This post is dedicated to my old uni flatmate Jo. She used to make this wonderful dish of savoury Yorkshire pudding with cheddar and onion topped off with a Marmite gravy. I don’t even like Marmite but I used to love Jo’s Yorkshire pudding. You could argue that this was because I was a student and as we all know, students don’t have the most refined of palates Alternatively (and much more likely) it tasted wonderful because it was Jo’s mum’s recipe and Jo’s mum is the best home-cook I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Her homemade ice-cream and meringues were the stuff of legend.
So when Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Fiona from The Face of New World Appliances announced that the next stop on the Best of British challenge tour was Yorkshire, my thoughts automatically turned to the Yorkshire pudding. Taking inspiration from Jo’s mum, I decided to inject a little excitement into the humble Yorkie with some flavour combinations of my own. As you can see from the piccies, my butternut and sage puddings turned out rather well. They rose beautifully with the characteristic dip in the middle and the butternut gave them a lovely golden hue. I also tried a blue cheese and bacon combo* which didn’t turn out quite such majestic puddings – a shame because they tasted amazing. Both variants go brilliantly with roast chicken and lashings of gravy.
Butternut and Sage Yorkshire Puddings
- 400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1tsp brown sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 300ml milk
- small handful of sage leaves
- salt and pepper
- oil or duck fat
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the butternut pieces in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with sugar and a drizzle of oil then cover with foil and roast for about an hour until tender.
2. Whilst the butternut is in the oven, make the pudding batter. Place the flour in a bowl and stir in the eggs, then the milk. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Set aside until ready to cook.
3. Fry the sage leaves in a little oil until crispy then drain on kitchen paper. Puree the cooked butternut in a food processor then pass through a fine sieve. Season generously.
4. Turn up the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Add half a teaspoon of oil or duck fat to each of the holes in a large muffin tin and heat in the oven for 5 mins. Stir the butternut puree into the batter then crumble in the crispy sage leaves. Tip the batter into a jug and then quickly pour into the heated tin. Bake for 25-30 mins until puffed and golden.
*For the bacon and blue cheese version, replace the butternut and sage with four rashers of finely chopped streaky bacon, fried until crisp, and 50g of crumbled blue cheese.