Yorkshire puddings are big, puffy popovers with a different name. The difference between the two is that popovers are usually cooked in a bit of butter or oil, while Yorkshire puddings are usually cooked in beef drippings, or meat fat that has come off of a nice roast. I find that the names are interchangeable most of the time on most menus and I tend to call them Yorkshire puddings if I’m serving them with a roast and popovers the rest of the time, whether I’ve used butter or some other fat to make them.
Most popover recipes are very similar and all have the same basic ingredients of eggs, flour and milk in slightly different ratios. I’ve seen this recipe credited to Jamie Oliver a number of times, although I’m quite sure that other people have come up with the same combination before, but I’m going to give him credit because these are some of the best popovers I’ve ever made. This simple batter uses three eggs to one cup of flour and produces popovers with a dramatic rise. To get that great rise, you need to rest the batter for about 15 minutes between mixing and baking, and you need to bake them at a very high temperature. The high temperature causes all the steam to rise at once, pushing the popover batter to new heights quickly, and continued high heat lets them “set.”
I use butter as my fat of choice because it consistently gives great flavor, but feel free to use roast drippings if you’re making a roast for a more traditional flavor! I put unmelted butter in the bottom of my pan, then pop it into the preheated oven just long enough to melt the butter, then pour in my batter and return it to the oven to bake. I used a popover pan and you will get the highest rise if you use one, but you can easily use a muffin tin if you don’t have one and still get good results. Popovers made in a muffin tin will be about half the size of those made in a popover pan, so you’ll get twice as many from this recipe. Serve these immediately, as that is when they will be at their peak, with a buttery flavor, crisp exterior and soft, eggy interior. They will fall slightly and soften a bit if you don’t serve them right away, but a few minutes on the rack in a hot oven will warm them up again if you really need to make them in advance.
Huge Yorkshire Puddings
(from a Jamie Oliver recipe)
1 cup milk
4-oz all purpose flour (approx 1 cup*)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly grease a popover pan (or a muffin tin) with vegetable oil.
Whisk together milk, flour, eggs and salt until batter is very smooth. Let batter rest for 15 minutes.
Place 1 tsp butter in each cavity of the popover pan (1/2 tsp each for muffin tin). Place pan in hot oven just long enough to melt the butter, 1-2 minutes.
Evenly divide batter into prepared pan. Each cup should be filled approximately halfway.
Bake for 20 minutes, until dark golden brown and puffy.
*Note: It is best to measure the flour, but 4-oz of all purpose flour is about 1 cup, if you gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup (don’t pack it in!).