Bake: Simple Yorkshire puddings and apple batter bake

Michelle Darmody whips up a storm with yorkshire puddings.

I CAME to Yorkshire puddings late in life. They are the perfect receptacle for mopping up gravy. When I am doing a Sunday roast I make my gravy with a dash of sweet vermouth, which tastes delicious with the golden batter of the puddings.

Yorkshire style puddings were originally served as a first course, with onion gravy, to supress the appetite and allow the main course to go further. The popover is an American version of a Yorkshire pudding, they are made in the same way.

The first known pudding of this type is documented as “a dripping pudding” in 1737. The recipe was published in a book called The Whole Duty of a Woman which is a collection of recipes as well as advice for women, such as ‘a wife’s behaviour to a drunkard’.

Toad in a Hole is another old recipe that makes use of the same batter. The origin of the name is a little ambiguous, but a good assumption is that it might refer to the way toads wait for their prey in their burrows, their heads just visible, like the sausages peeping through the batter as it rises around the heavier meat. I think it is important to use good quality sausages. I often get Jane Russell sausages that have fennel seeds, chilli flakes, mace, nutmeg, coriander seeds through the meat.

When making the pudding batter, it is ideal to allow it rest for at least a half an hour, but you can make it an hour or two in advance if you wish. Heating the bun tin or baking tray with the oil will help to facilitate a better rise. The pudding or the Toad in a Hole can be baked in a tray and sliced up, or made into small individual puddings that are easier to serve at the table. If you would like to make individual Toad in a Holes, place a small sausage in each bun hollow and pour the batter on top and then sprinkle with the herbs and place a small spoon of mustard in the centre.

Simple Yorkshire puddings

140g of plain flour, sieved

4 eggs, lightly beaten

200mls of milk

10g of melted butter

A pinch of sea salt

A drizzle of rapeseed oil to coat the tin

Place the sieved flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs into the well and with a whisk start to combine them. Slowly add half of the milk as you whisk.

Whisk in the rest of the milk, the melted butter and the pinch of salt until everything is well combined and a smooth batter is formed. Pour it into jug and leave it rest for at least a half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.

Coat the holes in the bun tin evenly with the oil. Heat the tin until hot, remove it from the oven and pour the batter into the tin until each hole is half full.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and puffed up. Serve warm with lots of gravy.

Mustardy toad in a hole

A drizzle of rapeseed oil to coat the tin

The batter from the previous recipe

1 tsp of cracked black pepper

6 good quality banger sausages

3 tsp of Dijon mustard

Some tarragon or thyme leaves, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 210 degrees and coat a small baking tray, which has high sides, with the rapeseed oil. Heat the tray in the oven until it is hot.

Stir the black pepper through the batter. Sit the six sausages onto the base of the tray. Pour the batter in and dot the mustard onto the batter — it will sink in slightly. Sprinkle the leaves on top if you are using them.

Bake for about 20 minutes making sure the sausages are cooked through and the batter is golden and puffed up. Serve warm.

Apple batter bake

A drizzle of sunflower oil to coat the tin

The batter from the first recipe without the pinch of salt

1 tbs of golden caster sugar

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

2 small cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

½ tbs of slivered almonds

Heat your oven to 220 degrees and coat a small baking tray, which has high sides, with the sunflower oil. Heat the tray in the oven until it is hot.

Stir a third of the caster sugar as well as the ground cinnamon into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Lay the slices of apple on top. Sprinkle the almonds and the rest of the sugar over the apples and batter.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes making sure the apple slices have softened and the batter is golden and puffed up. Serve warm with a spoon of whipped cream or ice cream.

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