Yorkshire puds: from roast beef side to street food star

It’s Yorkshire Day – a celebration of the historic county and everything in it. It is only right, then, that arguably its most famous creation, the Yorkshire pudding, gets a look-in.

So beloved are they by the nation that Brits splashed out more than £70m on frozen Yorkshire puds alone in the year to 17 June 2018 [Kantar Worldpanel].

Made from a basic batter recipe consisting of flour, eggs and milk, they have traditionally been served with roast beef. But, in recent years, their versatile nature means Yorkshire puddings have been reinvented from roast dinner accompaniment to Instagram-worthy street food.

“The humble Yorkshire pudding has proven to be the versatile star of the show, rising to new occasions, for new consumers, across the country,” says Tom Fagg, assistant brand communications manager at Aunt Bessie’s.

“From burritos to wraps to pizza bases; the viral success of the Yorkshire pudding, and its use outside of the traditional roast occasion, is hard to ignore.”

The brand, which was recently bought by Nomad Foods, is tapping into this evolution through promotion of non-traditional uses for its products, which are masterminded by a dedicated chef. This includes using mini Yorkies as sweet and savoury canapés and giant ones as wraps.

That’s a big difference from the way they were originally consumed.

“The first was recorded in 1747 by Hannah Glasse, who named it the dripping pudding. They had been cooked in England for centuries although the puddings were much flatter than the light and crispy version today,” notes Charles Payne, managing director of The Real Yorkshire Pudding Co, which produces 120 million own-label and branded Yorkshire puds every year.

Traditionally, they were served with a rich gravy as a separate course prior to a main meat dish. “This was a way to fill up before the main course, thus stretching the use of more expensive ingredients, since the Yorkshire pudding was served first.  If there were any puddings ‘left over’ they would be served as puddings with jam,” Payne adds.

While consumers are happy to chow down on Yorkshire pudding wraps, using them as desserts is still controversial. The Yorkshire Pudding Co is hoping to change this with the launch of its crumble-inspired desserts (see below).

“Whether it’s roast beef and horseradish or a custard cream and chocolate-filled Yorkshire, consumers have an ever-growing plethora of options when it comes to Yorkshire pudding-based recipes,” Fagg adds. “This has only helped to modernise the Yorkshire pudding and change consumer perceptions on occasions they might use and consume one.”

With that in mind, here are five alternative uses for Yorkshire puddings:

Burger buns

The shape of Yorkshire puddings make them ideal for use as burger buns. Plus, beef burgers aren’t that far removed from roast beef. They don’t have to be filled with beef, though, with items such as pulled pork and also halloumi making interesting fillings. What’s more, small Yorkies can be used as buns for sliders.

Pizza bases

Anything can be a pizza base nowadays – from cauliflower to pitta bread, so it was only a matter of time before Yorkshire puddings got in on the action. To tap into this trend, Morrisons launched two limited-edition Yorkshire pudding pizzas. Both comprised a crispy base – made in Doncaster, South Yorkshire – with tomato sauce and mozzarella, topped with pepperoni or mini meatballs, pepperoni, spicy beef and jalapeños for a Meat Feast.

Brunch

Forget avocado on toast, it’s all about avocado on a Yorkshire pudding. Another of Aunt Bessie’s suggestions comes in the form of a giant pud filled with avocado wrapped in ham with egg, mushroom and red onion – ideal for brunch. Similarly, the company also recommends filling them with bacon and eggs for a unique breakfast.

Crumble

Hoping to encourage more Brits that sweet Yorkshire puddings are delicious, The Real Yorkshire Pudding o has launched two crumble-inspired treats. Available in Asda stores in Yorkshire, its NPD is available in Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble and Toffee Apple Crumble variants. Both feature fruit compotes topped with crumble and sauce.

Cheesecake

If you thought jam in a Yorkshire pudding was controversial, look away now because Aunt Bessie's is pushing the boat out with this one. This is a cheesecake in a giant Yorkshire pudding – a Pimm’s cheesecake to be exact. Complete with cream cheese frosting, it is topped with the usual accompaniments for the summertime tipple in the form of strawberries, cucumber and mint.

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