self-saucing citrus pudding

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I think we in the southern hemisphere are slightly guilty of neglecting the humble pudding.

On my trips to the UK this year, it was made abundantly clear that this tradition is alive and well; indeed, the title of dessert has effectively been replaced by the all-encompassing term ‘pudding’.

This is a wonderful recipe from Ben O’Donoghue (he of the Surfing the Menu fame).

Ben’s a down to earth Aussie chef, leading the charge with mate Curtis Stone for getting Australian blokes back in the kitchen.

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It’s saucy, citrusy and perfect after a hearty, often entirely filling winter meal when you just want a little something sweet to top everything off.

I made this version with a motley collection of lemons from different sources, including giant, grapefruit-sized specimens grown with love (and possibly nuclear waste…?) from Narrogin and the knobbly, orange-tinged fruits from the apartment lemon tree.

Thanks to education from my American blogger friends, I suspect that these may be Meyer lemons – a lemon variety crossed with mandarins, with sweeter, amber-tinted flesh.

In any case, you can use practically any citrus you can lay your hands on.  I’ve made an entirely orange version before, as well as a lemon and lime version you can serve with whipped coconut cream.  Get creative!

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self-saucing citrus pudding

adapted from ben o’donoghue’s recipe in the august 2010 issue of delicious. magazine


125g unsalted butter, softened

1 vanilla bean, split & seeds scraped
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
⅓ cup milk
2 tbsp cornflour
finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
pure icing sugar, to dust
quality vanilla bean ice cream, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 1.5 litre pudding basin or casserole dish.

Beat the butter, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and half the sugar together in an electric mixer until thick and pale.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined.

Fold in the plain flour, baking powder and half a teaspoon salt, then gently fold in the milk until combined.  Spread the batter into your pudding basin or dish.

Mix the cornflour with remaining sugar and using a sieve, dust over the top of the pudding.

Combine the lemon juice, zest and one cup of boiling water in a jug, then gently pour over the batter (but don’t stir into the mixture).

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Bake the pudding for 50-60 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the sponge layer comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly, dust with icing sugar and spoon into bowls.

Serve the hot pudding with cooling scoops of vanilla ice cream.

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