My grandma often made these in one large roasting tin, cutting it into squares for us when it was ready. At home, I always make individual puddings, in heavy-duty muffin trays. Hot is the key here: hot oven, hot fat.
8oz plain flour
Half a pint of milk
Pinch of salt
Beef dripping, for cooking
- Sift the flour with the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. (An extra egg white may be added at this stage for a higher, lighter pudding.) Gradually whisk in the milk – you may not need to use it all – until you have a thick, smooth batter that easily coats the back of a spoon. Leave to rest.
- Heat the dripping in a roasting tin until smoking hot. Add the rested batter and bake for about three-quarters of an hour, or until golden brown and crisp. You may need to reduce the heat when the pudding has risen.
- Cut into portions and serve with gravy.
- NB For small puddings, use moulds as for fairy cakes or buns, and reduce the cooking time to half an hour.
- If you’re roasting a beef joint, you may bake the pudding in the tin used to cook the meat, first straining away the juices for use in your gravy, but leaving the fat in the tin.
- Pour the batter into the tin and cook until nicely browned. The meat should be returned to the oven to finish on a rack above the pudding, adding its juices to the batter. This method is delicious, but does give a flatter, crisper pudding.