York­shire pud­dings

Cook­ery writer Adam Bush shares pro tips and tricks from the O kitchen

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When you think of clas­sic Bri­tish recipes, York­shire pud­ding is one of the first that springs to mind.

A roast is noth­ing with­out them and they are dear to the hearts of many – one mem­ber of the O team con­fessed to eat­ing them as an af­ter-school snack dipped in Bisto gravy.

Mak­ing your own is worth the ef­fort. There are lots of recipes for York­shire puds out there, with dif­fer­ing ra­tios, meth­ods and tech­niques, but I’m pretty chuffed with how mine have turned out. The ad­di­tion of vodka may seem sur­pris­ing, but ad­ding al­co­hol to any flour-based bat­ter pro­hibits the for­ma­tion of gluten, keep­ing the bat­ter from be­com­ing ‘doughy’. This same tech­nique is used in Ja­pan to keep tem­pura bat­ter perfectly light (and Edd Kim­ber even uses it in his pas­try on page 44).

Let’s also dis­pel a few York­shire pud­ding myths. First of all, mak­ing the bat­ter in ad­vance won’t make them any bet­ter (or any worse). I make my bat­ter just be­fore

I put the trays in the oven to pre­heat, giv­ing it 20 min­utes or so to come to­gether be­fore go­ing into the oven.

Se­condly, most recipes will ad­vise you to get the fat scorch­ing hot be­fore ad­ding the bat­ter, some even ad­vis­ing to put the tin on the hob while you pour in the bat­ter. While this does cause a rapid ex­pan­sion of the bat­ter, it’s in an un­con­trolled way, mean­ing your puds can end up look­ing like mis­shapen as­ter­oids. Once the fat is in the pre­heated tin, put it in the oven for 5 min­utes to get hot and fully melted, then pour in the bat­ter and you’ll end up with high-sided York­shires that could hold a pint of gravy each.

When it comes to in­gre­di­ents, these re­ally make all the dif­fer­ence. Whole milk, good-qual­ity eggs and sea salt help cre­ate a su­pe­rior pud. Veg­etable oil for the tin will do, but beef drip­ping is bet­ter. When a bat­ter is as sim­ple as flour, eggs, milk and a cheeky bit of vodka, be­ing cooked in beef drip­ping un­doubt­edly im­proves the flavour.

Yorkies tend to be left till the end of a hec­tic cook­ing ses­sion, but they ac­tu­ally re­heat fan­tas­ti­cally well. Make the bat­ter ahead and cook them be­fore the oven be­comes full, cool on a wire rack and then put them back in the oven 10 min­utes be­fore serv­ing to get nice and crisp. You’ll never have that last-minute panic again.

York­shire pud­dings


This recipe makes enough for 8 large York­shire pud­dings.

plain flour 250g sea salt æ tsp whole milk 150ml vodka 50ml eggs 4 (we used Clarence Court Bur­ford Browns) beef drip­ping 2Ω tbsp

• Heat the oven to 230C/fan 210C/gas 8.

• Put the flour and sea salt into a bowl and pour in the milk, vodka and 100ml of wa­ter. Whisk un­til just com­bined, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Trans­fer to a large mea­sur­ing jug and cover.

• Put two four-hole York­shire pud­ding tins in the oven to heat for 20 min­utes. Re­move from the oven, add 1 tsp of beef drip­ping to each hole and re­turn to the oven for 4-5 min­utes to melt. Take out, pour the bat­ter into each hole, fill­ing right to the top. Bake for 20 min­utes, then flip over and cook for 5-10 min­utes un­til the bot­toms crisp up.


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