Sister Karen Wheeler
Victoria (McKenzie) Ecclesia, British Columbia, Canada
I was born in England and my mother is from York. This is her Yorkshire Pudding recipe. The ingredients are simple but the method is exact. You can make these either in muffin tins or a large flat rectangular cake tin. I find I prefer the muffin tins as the result is more even. My mother made this on Sunday afternoons (the heaviest meal was eaten at noon and it was called "dinner") and it was served with Roast Beef and a dark beef gravy. Because we made it so often the measuring spoons were just dessert spoons from the cutlery drawer. So these are approximate measurements.
2-4 dessert spoons flour (try 3 heaping and one rounded)
3 large or 4 small eggs
cold water (add until the batter is the consistency of thin pancake batter)
Chill one hour - this separates the starches - when you remove it from the fridge it will have thickened slightly. Beat the batter (use a fork and whisk it) and add enough cold water to get it back to the original consistency.
In a hot oven (450 degrees for soft, 475 for medium and 500 for crisp - I prefer 475 degrees Fahrenheit - experiment with your oven settings) place muffin tins with approximately one Tbs. of vegetable oil in each bottom. Heat the tins until THE OIL SMOKES NOT YOUR OVEN. Then remove the tins to the door of the oven and quickly pour in the batter about 1/3 full in each cup. If your oil is hot enough the batter will bubble as it hits the oil. Pour quickly to get this reaction in all the cups. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and puffy. Serve immediately with brown gravy. Makes approximately one dozen.
This was always the last item cooked for our Sunday meal. It's delicious and cheap. We served this at my in-law's restaurant in Burns Lake, BC, on Friday nights with Prime Rib. Any roast will do. To make sufficient gravy, use a brown gravy mix, corn starch, and beef bouillon cubes and add the beef drippings. We also used to roast potatoes to go with this but mashed potatoes are nice too, especially if you have enough gravy for them too.
The gravy is the English dark brown not the American milk gravy used down south. Add any vegetables you like with it. (I won't make you try the brussel sprouts and carrots we had - though I like carrots, as a kid I'd take as few brussel sprouts as I could get away with and eat them quickly. Then I'd savour the rest of the meal!)
To make the meal complete you can add a sherry trifle for dessert. Make that up while the Yorkshire batter is chilling and chill it too. There is already a nice recipe for English Trifle on the recipe page so I won't add my mother's recipe.
The Friday night special at Wheeler's Restaurant was Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding with salad or Clam Chowder and Sherry Trifle for dessert. We had both long-haul truckers and the locals plan their weeks just to come for Friday nights. Truckers are notorious for liking wholesome home cooked meals that stick to your ribs. You couldn't serve them nuevo cuisine or you'd never see them again!
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