as much but it’ll cook through and soufflé a bit. The surface will have some cracks in it.
I cut the cooked pudding into four portions, sprinkled the portions generously with powdered sugar and then dressed them with a drizzle of lemon juice. You can serve them with any pancake topping you’d prefer.