Monday, 21 December 2015


Yorkshire is the largest county in the British Isles and in days gone by was so large that it was divided into three Ridings - the East Riding, the West Riding and - the one where we live - the North Riding.   Ridings are no longer with us but we are still called North Yorkshire.

As a county we are famous for various things.   The white rose of Yorkshire, which appears on the Yorkshire flag,  the Yorkshire Post, the daily paper of the county, the Great Yorkshire Show, which is one of the largest Agricultural Shows in the country the Wensleydale cheese, which is produced at Hawes in Yorkshire.   I could go on, but I will stop there at what is perhaps our most famous claim to fame and one which I made for lunch today.   The Yorkshire Pudding.

Traditionally it was eaten as a starter.   Critics always said that this was so that by the time you came to the Main Course you were so full of pudding that you didn't eat so much of expensive meat.  (In Lincolnshire the same was said of the Suet Pudding, eaten first with thick gravy.)

Two things are always essential when making a good Yorkshire Pudding.   The first is a very hot oven and the second is extremely hot fat in the pudding tins.

Today I came across a recipe from the cookery of Hannah Glasse (1796) and I thought you might be interested to read it and then compare it with the way I made it today.

'Take a quart of milk and five eggs. beat them up well together, and mix them with flour till it is of a good batter, and very smooth; put in a little salt, some grated nutmeg and ginger;  butter a dripping or frying pan and put it under a piece of beef, mutton or a loin of veal that is roasting, and then put in your batter.   And when the top side is brown, cut it into square pieces and turn it over and let the under side brown.   Put into a hot dish as clean of fat as you can and send it to the table hot .'

This is how I made mine today:  Put four ounces of plain flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt.   Break an egg into the middle and then slowly whisk in 5fl ounces of milk and the same of water and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Leave to stand for about half 
an hour.   Put either bun tins (for individual puddings) or a large tin for one larger pudding into a very hot oven with some dripping or lard and get it really hot before pouring in the batter.  Takes about twenty minutes.   Served today with roast beef and roast potatoes, carrots and sprouts.

My goodness me.   How times have changed when you compare those two recipes.   Surely Yorkshire puds must have been the food of the rich if all those ingredients were added.

The farmer loves Yorkshires and I, coming from Lincolnshire, never really make it quite right (or so I think although he never complains (he daren't)).  Perhaps he should have married a Yorkshire lass as this old rhyme suggests:

Here's to Yorkshire my lads,
The Land of Good Cheer,
The Home of the Pudding
Well known far and near.

Wed a lass who can make one,
Is the theme of my song,
But so long as she's Yorkshire
You cannot go wrong!



Joanne Noragon said...

My sister in law is English (Cambridgeshire). The first time she made us Yorkshire pudding my uncle, who spent many months in England before shipping to France, pushed back his chair, lifted Hazel up from hers, danced her around the kitchen, kissed her, put her back in her chair and instructed her to never leave us. Yorkshire pudding was the reason the army had so much trouble getting him to France, he declared.

Derek Faulkner said...

When I was a child in the 1950's we always had both Yorkshire pudding and suet pudding as part of our Sunday roast. The suet pudding, made in the same pudding cloth every week, was always made big enough so that we had the rest for "afters" with jam, treacle or just sugar on - I loved it.
When you consider all those, so-called "unhealthy" ingredients by modern standards, that we ate, makes you wonder how we lived to old age.

John Going Gently said...

When i was in seattle they eat something similar to yorkshire pudding filled with chowder
I was always taught in sheffield that pudding was a starter, very large and filled with gravy

Robin Mac said...

What a fascinating post. I loved the description of the Ridings and what is Yorkshire. I am a complete failure at making Yorkshire pudding, much to my husband's disgust, perhaps I should have another try using your recipe. I had only read about suet pudding in English novels and had no idea it is another addition to the roast dinner. I think our hot climate is not really conducive to eating Yorkshire pudding, but I do have wonderful memories of eating it in a Pub in Yorkshire on a freezing, foggy day.

donna baker said...

Oh how I love them. I bought a special YP pan with individual cups and made it and it turned out wonderful. Can't find the pan and haven't made it since. You don't find it in restaurants or bakeries here. I would definitely choose it over anything else on the plate. As I remember, mine was very eggy.

angryparsnip said...

Fabulous post today.
I made Yorkshire pudding once. I thought it was good but I have no idea if it was what it should have been.
We ate it all so for us, we liked it.

I wish I could have been eating dinner with you and the Farmer.

cheers, parsnip

Dawn said...

I love Yorkshire pudding, the crunchy edges are my favorite bit I would happily have a plate of them with roast potatoes for dinner, I don't have gravy with my dinner, coming from a Scottish family gravy was not often served we would have our dinners dry and I still prefer mine that way although hubby likes a nice plate of the gravy :-)

A Heron's View said...

Yorkshire pudding is delicious especially with either stewed apple or strawberry jam
come to that both together if you have an appetite and of course a dollop of Cornish cream on top just about finishes it off ! Doesn't it Pat ?

Mac n' Janet said...

I love Yorkshire pudding and always hope we'll have one when we're in England.

Cro Magnon said...

I had an aunt who used to pour her batter mix underneath a roasting joint of beef. It was the best I've ever tasted.

Frances said...

When I was a child we used to have a portion of a large yorkshire pudding for " dessert" with golden syrup poured over it. I suppose it was quite a cheap way to make a pudding.

thelma said...

Delicious, my favourite (without the meat) with lots of gravy, onion and bread sauce plus a heap of potatoes to soak it all up ;)

potty said...

Please don't foget Old Peculier. The variation on a traditional Y.P. is the Toad in the Hole. With good sausages and onion gravy a real winter winner. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

Minigranny said...

I love Yorkshire Pudding and remember having it with Golden Syrup if there was any left over from the main meal. A Yorkshire lass,born and bred, I used to be able to make a very good YP but the longer I've been away from God's Own County the worse they have got!! Maybe it's something in the air I'm missing!

Heather said...

A lovely post. I'm afraid I had to grow to like Yorkshire Pudding as at the first school I attended it was served cold with a trickle of golden syrup or plum jam for dessert! Often the jam was a bit winey and the pudding was like a soggy sponge - yuk. Later on in life I enjoyed the real thing.
A message to all Yorkshire men - there's nowt wrong wi' lasses from other counties tha knows!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Heron - I sometimes do it for pudding - it is good eith rhubarb scattered into it or a good bramley or two. Then eaten with butter and sugar.
Heather - your message duly passed on to the farmer.
Potty - several folk mention the onion gravy - the farmer's favourite - he would have gravy with absolutely everything.
Thelma - your veggie way sounds interesting. I may well try it as I am not a great meat eater.
Thanks to you all. Enough recipes to keep me going for a while after Christmas, although it won't do much good to my waistline.

Anonymous said...

I love that song! And how wonderful to have a recipe from1796!

Gwil W said...

I'm sorry to confess that I once ate a delicious Yorkshire pudding in Lancashire. This is almost sacrilege. I deserve flogging I know.

Acornmoon said...

I shall try to improve my pudding making skills and maybe take a few tips from this post. I have fond memories of eating my grandmother's Yorkshire puddings, always served to us children with sugar as a dessert. My gran know a thing or two about cooking, then again she was born in God's Own Country.

May I wish you and the farmer a very Blessed Christmas and a bright and joyous New Year. xxx