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Popover v Individual Yorkshire pud.


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This is a genus-species question. In other words, a ship is a boat but a boat is not necessarily a ship. Animal fat notwithstanding, yorkshire pudding is a popover. But all popovers are not yorkshire pudding.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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I have a problem.

When I make Yorkshire Puddings, the rise amazingly. Too well, since they rise all over, rther than just around the edges. Not that I am complaining too much, but you don't get the centres to fill with stuff. Too many eggs? Can you wise eG's help?

I use

2 eggs

4oz flour (maybe 1/2 cup AP flour)

1 pt milk

Smoking hot fat etc, preferably with shards of roast onion in it..

Is this the essential differnece? Popovers, I believe, are puffed all over, while in Yorkshire puddings the centre is sunk, and only the edge puffed.

I olden times, Yorkshires were served with gravy as a seperate course before the meat to lessen peoples appetities, and make the meat go further. They are also good as sweet with golden syrup, treacle or jam...

Yorkshire puds freeze well.

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[EDIT: this was in response to Ned's post, now two up-thread.]

Not sure I buy that. I've always understood that one of the defining factors of a popover is its shape - hence the special tins. Like madeleines - if you didn't make 'em in a madeleine tin, would they still be madeleines? Nope. (Conversely, if you make something else in a madeleine tin, that don't make it a madeleine - gotta have the shape AND the substance.)

And Adam - with all due respect to Delia, I like a lot of dripping to my Yorkshire pud. If you think about its origins and the amount of dripping wot dripped as the roast roasted, seems only reasonable. Besides... it's so GOOD.

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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I have a problem.

When I make Yorkshire Puddings, the rise amazingly. Too well, since they rise all over, rther than just around the edges. Not that I am complaining too much, but you don't get the centres to fill with stuff. Too many eggs? Can you wise eG's help?

I use

2 eggs

4oz flour (maybe 1/2 cup AP flour)

1 pt milk

Smoking hot fat etc, preferably with shards of roast onion in it..

Is this the essential differnece? Popovers, I believe, are puffed all over, while in Yorkshire puddings the centre is sunk, and only the edge puffed.

Too many eggs? It's certainly eggier than mine. I use twice that amount of AP flour and half the amount of milk. (Uh-oh - don't remember whether you guys still use the imperial pint - I'm basing my measurements on the 16-oz pint.) Works perfectly every time, and produces plaudits I'd blush to repeat.

Other factors:

Ideally the batter should be well chilled before being poured into the hot dripping - dunno how feasible this was in the old days, but the more contrast in temperature between the two, the more dramatic the reaction.

Size of pan. I honestly don't know what would happen if your pan were too big (batter spread too thin) or too small (batter crowded); my best unscientific guess is that erring on the too small side is better than the other way. But then again, I can imagine a contrary logic - someone more scientifically inclined will have to address this. Anyway, it may be moot - temperature and composition of batter may solve the problem. Try it and report!

EDIT: Dang, shoulda saved my breath; as usual, Adam has it right and is more succinct. Leeds it is.

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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And Adam - with all due respect to Delia, I like a lot of dripping to my Yorkshire pud. If you think about its origins and the amount of dripping wot dripped as the roast roasted, seems only reasonable. Besides... it's so GOOD.

True, but you practically live in Newfoundland and I hear that they build houses out of lard out there. :wink:

Not sure about how much fat would have ended up in the original batter puddings. Spit roasted meat was sometimes pre-boiled and nearly always larded, so it may not have been that swimming in fat. Which is why these puddings practically died out after the potato became popular. Roast tattie = magical exotic pudding that grows on a plant fully formed, they only need to be shoved under the roast.

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[EDIT: this was in response to Ned's post, now two up-thread.]

Not sure I buy that. I've always understood that one of the defining factors of a popover is its shape - hence the special tins. Like madeleines - if you didn't make 'em in a madeleine tin, would they still be madeleines? Nope. (Conversely, if you make something else in a madeleine tin, that don't make it a madeleine - gotta have the shape AND the substance.)

This may be a consequence of continental divide. There are a lot of different popovers over here and if you wanted to use animal fat, I'd say that doesn't exempt a thing from popoverness. So as long as you cook the thing in what is essentially a cupcake pan as opposed to underneath the roast (as is my preference), then you've got yourself a popover, yorkshire pudding or otherwise.

Some corroboration:

http://home.insightbb.com/~bonnett/popover...povers_work.htm

http://home.insightbb.com/~bonnett/popover/recipe_links.htm

For the sake of complexifying: If you cook it in a baking dish and there's neither drippings nor a rib roast in sight but you do have some powdered sugar and it happens to be morning then you've got yourself a dutch baby.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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No, No!

Popovers are domed. You have to break into them. Gravy runs off them whole.

Yorkshire puddings are convex, dish like, to hold the lake of thick gravy (and onions) etc.

Yorkshire pudding mix cooked areound suasages is, of course, toad in the hole...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Mmmmm... dutch baby. OK, so you're going for the form rather than the content. Fair enough.

Actually, in that case maybe the most important distinction is the one illustrated in the picture in your first link: the popover is hollow. The liquid batter and the size/shape of the tin forces it to expand so that the entire popover is like the puffy/crisp edge of a Yorkshire pud or dutch baby. The latter two, because they spready out more in a larger pan, both have a softer denser more custardy center.

Does that sound like a workable distinction?

To sum up, then:

  • Baking dish, hot dripping, cold batter: Yorkshire pud.
  • Baking dish, hot butter, cold batter, powdered sugar (& optional lemon): Dutch baby.
  • Muffin/popover tin, hot fat (usually butter, but...), cold batter, hollow result: Popover.

Have to say I've never encountered a popover made with dripping, or indeed any fat but butter - but certainly concede that there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio....

EDIT: Yes, popovers are domed - but in theory they'd work well for gravy; once you break 'em open they'll hold a hell of a lot of it. (Same as with a potato.) Wouldn't seem right to me without the softer bit in the middle of the YP... but it would at least be feasible.

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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Try making it at sea level, then at high attitude. Plot the puffocity v altitude, then select the level of puffocity you desire then work out what altitude you will have to make you Yorkshire puddings at. For some reason it always turns out to be Leeds.

As a Leeds lass myself (albeit with Chinese-Birmingham roots), may I suggest that the easy way to cup like puddings is to use Aunt Bessie's?

the secret they never tell you

yours with tongue firmly in cheek,

Yin

X

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Being a Yorkshire man, i know what a Yorkshire pudding is, but in the light of all the comments, I dare not tell you.

Ay up, Just seen the contribution above mine. Aunt Bessies...... Totally, the best, four minutes and you have perfection.

Edited by naguere (log)

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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Baking dish, hot dripping, cold batter: Yorkshire pud.

Delia again

See the recipe in the above link, by the eg-definition these woud be popovers correct? But they aren't. Also they aren't domed, so how does this work?

Aha! Looked closely at Delia, then delved deeper than before into the site linked by Ned, getting as far this time as the Tips & Tricks section. A few differences, a couple of them vital.

One which I suspect doesn't matter too terribly much - I note that most modern YP recipes I've seen suggest using 1/2 milk-1/2 water instead of all milk. I don't usually happen to follow this suggestion, and my YP comes out brilliantly, but it is still worth noting by contrast that the Popover Expert (whose name escapes me at the moment) warns against using skim milk rather than whole milk, because it will have a deleterious effect on texture and will make the bottom bit of the popover shrink and wrinkle. Other than that, the batters are identical.

This may be more important: Delia's mini-YPs are made in a muffin tin. Popovers can also be made in a muffin tin, though a popover pan is recommended; the main thing, says the Popover Expert, is that the container for each individual popover be higher than it is wide. This makes sense to me: the liquid in the batter, converting to steam and making the outer shell of the popover expand, will thus be forcing the whole mass more in an upward direction. By the time it reaches the edge of the cup more of it has been used in forming the base than would be the case in a more squat muffin tin; so there is less mass and less counteraction by gravity, not to mention more upward force acting within, enabling the skin to puff, crisp and hold its shape. I'm not describing this very well, but no doubt you see what I'm trying to say.

Finally, and possibly most important of all, my bad:

The popovers rise better if the batter is at room temperature.  I warm the milk and eggs in the microwave or on the stove for a few seconds before adding them to the dry ingredients.

So... I was wrong about chilling the batter. I always chill it for YP, but apparently one mustn't for popovers. Soooo... lemme think about this. For YP you pour cold batter into hot fat, and what happens? The bit of it that heats fastest is the bit at the edge, the bit in contact with the sides as well as the bottom of the hot pan. So that bit puffs most. Getting more toward the center of the pan, the batter takes longer to heat because it is surrounded on all sides by progressively cooler batter, and only its underside touches the hot pan/hot fat. So that bit sets in its puddingy form. This seems to fit.

Leads me to speculate anew re what may be happening with Jackal10's YP. Aside from the batter proportions (which I am sure are part of the problem) and the fact that he may not be chilling his batter, do we think his pan might (if relevant at all) be too big or too small? Let me see... I'm going to say... tooooooo... big. Because if the whole pud is puffing up, that suggests that the batter is responding pretty evenly to the application of heat, and that in turn suggests that the batter is spread so thin that the center can't huddle and clump into puddingy-ness (puddingitude? puddingosity?).

Other variables which may or may not apply (since we're only looking at two recipes, the sample isn't large enough to suggest much of anything). Delia doesn't specify the size of the muffin tin, but she does specify the amount of batter: one tablespoon. Seems low to me, which doesn't fit with the theory we're developing, but since we don't know the size of the tin (bad recipe-writing - get with the program, Delia!) it's hard to gauge. Popover recipe says fill tin 1/2 full of batter. (More sensible because proportional to size of tin, which can be left indeterminate.) I'm sure this can be translated into some physical/chemical formula/ratio thingy which takes into account the angle of the tin sides and the square of the hippopotamus and all that other technical stuff. IAC, from empirical experience I can certainly aver that when you make a full-size YP the batter does not come anywhere near filling the pan 1/2 way - it's more a thin layer at the bottom. Wait, that may fit with Delia's tablespoon after all. Anyway, this has just about got to be relevant. Tall tin, 1/2 full of batter - batter needs to expand a lot so it climbs, climbs, climbs, puffs. Low wide tin, batter in bottom - edges climb, puff, middle doesn't have the momentum nor does it have those walls to climb or the pressure of the surrounding batter, nothing above it but hot air, so it can stay put.

Then there's oven temperature, but I'm not sure I even want to open that can of worms, especially since then you have to go into altitude and humidity and stuff. But FWIW Delia starts with a slightly lower oven and maintains the temp throughout; Popover Expert starts at a higher temp but then lowers it for 1/2 the cooking time; which BTW is longer, as long as a full-size YP. But I seem to remember that I start my YP very hot and then lower oven after 20 mns or so. So obviously everyone's MMV on that bit.

Delia preheats the tin and the fat. Popover Expert preheats the tin but not the fat. Hmmmm. I don't think I hold with this - I think the fat needs to be hot in both cases. I'm not going to take it into account. So there.

Could be argued that Delia's using proportionately more fat ("brush generously with most of the dripping") than Popover Expert ("brush with butter"), but that's too subjective to evaluate (especially since you say Delia's regular YP recipe, which I confess I haven't looked at, calls for relatively little dripping). Skip that, then.

Delia whisks her batter thoroughly; Popover Expert warns against overmixing. This may matter a lot - glutens and all that - especially as the YP batter not only chills but rests (at least an hour) between mixing and pouring, whereas the popover batter is used right away. This bears further investigation - and I'm sure our flour/ bread experts can explain it a lot more coherently and quickly than I can.

Anyway... looks like temperature of batter and pan configuration are the two elements that make the most difference (jury still out on effects of mixing & resting); and the single characteristic that really determines whether the result is a popover or a YP is the degree of puffosity. And firm-osity, too - popovers are generally cooked more than YP, and their shells are therefore harder and browner.

Further deponent (for now) sayeth not.

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Nope.

The same mix in baking tin works resonably well - crisp pufed edges, flattish middle.

In muffin tins ( I now tend to use Flexipans - easy release): popovers.

I'll try will less eggs, and hence less lifting power

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Adjust your flour/milk ratio too - can't remember what the differences were, but obviously the total amount of liquid matters. The formula I gave up-thread is the one that infallibly works for me. What's not to love about infallible? :wink:

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  • 5 months later...

I know this is an old thread, but as a card carrying country Yorkshire woman (from the North Riding) I have to stick my nose in.

First re: post moderm yorkshire puds, they have been making these dried out imitation YP in hotels restauraunts pubs etc for at least the 40 years I have been going out for sunday lunch (yes it did start as a baby!)

2: YP are not always made with dripping, or other animal product because:

3: the crtical ingredient in YP is gravy, made of course from the beef drippings from the roast.

4: YP is cooked in square/round tins that are handed down from generations my gran inherited hers and my cousin has them now (she still lives in yorkshire I dont) cake tins work well as a sub, what you want is crisp fluffy sides and a soft bottom to hold the gravy.

5: service of YP, YP is served first, before the beef as an appertizer with lots of gravy (noticing a theme)

6: the family secret for light fluffy YP is not to use only milk water was also used to mix the batter no percentages just guess!!! although this was based on real milk if you use skim like I do you propably dont need this step, the battter doesn't need refridgeration (this is an old recipe and refrideration is new)

well thats my 2cents on a very important topic to all yorkshiremen

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