Lemon Self-Saucing pudding..

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This is an amazing dessert – one of my favourites in fact.

As if by magic, the ingredients sort themselves out into a soft, billowy sponge on top, with a tangy lemon sauce underneath.. heaven!

The problem that I have with it is that it doesn’t keep once you’ve taken it out of the oven, and that really goes against my ‘do all the work before everyone arrives’ entertaining ethos. However, I’m giving you instructions on how to put it together at the last minute. If that’s too stressful, just relegate it to ‘family only’ affairs!

By the way – my definition of ”doesn’t keep” means that the sauce thickens and isn’t runny – it still tastes delicious, and anyone who didn’t know what you intended wouldn’t be any the wiser, but it disappoints me..

The trick is to have the two sets of ingredients ready before you serve the starter then mix the two quickly together and pour them into your prepared dish, then into a baking tray half-filled with hot water (a Bain Marie, for the posh amongst us).

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Then cook in the oven for the 3o-35 minute baking time. If you’re just serving a main course and dessert, as I am this evening, then it just goes into the oven with the timer on, as you dish up the spuds.


  • Electric whisk.
  • bowl for egg whites
  • Food processor
  • Pudding dish- at least 5 inches deep.(mine’s a really scruffy old Pyrex dish that I’ve had forever)
  • A deep baking tray which will hold the pudding dish and some water – a 2-3 inch deep roasting tray is ideal.(see below)

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INGREDIENTS: This feeds from 4-6, depending on portion size. Sorry, no seconds, and believe me they’ll ask!

  • 50g butter, plus a little more for greasing the dish.
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 1-2 lemons, zested
  • 100mls lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 50g plain flour, sifted
  • 250mls milk
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


  • Heat the oven to 160 fan.
  • Butter the pudding dish, and place it into the baking tray. Leave to one side.
  • Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest into the food processor, and whizz until they are pale and creamy


  • Add the lemon juice, egg yolks, flour and milk one by one with the motor running (slow it down when adding the flour!) and whizz until it is a nice smooth batter. Once the batter is made, I usually transfer it into a large lipped bowl or jug, for ease of pouring.
  • Using clean, grease-free beaters, whip the egg whites until they’re firm, but not overly stiff or dry. (see NOTES)
  • Fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture, then pour into the prepared dish.

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  • Place the pudding, in it’s roasting tray, into the oven. Then add enough boiling water to come half-way up the sides of the pudding dish.(I usually just pour it in from a jug or kettle)

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  • Close the door, put on the timer, then sit down and eat your dinner.
  • When the timer goes off, have a look. The top of the sponge should be lightly browned. If it’s too pale give it another 5 minutes then take it out carefully (there’ll be steam, and hot water). Take the pudding bowl out of its bath, and place on a heat-proof board.

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  • Carry it to the table and serve it straight away, with pouring cream.
  • Job done.

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  • Most of the notes are in the opening paragraph :) but if you need to let it sit for a while, just remove the pudding from its hot-water bath, otherwise it will keep cooking
  • Keep the whipped egg whites covered before you use them – a sheet of clingfilm is ideal. This will keep the whites for about 20-30 minutes but not any longer than that.
  • You can of course use lemon and lime; or orange. Any combination of citrus fruit, in fact.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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