This is the result of Mr Colonial Cravings telling me tales of the confusion that the British term ‘pudding’ creates with his American colleagues. Pudding, here, refers to a custard type dessert so you can imagine the alarm the phrase ‘steak and kidney pudding’ raises.
In the U.K pudding can be any sort of dessert, specific desserts i.e rice pudding or steamed pudding, a type of savory pie or a baked batter dish known as Yorkshire pudding.
If you’ve never tried the latter then you really need to, when made well they are nothing short of little crispy, fluffy clouds of joy. If there are leftover Yorkshire puds in my Mums kitchen they are quite quickly snaffled up with syrup. I’ve been known to eat them with clotted cream too. I’m not even ashamed to admit it!
Toad in the hole is the hearty combination of Yorkshire pudding and sausages. I’ve made one with roasted root vegetables before and although I’ve never made a sweet one I couldn’t think of a reason why not to.
I was really pleased with how well it turned out, it made such a nice wintry alternative to a crumble or a pie. In fact it was so good I had to restrain Mr Colonial Cravings from polishing it off in one sitting…
70g plain flour
1 tbsp oil (for baking it in)
30g soft brown sugar
1/4 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp seasalt
1 medium apple & 1 medium pear (or 2 of each)
Whisk together the eggs and milk in a large jug. Add the flour and mix well. Put this in the fridge and let it rest (this lets the gluten get to work) whilst you prepare the fruit.
Peel and core the fruit then cut it into large, chunky pieces.
Use a heavy based saucepan and melt together the butter and both types of sugar over a high heat until foamy and dark caramel coloured. Reduce the heat a little then carefully stir in the salt and spices.
Add the fruit to the pan and coat it well in the sauce. If your fruit is on the cold side then you may find that the toffee solidifies around them but don’t worry it’ll re-melt as the fruit warms up. Continue to cook for a few minutes then set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 230°c. Pour the oil into your baking dish. It needs to be something with a fixed base that will get really hot. I always use an enamel dish but Pyrex would probably be okay. The secret to a good Yorkie is simply to make sure that the oil is really hot, smoking hot preferably.
Put the fruit in the tin too, reserving the sauce for serving. Put the tin in the oven and let it get really hot.
Once you are satisfied that it is hot enough pour over the rested batter and put the dish straight back into the oven. Close the door and don’t open it again for 30 minutes. Resist the temptation to peek or you will end up with deflated puddings and no one wants that!
Serve with the toffee sauce drizzled over it and splash of cream. Nom, nom, nom!