How to make top Yorkshire pudding

the knack; Marguerite Patten advises on how to rise to the occasion

"To make a batter for four people, you need 1oz plain flour, a good pinch of salt, one egg, half a pint of milk or milk and a little water. If you are using two eggs, you need the same amount of flour and salt, and two tablespoons less liquid. Sift the flour with the salt into a basin, break the egg, add and beat with enough liquid to make a sticky batter. Beat hard and gradually add the rest of the liquid. Now, ideally, let it rest for an hour. Take the meat out of the oven because you must give the oven a real boost of heat before the Yorkshire pudding goes in. Set it at 230C. Put an ounce of fat in one tin or divide it between nine little tins. I use beef dripping, but you could use a tablespoon of oil. Get the fat scalding hot in the oven. Whisk the batter again hard, and pour it in. Little Yorkshire puddings take about 12-15 minutes, a large tin 25-30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 190C after 10 minutes, if you are making a big pudding, after five or six minutes with babies, otherwise they'll brown too quickly. The oven might still be a bit hot for your beef, so when the pudding is well-risen, slip the beef back in. The traditional way of making Yorkshire pudding is in the roasting tin the meat has been in. Lift out the meat, pour away all the fat except about one good tablespoon, and put back in to reheat. Pour the batter into the hot fat and then put your joint on the rack above. As the meat cooks, the lovely juices drip on the Yorkshire pudding. It takes a little longer -

20-35 minutes, but it tastes like manna from heaven!

Marguerite Patten is working on her 165th cookery book

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