Sussex Pond Pudding
A whole candied lemon stands proud within the walls of its crumbly suet pudding casing. It may not be the most beautiful of desserts to look at, but when the pudding is cut and the stream of buttery golden brown syrup oozes out it reveals the sunshine yellow citrus centre. The lemon and suet pastry bombe is a traditional pudding first described in the 1672 cookery book The Queen-like Closet but more recently saw a resurgence by British chef Heston Blumenthal and GBBO judge Prue Leith.
© Mad Major Photography
Prep time: 15 mins / Cook time: 3hrs 15mins
• 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
• 110g shredded suet
• 150ml milk
• 150g unsalted butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for greasing
• 150g soft brown sugar
• 1 large ripe lemon
• You will also need baking parchment, tin foil, string and a 1.5 litre pudding basin
1 Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir through the suet. Mix in the milk (you may not need it all) so it just comes together as a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for a few minutes, then cut off a quarter of the dough and set aside.
2 On a lightly floured surface roll out the larger piece to form a 30cm circle, to an approx. thickness of 1cm. Use this to line a 1.5 litre greased pudding basin.
3 Spoon half the butter and half the sugar in the bottom of the pastry-lined basin. Using a skewer, prick the lemon all over and sit on top of the sugar and butter mix. Add the remaining sugar and butter.
4 Brush the exposed dough with water. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid. Cover the filling with the pastry lid and fold over the edges, pressing firmly together to seal.
5 Cover the surface with a well-buttered, pleated sheet of baking parchment and foil, slightly bigger than the top of the basin. Secure with kitchen string, around the basin and make a loop for easy removal.
6 Put an upturned, heatproof plate into the bottom of a large saucepan. Place the basin on top and pour in boiling water, from the kettle, to come halfway up the side of the basin. Cover the pan with a lid, simmer and steam for 3hrs 15mins.
7 When the pudding has cooked, carefully lift out of the saucepan, remove the string, foil and parchment. Loosen the sides, of the pudding, then turn out onto a serving plate.