The perfect Yorkshire pudding recipe eluded me for years. One Sunday it would work and then the next it wouldn’t. One Sunday they would be magnificently risen, light, airy and divine and the next week heavy, flaccid stodge. Since realising that the good weeks all conformed to set rules my Yorkshire puddings are now always spot on. The rules are these: whether you’re making one large pudding or individual ones always use a metal baking tin. Batter cooked in oven-proof glass or ceramic won’t rise. This is why many toad-in-the-holes come to grief – people want to make them in a dish they can put on the table and that usually means crockery rather than metal. The heavier the tin the better. I actually use a muffin tin and it gives me the best results I’ve ever had. Rule two is to leave the batter to stand for at least 15 mins but longer if you can. Mine always stands for at least an hour. Rule three is to get the fat good and hot before you pour the batter in. It should sizzle when it hits the pan. Rule four is don’t use too much fat. I go as far as measuring mine with a spoon measure. One teaspoon of oil/fat to each pudding. Rule five is to get the puddings in the oven asap, don’t hang around! And finally, rule five, always put them at the top of the oven where it’s hottest. Cook individual ones for 25 mins on gas mark 7 and large ones for 35 – 40 mins on gas mark 7, turning the oven down to gas mark 5 after 20 mins.
To make the batter, heap a proper tablespoon with as much plain flour as you can possibly get on it, twice. To this add two large eggs, a pinch of salt and then gradually beat in milk until the batter is the same consistency as single cream. That’s it. No measuring, no weighing. Follow this recipe and the rules above and I promise you perfect Yorkshire puddings.