THEY’RE more Yorkshire than flat caps and whippets...
And tomorrow one of the region’s best-loved inventions celebrates it very own day - British Yorkshire Pudding Day.
Sheffield College chef lecturer Peter Mara used the event to show his students how to make the best-tasting Yorkshires.
“There’s nothing quite like a hot Yorkshire Pudding straight from the oven,” said Peter.
“The reason they’ve lasted so long is because they’re cheap to make, easy to produce and filling. Basically you can put anything inside one and call it a meal.
“Years ago, when families were much bigger, Yorkshire puddings were a great way of ensuring everyone got fed without breaking the bank.”
Peter, who was first shown how to make them as a trainee chef at the Royal Vic in Sheffield 40 years ago, added: “They’re a wonderful tradition around these parts.
“I still remember when pubs used to serve them free at the bar on quiz nights!
“At the end of the day they cost coppers to make and are delicious. What more could you want?”
The first recorded reference of a Yorkshire pudding appeared in Hannah Glasse’s ‘Chapter of Puddings’ in ‘The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Simple’ book, published in 1747.
And Peter pulls a worn first edition of the book from the shelves as he sets about demonstrating how to make the perfect Yorkshire pudding.
Far from bring a complicated process, Peter simply mixes together eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt before popping the mixture in to cook.
“We all love Yorkshire puddings because they’re so versatile, but it’s amazing how many people worry about getting them right,” said 62-year-old Peter.
“Either the mixture is too thick or thin or they fall flat in the oven, but they really are simple once you know how.
“The key is confidence and not being afraid to play around with the ingredients and timings.”
Peter also says it is the same common mistakes that people make that causes the puddings to fail:
n not letting the oven and pudding tray get hot enough - have a little patience!
n don’t substitute olive oil with virgin oil as it won’t reach the temperature needed. Likewise, don’t swap whole milk for skimmed milk as Yorkshire puddings need a certain amount of fat content.
n don’t slam the oven door unless you want pancakes. Also don’t keep opening the door to have a spy, unless it’s your first time and you’re really not sure of the timings.
n incorrectly thinking that batter should be left to stand for a while before you make your puddings. If made correctly, there’s no need for this.
To make six medium sized Yorkshire Puddings...
200g Plain flour
Just over a pint of whole milk
Set your oven to 230/gas mark 8. Put a splash of oil in the bottom of each pudding segment and put the tray in the oven to get hot.
Crack your eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Sieve in the plain flour to get rid of any bits and mix well, making sure to stir in all the mixture from the side of the bowl. Finally add a generous pinch of salt and sieve the whole mixture one more time. Take your now hot tray out of the oven and pour some mixture into each segment. Because the tray is hot, you should see the mixture starting to cook straight away. Depending on your oven, it can take anywhere from 15 to 35 minutes for the batter to cook so keep an eye on them, but don’t be tempted to keep opening the door as your puddings will fall flat as pancakes!
Once they’re done, how you eat them is up to you. With all the trimmings, with sage and thyme, a generous spoon of onion gravy, a portion of stew, chilli or bolognaise, with a sausage as toad in the hole, or even just on their own. No food is more versatile.