They rose nicely, but the inside was soggy - not how they should be.
Dear Eric: I tried the Yorkshire pudding recipe that was in the paper some months ago. The mixture rises beautifully and browns without having a smoking oven. But the inside is really soggy. As a celiac, I use the following ratio in my flour mi six parts rice flour, two parts tapioca starch and one part potato starch. Can you suggest some way to achieve a nice pudding with a dry interior?
Dear Jean: The recipe you are referring to is one I published last year called no-fuss Yorkshire puddings. I called it no-fuss because you bake the puddings from cold - no need to first get an oil-filled pan smoking hot in the oven before pouring in the batter.
Eliminating that step ensures you won't - potentially - burn yourself when pouring in the batter. It also prevents your kitchen from filling up with smoke, something that used to happen when I opened the oven door to pour the batter into the hot pan.
That recipe was made with gluten-rich all-purpose flour. Because Jean is celiac, that's not going to work for her.
To make batters for such things as Yorkshire pudding, celiacs must instead use gluten-free flour. To yield a product that has similar characteristics to one made with wheat flour, you most often have to use a combination of different gluten-free flours.
Unfortunately, it never seems to be as easy as simply replacing wheat flour with the same amount of gluten-free flour mix. That's something Jean found out when making my Yorkshire pudding recipe.
After numerous tests, using gluten-free flour combinations, I came with up with a gluten-free Yorkshire pudding recipe I was happy with. I don't normally mention brands in my column, but in this case, I must, because that was the key to my success.
In the recipe below, you'll see I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour, available at many supermarkets. It contains a mix of gluten-free ingredients that include garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour and fava bean flour. It gave the Yorkshire pudding a nice flavour, stronger than the neutral taste you get when just using all-purpose wheat flour.
However, after one test run, I realized that when I replaced all-purpose wheat flour with the same amount of this gluten-free flour, the batter was thicker, which produced Yorkshire puddings with soggy interiors. I cut back on the quanitity of flour, eventually using just one cup of it, instead of the 1 1/2 cups of flour used in my original recipe. That, along with cooking the puddings at a higher temperature for a while longer than called for in my original recipe, yielded puddings that rose nicely and had the dry interior Jean was looking for.
When making the Yorkshire pudding, use a goodquality, non-stick muffin pan. If you use an old one that's heavily worn and scratched, the puddings will likely stick to the bottom of the pan, not a good thing.
GLUTEN-FREE YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS
You can bake these popover-like Yorkshire puddings a few hours in advance, cool them a bit, remove them from the pan, set them on a baking sheet and cover them. When ready to serve, reheat in the oven for about 5 minutes.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 to 55 minutes
Makes: 12 puddings
6 large eggs
3/4 cup 2 per cent milk
3/4 cup water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch ground nutmeg 1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all purpose baking flour
vegetable oil spray (see Note)
Set an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the eggs in a bowl and beat until well blended. Whisk in the milk, water, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk in the flour to create a fairly smooth batter. (Don't worry if there are a few tiny bits of undissolved flour).
Thoroughly grease a nonstick, 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil spray. Pour and divide the batter among the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 F and bake to 30 to 35 minutes more, or until the Yorkshire puddings are puffed and golden and almost dry in the centre.
Set on a baking rack and cool a few minutes. When the pan is cool enough to handle, carefully remove the Yorkshire puddings.
Note: I used Pam Original cooking spray in this recipe. According to information on the company's website, pamcookingspray.com, it does not contain any ingredients derived from wheat products.
MORE ISLAND FOOD EVENTS
This is a follow up to last Wednesday's column on Vancouver Island food events. There is a lot going on this month. Here are three other events to consider attending:
Chefs Across the Water Monday night, Saltspring Island's Hastings House Country House Hotel is hosting the first in a series of dinner events called Chefs Across the Water. This is the third year they have held these dinners, the proceeds of which help support the initiatives of the Saltspring Agricultural Alliance.
The talented chef coming across the water for Monday's dinner is Lee Parsons, executive chef of Bacchus Restaurant in Vancouver's Wedgewood Hotel. Parsons, with assistance from Hastings House chef Marcel Kauer, will offer an extraordinary five-course meal rich with Saltspring Island ingredients. The cost of the meal is $100 per person. Wine parings are additional $40 per person. To make reservations, visit hastingshouse.com.
B.C. Bites and Beverages On Thursday, from 7 to 9 p.m., Victoria's Royal B.C. Museum is holding the first in the B.C. Bites and Beverages series titled Bounty from the Harvest. The host for the evening is CBC radio personality and food historian Don Genova, who will give a presentation on the history of the food and beverage industry in B.C. He'll talk about the agricultural production that used to be undertaken on Vancouver Island, why much of it disappeared and how it is now coming back on a much more personal level between farmer and consumer. You'll meet some of those farmers during the evening and get to try tasty food samples. The cost of the event is $35 plus HST for museum members, $40 plus HST for non-members. Buy tickets on online at calendar.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca
Saanich Harvest Feast The fourth annual Saanich Peninsula Harvest Feast takes place Thursday at the main hall, Saanich Fairground, 1528 Stellys Cross Rd. The event, a celebration of Peninsula food and farms, kicks off with a wine tasting at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., Truffles Catering, with assistance from Breadstuffs Bakery, will serve a feast of savouries and sweets made with food grown or raised within 10 kilometres of the Saanich Fairground. Adult tickets are $27, children 12 and under are $10, and family packs (two adults and two children) are $64. To limit cleanup, organizers are also offering a "bring your own plate and cutlery option," whereby the ticket prices will be reduced to $24 for adults, $7 for children and $52 for families. Tickets are available at Breadstuffs Bakery (Brentwood Bay), Fresh Cup Roastery CafÃ© (Saanichton), the Roost Farm Centre (North Saanich) and Muffet & Louisa (Sidney). Saanich Peninsula Harvest Feast is a not-for-profit event. Visit islandfarmfresh.com and click on events.
Eric Akis is the author of the bestselling Everyone Can Cook series of cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday. Send questions by email or to Ask Eric, Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, V8T 4M2.
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