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    Lemon Surprise Pudding

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    Lemon Surprise Pudding

    Of course the original recipe gave imperial measures; these I have now converted into metric. The only other changes I've made are to suggest that you should butter the dish or dishes well before filling; add a pinch of salt to the mixture; use self-raising rather than plain flour to add a touch of extra lightness; eat the pudding warm, rather than hot from the oven; and serve with plenty of double cream. The contrast in the mouth between coolness and warmth is particularly agreeable.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes to 35 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes 50 minutes

    Serves: 4, with seconds


    • 75g butter, unsalted, softened, plus a little extra for lining dish(es)
    • 2 lemons, unwaxed, rind and juice
    • 120g caster sugar
    • 3 medium eggs, separated
    • 30g self-raising flour
    • 400ml milk, preferably Jersey or Guernsey


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Butter a 1.5-litre dish about 6cm deep, or 6–8 individual dishes (the number depends on their size). Cream the butter with the grated lemon rind, sugar and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy.
    2. Beat in the egg yolks one by one until thick and glossy, then stir in the flour and milk; alternate between the two, adding a bit at a time. Stir in the juice of the lemons. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in lightly but thoroughly.
    3. Pour into the buttered dish (or dishes) and bake for 35 minutes (or 20–25, for individual dishes), until the top is golden, puffed and just firm to the touch.

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    Cook's tips

    And, as you now know: 'Underneath the sponge topping there will be a creamy lemon sauce – this the charming little surprise.'

    As I said, I do think the pudding is slightly nicer eaten warm: it will still taste every bit as good, even if it begins to sink a little as it cools.


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