If you’re not familiar with Yorkshire pudding, let me quickly explain. Although it’s a ‘pudding’ this is neither a dessert nor a viscous custard. A simple batter, very similar to the one used for crepes but more eggy, poured into scalding hot beef dripping in a muffin tin. You pour it, it sizzles, they bake, they puff. They’re similar to choux pastry in the theatrical, airy size they achieve in the oven but are much quicker to make. People in the US might recognise them as a wider, more bowl-like popover or a miniature ‘Dutch baby’ pancake. Their purpose is pure and simple: the carby accompaniment to your Sunday roast (they’re excellent for mopping up gravy).
So in a way, they’re one of the many iterations of a pancake. That’s why a couple of weeks ago when the stars aligned and my birthday + pancake day coincided (best day ever), I decided a huge Yorkshire pudding was going to feature for my dinner. As I’m mostly vegetarian now I don’t have the roast situation going on in my life any more so I had to come up with something else savoury to do. I’d made a socca pizza before so I was like BAM – Yorkshire pudding pizza. Pretty simple really.
I baked the batter in an oven-proof frying pan, topped with sauce + cheese + other goodies then baked again. Thin crust, crispy edges and melty cheese. What more could you want?
For the Yorkshire pudding
- 3 large eggs
- 120 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) milk (you can go dairy-free here if needed)
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the toppings:
- a 400 g tin (14oz) chopped tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and black pepper
- 125 g (4.5oz) fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
- olives, basil, fresh rocket, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts
- Parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the frying pan:
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
- In a jug, stir together all the Yorkshire pudding ingredients (flour, eggs, milk, salt) with a whisk until mostly smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
Make the sauce:
- In a medium pot place the chopped tomatoes, garlic and mixed dried herbs. Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Stir in the balsamic and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside off the heat.
Bake the Yorkshire pudding:
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Place 1 tbsp of the rapeseed oil into an 8 or 9 inch oven-proof frying pan or skillet - you want one which is relatively deep. Place into the oven for 5-10 minutes so the oil gets nice and hot. Carefully pull the rack of the oven out and pour half of the Yorkshire pudding batter into the frying pan. Push the rack back in and close the oven door. Bake for 12-15 minutes until it's puffed up gloriously and golden all over.
- Remove the hot frying pan from the oven (leave a tea towel on the handle so you don't end up grabbing scorching hot handle!!), spread a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce into the base of the pudding. Dot with half of the mozzarella and top with whatever toppings you'd like (I leave basil/rocket leaves to sprinkle on after it's baked). Sprinkle on some grated parmesan, salt and black pepper. Return the Yorkshire pud to the oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Slide the pudding out of the frying pan onto a cutting board and cut into slices using a large knife.
- Repeat the baking and topping of the Yorkshire pudding to make 1 more pizza (using the remaining oil, batter and mozzarella) as before.