What is Yorkshire pudding?
The word pudding conjures up images of desserts, cream, and sweetness and whilst Yorkshire puddings can be eaten as a dessert, they are mainly a savoury dish.
Confused? I’ll explain.
Yorkshire puddings are made from a batter, similar to pancakes.
They have been in existence since the Middle Ages when they were made by placing the tin containing the batter underneath the meat roasting on a spit. The reasoning being that the dripping fat would add more flavour to the pudding. They were at that time known as Dripping Puddings. Incidentally, if Yorkshire puddings weren’t being made, a tin would be placed underneath the meat to catch the fat. Once this fat had cooled, it was called Dripping and spread onto bread as a savoury filling. Tubs of dripping can still be bought in butcher shops today. As a child I regularly ate dripping sandwiches and they taste better than they sound.
The modern recipe has its origins in a recipe developed in the eighteenth century by a cook named Hannah Glasse, and from that point on dripping puddings became known as Yorkshire puddings.
There are two varieties of Yorkshire pudding: small, individual ones —often known as popovers, which are eaten alongside the meat —and flat, large ones, the size of a dinner plate.
The traditional way to eat a Yorkshire pudding is to have a large, flat one filled with gravy and vegetables as a starter.
Then when the meal is over, any unused puddings should be served with jam or ice-cream as a dessert. This is certainly the way we ate them when I was growing up and delicious they were too, both as starter and dessert.
Yorkshire pudding batter is the main ingredient in that famous and confusing British dish, Toad in the Hole. The toad simply means the meat filling. Originally it was a means of stretching expensive meat so that it would feed more people, (there’s an 18th century recipe for toad in the hole using fillet steak), then the toad became a means of using up left-over meat, and now the toad is sausages. Try it You will Love it.
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