Despite the fact I’ve spent most of my adult life in different places, finally settling in Lancashire, I have Yorkshire in my bones. My late mama was Queen of the Yorkshire pudding so as such I have high expectations. Fast forward 3 years of veganism and many failed attempts later and I think I’ve finally found it, the holy grail, a vegan Yorkshire pudding recipe that doesn’t disappoint. Would it fool a blindfold Yorkshire home cook that she was eating her family recipe? Certainly not. Does it make my belly happy and content after all this time without so much as a sniff of a Yorkshire pud? Absolutely.
The stew in this story is almost secondary, merely offering the crispy, doughy Yorkshire pudding vessel reason to exist to scoop up all that thick, rich gravy. If you’re the type to shun anything remotely resembling a meat substitute then feel free to replace the Quorn with a tin of creamy butter beans and you’re good to go.
This is a slow cook recipe taking anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours to do right. It’s difficult to put an exact time on it depending on the size and freshness of your vegetables and how much water and wine you see fit to add to stop it all from sticking. The aim is that the vegetables are fork tender and the barley is cooked but slightly chewy. It should thicken naturally but I also like to add vegetable gravy granules right at the end for extra flavour. If you wanted to speed it up you could simmer your barley in a separate pan of water and add to the stew once it’s cooked but if you have the time or the inclination then slow is the way to go.
A few tips about Yorkshire Pudding etiquette. I insist you invest in a proper metal baking tin, even better steal one from a Yorkshire kitchen. The rule is that the pudding tin should never be washed, merely wiped out with a paper towel after baking. I was so desperate to try this recipe that I decided to forgo this step and use what I had. Despite whatever the sales pitch is on silicone bakeware I just don’t think you can argue with tradition on this one.
The silicone tray I used just never seemed hot enough and as a result, I didn’t achieve the satisfying spit and sizzle as the batter hit the oil. Not only did I disappointingly miss out on those reminiscent ASMR feels but it also meant the batter didn’t start cooking immediately which results in a pudding that doesn’t rise as high or brown as golden on the outside.
Whatever your feelings on oil I’m here to tell you to forget everything you think you know and reach instead for good old-fashioned vegetable oil, you’ll thank me later. Nothing else will do, not coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter. They just simply won’t get hot enough without burning but may create smoke signals that can be seen as far as Yorkshire so the folks there in the know can laugh and point.
Another sneaky insider tip I have for you is to allow the batter to rest in the jug undisturbed for as long as possible whilst you get on with everything else. Just before pouring add 2 Tbsp cold water to the jug and give the batter a 2nd good whisk. With regards to the pour do it as quickly and carefully as you can, if you’ve followed my first tip then the oil will likely spit as you pour, be brave. Only fill the tray 1/3 to a maximum of 1/2 full to avoid the pudding becoming too heavy and collapsing in on itself. Finally, don’t ever, and I do mean EVER, open the oven door until cooking is finished or you risk ruining all that hard work and dedication.
The vegan Yorkshire pudding recipe I used is the one from Viva’s Vegan Recipe Club which you can find here.
Do you know a Yorkshire pudding connoisseur? Make this recipe for them and let me know how they liked it in the comments below. Don’t forget to tag me @applefalltree to show me your version on Instagram.