Tips on how to make the proper self-saucing lemon pudding | Felicity Cloake’s Tips on how to make the proper …


Judging by the feedback once I posted an image of my recipe-testing efforts for this column, I appear to be the one of many few individuals who didn’t develop up with some model of this dessert, which Arabella Boxer describes as “ sizzling pudding, fast and easy to make, which has been all however forgotten”. Identified variously as lemon shock, lemon delight and even magic lemon pudding, it’s a winter dessert of the sharp and zesty sort, slightly than comfortingly strong sort, with a “charming little shock”, to cite Margaret Costa, within the type of the sauce that seems, as if by magic, within the backside of the dish after baking. A correct pudding, with the royal seal of approval from Mary Berry, Delia Smith and Nigel Slater, however with out the stodge.

The pudding

Many of the recipes I attempt use some mixture of butter and sugar, blended with egg yolks, milk, lemon and a bit flour to make a batter, then leavened with crushed egg whites, however there are a few outliers. First, Regula Ysewijn’s citadel pudding from her first e book Satisfaction and Pudding, which, strictly talking, isn’t a self-saucing pudding, however a steamed lemon sponge, and so buttery and scrumptious, that I couldn’t resist giving it a point out for anybody after one thing a bit extra rib-sticking right now of yr.

Heston Blumenthal’s take is a ‘easy, flummery-like pudding of egg and lemon frothed in water’. Thumbnails by Felicity Cloake.

Heston Blumenthal’s flourless instance, primarily based on a recipe from the kitchens of St John’s School, College of Cambridge, is a water pudding, which, in response to the Meals of England web site, is a “easy, flummery-like pudding of egg and lemon frothed in water and baked, recognized from information objects because the early nineteenth century.” His take, nevertheless, consists of butter in considerably bigger portions than older examples, and one way or the other I find yourself with a carefully quivering, easy lemon pudding the feel of a light-weight jelly above a butter sauce. It’s scrumptious, however not, I think, fairly as meant.

Aside from pastry chef Karen DeMasco’s recipe from the New York Occasions, which leaves out the butter and makes use of buttermilk as an alternative of milk, the others all differ solely within the ratio of eggs, butter, sugar, milk and flour referred to as for. The lightest pudding, in Boxer’s Ebook of English Meals and credited to a Mrs Arthur James (in any other case often known as the Edwardian society hostess, racehorse breeder and alleged royal mistress Venetia Cavendish-Bentinck), requires a mere 15g of butter and two eggs, and the richest, from chef Margot Henderson’s e book You’re All Invited, 200g butter and eight eggs. The Australian Girls’s Weekly’s lemon delight that options in so many comfortable childhood recollections makes use of 5 occasions as a lot flour as Costa’s equally beloved model from her 4 Seasons Cookery Ebook, and, unsurprisingly, results in starchier outcomes.

As is so usually the case, the most effective pudding for you’ll rely on what you fancy. Should you’re cooking for adults and hoping to impress, Henderson’s deliciously tart, ridiculously wealthy recipe is the one to go for; it’s like consuming sizzling lemon curd straight from the jar, and is especially good with chilly cream on prime. Should you’re after barely stodgy consolation meals, then the Australian Girls’s Weekly’s model will enchantment. Conversely, in order for you one thing extra delicate, go for James’s or DeMasco’s takes – the latter, with its tangy buttermilk, is as frothy and enjoyable as consuming a sherbet lemon. I’ve determined that mine will sit someplace within the center – clear and light-weight, however nonetheless emphatically a pudding – so I’ve used a comparatively modest quantity of butter (melted, as per the Australian Girls’s Weekly methodology, which makes it simpler to include) and flour, and a median variety of eggs.

The flavouring

Margot Henderson’s ‘ ridiculously rich’ lemon pud.
‘Ridiculously wealthy’: Margot Henderson’s lemon pudding.

Ysewijn tops her steamed sponges with dollops of lemon curd, in addition to including grated zest to the batter, however basic self-saucing numbers are typically flavoured with lemon juice, however my testers and I miss the bitter notes of the zest in James’s pudding. Although diners needs to be in little question that it is a lemon dessert, I’ve prevented the intensely sweet-and-sour character of some of the recipes, as a result of I don’t discover it significantly comforting. If nevertheless, you take pleasure in being whacked around the chops with winter fruit, then by all means improve the quantity of juice and zest.

Equally, you may add a second flavour. Henderson goes for vanilla extract, however floor cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and even black pepper can be comfortable pairings, and it strikes me you may even infuse the milk with the likes of basil or thyme.

The cooking

‘Slightly stodgy comfort food’: Australian Women’s Weekly’s lemon pud.
‘Barely stodgy consolation meals’: Australian Girls’s Weekly’s model.

Many recipes name for particular person ramekins, however it is a dessert that I believe appears to be like extra pleasing, to not point out beneficiant, when served from an enormous bowl, as Henderson recommends. Be sure to grease it properly to make serving it simpler, and cook dinner it in a tin of water so the bottom stays unfastened and custardy whilst the highest rises and dries out into an ethereal, nearly souffle-like crown – don’t fear a few little bit of cracking; that’s to be anticipated.

Although this pudding is greatest dug into sizzling from the oven, it’s surprisingly good chilly, too, do you have to wish to work forward. A jug of cream, although really useful by all my testers, is completely optionally available, and you could want to add contemporary berries on the facet (raspberries for Mrs Arthur James, blueberries for DeMasco), although, as a result of few are in season, tinned fruit is likely to be preferable. Personally, nevertheless, I prefer it greatest straight from the dish.

Good self-saucing lemon pudding

Prep 15 min
Prepare dinner 30 min
Serves 6

25g butter, plus additional for greasing
100g caster sugar
3 eggs
, separated
40g flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
260ml milk
Zest and juice of two lemons

Soften the butter in a saucepan, then put aside to chill barely. In the meantime, grease a medium ovenproof dish (the one I used was 21cm x 15cm) with butter and get out a roasting tin massive sufficient for it to sit down in. Warmth the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/fuel 4 and boil a full kettle.

Stir the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix the egg yolks into the butter mix, and put the whites into a second large bowl.

Stir the butter and sugar in a big bowl. Combine the egg yolks into the butter combine, and put the whites right into a second massive bowl.

Stir the flour, baking powder and salt into the butter mixture, followed, bit by bit by the milk, and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Stir the flour, baking powder and salt into the butter combination, adopted, little by little by the milk, and blend to a easy batter. Finely grate within the lemon zest, then add the juice (you need to have about 75ml).

03a Felicity Cloake’s self-saucing lemon pudding. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Whisk the egg whites to gentle peaks, then fold a spoonful into the batter. Fastidiously incorporate the remainder of the egg whites, so you retain as a lot air in them as attainable.

Carefully incorporate the rest of the egg whites, so you keep as much air in them as possible.

Pour the combination into the buttered dish (it ought to nearly fill it to the brim), then sit the dish within the roasting tin.

Pour the mix into the buttered dish (it should almost fill it to the brim), then sit the dish in the roasting tin.

Pour in sufficient just-boiled water to fill the tin by two-thirds, then rigorously switch to the oven and bake for half-hour, till the pudding is golden and set pretty agency on prime, however nonetheless appreciably jiggly under the floor. Serve sizzling or chilly.

  • Lemon pudding, shock or delight: in case you have fond recollections of this dish, what did you name it, and who was accountable? And are there different flavours of self-saucing puddings on the market?

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