That this is called a pudding is a mystery but that it should be called Yorkshire pudding is a mystery inside an enigma wrapped in batter. It’s sole relationship to that county seems to lie in its topography which is reminiscent of what I imagine to be the appearance of a Dale, many of which are to be found in that county. There is a look of the relief map to this pudding which makes me think that travelers in bygone times, on reaching the borders of the Dales, were offered a freshly made relief pudding of Yorkshire which had the added benefit of sustaining the hungry pilgrim on his journey. The vendor of the pudding map would be careful not to mention that none of his maps of Yorkshire were the same…each was a work of art in its own right which meant that at the vexing moment when our traveler, having concluded that not only was he was hopelessly lost but had also been royally shafted by a malicious Tyke, would be overcome by a burning desire to batter the balls of the mendacious map merchant but would, a moment later, realise that the very fabric of this fraudulent fabrication was now residing in his intestinal tract and that he was , in the vernacular, completely fucked. It will come as no surprise for you to hear that it was not long before gravy, rather than trust, was put into Yorkshire pudding and so it has remained.
For the Yorkshire puddings:
240gms of plain flour, salt
4-5 tablespoons of duck or goose fat….or dripping of some kind
Start the Yorkshire batter the night before. (It gives the starch cells time to thicken which will give you a lighter, smoother batter.)
Pour the beaten eggs, milk and salt into a medium-sized bowl, then add plain flour by the spoonful, whisking constantly so you create a smooth batter or mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Once all the ingredients are mixed, cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight. Muffin tins are often used to create individual puddings but I prefer to use a large metal roasting tin which accounts for the quantities in my ingredient list. Set the oven to 220C..once up to temperature put the roasting tin with the fat in the oven to get very hot as the fat must be nearly smoking hot for a good Yorkshire pudding. Pour in the batter and get the tin back in the oven as quickly and as carefully as possible and leave to cook for about 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 200C for a further 35-40 minutes.
Traditionally this is eaten with roast beef but I often cook this to be eaten with sausages and onion gravy or, more often, as part of a vegetarian dinner with roast vegetables.