OK, America. Brace yourself, because today you're going to learn how to make Yorkshire pudding. It's a dish from the North of England. That's right — not that London, but the green, gorgeous North, the land of Wallace and Gromit.
For starters, Yorkshire pudding is not really pudding. It's more like a thick, pancake-like pastry. When you mix the ingredients, they should have the consistency of slightly thicker-than-usual pancake batter.
Several hundred years ago, very poor families would make Yorkshire pudding and serve it as a starter to fill up before having a plate of turnip and cabbage since they couldn't afford to buy meat.
Depending on how large you make it, a Yorkshire pudding can serve as a bowl — think bread bowl — to hold a savory dish, such as stew. Nowadays, though, people tend to make smaller versions that accompany dishes.
4 ounces plain flour
A pinch of salt
Cold milk and cold water (about 1/2 pint total)
Place the flour in a bowl, and add the egg and pinch of salt. Pour a bit of cold milk into the mixture and beat until there are no lumps. When your batter is nice and smooth, add some more cold milk and cold water and beat some more. When you stop beating, you should see little bubbles rise to the surface.
Regardless of whether you use a muffin tin to make individual ones or a pan to make a larger Yorkshire pudding, your oven needs to be at 400 degrees F.
Coat the bottom of your pan (or muffin tin) with a small amount of oil. Place the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes so it gets nice and hot — it should be nearly smoking when you take it out.
Carefully pour the batter into the pan and pop it back in the oven. Larger ones take about 30 minutes and smaller ones more like 20 minutes. Here's the thing that makes it tricky — the reason it's so important to get the cold ingredients in the hot oven and pan just right is because that's what makes it rise, and rise it must.
When it's done, it should be crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. And well, don't feel bad if it's completely flat when you take it out. Keep trying. Because once you get it to rise, you can try variations — such as the "Toad in the Hole," which is Yorkshire pudding poured over sausages so the sausages are cooked within the pudding.