Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad


Fresh fruit salad is always a good standby for a quick dessert. A selection of fruits in season are mixed in a lemon syrup. Wine or liqueur can also be added to enhance the flavour further.


Fresh Fruit Salad
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 2–3 hours
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes

  • Ingredients for a winter fruit salad
  • 115g (4 oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • A selection of 4–5 fruits
  • 2 small or 1 large red skinned apple
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 banana
  • 115g (4 oz) seedless grapes (1 cup)
  • 1 small tin/can pineapple slices or fresh pineapple
  • or any other seasonal fruits

  • Equipment
  • Glass serving bowl

  1. Method
  2. Dissolve the sugar in 300ml (10 fl oz) (1¼ cups) water over a gentle heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Cool and add the lemon juice. Pour into a glass serving bowl.

  3. Prepare the fruits and put them into the syrup as you go. Quarter, core and thinly slice the apples. Peel the oranges making sure all the pith is removed, break into its segments and divide each one into three. Slice the banana. Halve the grapes. Take four pineapple slices and halve each one and then divide into three. Mix them in the syrup, coating all the fruit.

  4. Let the fruit salad stand for 2–3 hours to allow the flavours to blend.

  5. Variations
  6. A tipsy fruit salad
  7. Add 15–30ml (1–2 tbsp) of any fruit liqueur or white wine to the syrup.

  8. A summer fruit salad
  9. Combine summer fruits, for example, strawberries, raspberries, cherries with dessert pears and melon, or any other seasonal fruits.

Updated: March 7, 2017

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar


I saw Mary Berry create this recipe for floating islands on the Great British Bake Off Masterclass this year. I have always sprinkled cocoa powder over the meringue eggs (see here) but would certainly recommend this for a change.


Floating Islands with Spun Sugar
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crème anglaise
  • 200ml/7 fl oz full fat milk/whole milk
  • 200ml/7 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla essence
4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only (reserving 3 egg whites for the meringue)
  • 85g/3 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, whites only
  • 85g/3 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • For the spun sugar
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • Equipment
  • A deep sided sauté or frying pan with lid

  1. Method
  2. For the spun sugar
  3. Melt the sugar, without stirring, in a small stainless steel pan over a medium heat. Cover a rolling pin with parchment. Take care as the sugar will be very hot. When it turns a dark golden-brown remove from the heat. Leave to cool slightly, about 30 seconds, then, using the back of a fork or a whisk, quickly flick the caramel backwards and forward over the rolling pin. Gather the strands into rough ball shape while gently pulling upwards and place on a sheet of parchment paper.

  4. For the poaching liquid
  5. This will become the crème anglaise. Heat the milk and cream in the pan. Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Now make the meringue.

  6. For the meringues
  7. In a large grease-free bowl using an electric hand whisk on fast speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or use the whisk attachment on a food mixer). Now gradually whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is stiff and glossy. 

  8. Have a glass or jug of water to hand. Using two large tablespoons or serving spoons, shape large eggs from the meringue mixture, dipping the spoons in the water to help shape them and keep them smooth. The meringue should make 4 very large eggs. Place the meringue eggs in the poaching liquid as you go. Cover the pan and over a very low heat poach the meringue eggs for about 8–9 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Make sure the poaching liquid doesn’t boil or the meringues will puff up and then collapse. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a wire rack covered with paper towel to drain. 

  9. For the crème anglaise
  10. Strain the poaching milk through a sieve into a large jug. 

  11. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes. Pour over the warm poaching milk, whisking continuously. Then pour the mixture into a clean heavy-based pan and cook over a very low heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.

  12. To serve
  13. Divide the crème anglaise between each serving bowl and then float a meringue egg on top. Decorate with a ball of spun sugar.

Crossover Pancakes

Crossover Pancakes


Small English-sized pancakes that are made with a thicker North American-style batter. These are served one on top the other with sweetened butter and maple syrup poured generously over.


Crossover Pancakes
Prepares: 12 pancakes
  • Preparation time: About 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g/9 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2½ tbsp caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 2 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 475ml/17 fl oz milk
  • 110g/4 oz butter
  • pinch of salt

  • To serve
  • 80g/3 oz butter, softened
  • 1 tsp icing sugar, sifted
  • maple syrup to pour

  • Equipment
  • A 20cm/8inch nonstick frying pan/skillet

  1. Method
  2. Melt 80g/3 oz of the butter and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Mix in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the eggs, milk and melted butter incorporating the flour from around the edges.until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, push down any remaining flour from the sides of the bowl and whisk in until smooth. This will make a fairly thick batter. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  4. Meanwhile, beat softened butter and icing sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

  5. Put the pan over a medium heat. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and then pour into a small bowl. This should leave the pan with a lightly greased surface. After cooking each pancake, smear the pan with melted butter to keep it lightly greased using a wodge of kitchen paper.

  6. For each pancake you will need about 4 tablespoons/¼ cup of batter. I find a ladle makes it easy to scoop out the batter and pour into the pan. I know where my 4 tablespoons come to in the ladle and use this as a rough guide. So, quickly ladle the batter into the centre of the pan and tip the pan from side to side to even out the batter. The batter won’t cover the surface of the pan but should make an even round pancake. Then cook the pancake for about 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is starting to turn golden. Flip and cook the underside for another 1–2 minutes. Slide onto a warmed plate, cover loosely with with foil and keep warm in the oven. Repeat using the rest of the batter overlapping the pancakes on the warmed plate.

  7. Divide the pancakes between four plates and top each with a spoonful of the reserved sweetened butter. Now they just need the maple syrup.


Chicken and Bacon Casserole

Chicken and Bacon Casserole


Chicken breasts are slowly cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with a baked potato and seasonal vegetables.


Chicken and Bacon Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 30ml/2 tbsp flour
  • Black pepper
  • 45ml/3 tbsp oil
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 4 back bacon rashers
  • 50g/2 oz onion, finely chopped
  • 300ml/10 fl oz hot water
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube or 1tsp chicken bouillon
  • 8 whole tinned tomatoes, plus juice

  • To garnish
  • Chunky croutons
  • Chopped parsley

  • To serve
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • Seasonal vegetables

  • Equipment
  • A deep-sided sauté pan with lid

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  3. Put the flour and some pepper into a plastic storage bag, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Reserve the remaining flour in the bag.

  4. Heat the oil and butter in the sauté pan over a moderate heat and brown the chicken pieces, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  5. Cut the bacon rashers into thin strips and fry gently in the pan for 2 minutes, until the fat starts to run. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown, about 3 minutes.

  6. Add the reserved flour into the pan and stir until the mixture has thickened. Mix the stock cube/1tsp bouillon into the water and add slowly to the pan, stirring constantly, until well combined. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and add the tomatoes.

  7. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Place the sauté pan on the hob and over a medium to high heat reduce the sauce to thicken. Put the chicken back in the pan, scatter the croutons over and add some chopped parsley.

  9. Serve with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

  10. For the croutons
  11. These are so easy to make. Remove the crusts from 2 slices of bread (preferably a day old), cut into cubes and put in a bowl. Sprinkle over about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, some dried parsley and black pepper. Toss together.

  12. Layer on a small baking tray covered with baking paper/parchment paper and put in the oven for 12–14 minutes.


Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple CrumbleCrunchy Apple Crumble


Apples are cooked with raisins and a hint of cinnamon while walnuts added to the crumble mixture to make this a real crunchy apple crumble. One of those comforting desserts, perfect for a winter’s day, and served with lots of cream.


Crunchy Apple Crumble
Prepares: 6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit
  • 1kg/2 lb 4 oz Bramley apples/Mutsu and Crispin are the closest Canadian varieties, Pink Lady will also work
  • 70g/2½ oz soft light brown sugar/yellow sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g/3 oz raisins
  • 15g/½ oz softened butter for greasing

  • For the crumble
  • 50g/2 oz walnut pieces
  • 125g/4½ oz plain flour/all-purpose flour
  • 100g/3½ oz chilled butter, cubed
  • 50g/2 oz demerara sugar

  • To serve
  • Double cream/whipping cream

  • Equipment
  • A 23cm/9 inch shallow ovenproof dish

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5

  3. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Place in the ovenproof dish. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over the apples. Add the raisins, separating those that may have stuck together. Stir to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle over 4 tablespoons of water, cover with foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn over the apple slices halfway through the cooking time. Remove the apple mixture from the oven, turn the slices over again and set aside for about 1 hour to cool.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F, gas mark 6.

  5. Finely, chop the walnut pieces, set to one side. Rub the butter into the flour then stir in the walnuts. The mixture should look like large breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the crumble is browning and the juices are starting to bubble through.

  6. Serve with a jug of cream.


Spicy Pork Meatballs

Spicy Pork Meatballs


Meatballs are always a favourite and these spicy pork meatballs are cooked in a chilli tomato sauce.


Spicy Pork Meatballs
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 1 hour
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Equipment
  • A large lidded sauté pan

  • Ingredients
  • 450g/1 lb minced pork/ground pork
  • 75g/3 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 pinches crushed dried chillies
  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 × 400g/½ × 28 fl oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1 organic stock cube/1 tsp chicken bouillon mixed in 300ml/10 fl oz hot water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • 200g/7 oz spaghetti (my favourite is the De Cecco range)
  • Half a small Savoy cabbage or other green leafed vegetable, finely shredded. (Savoy cabbage in Canada can be very pale and so I prefer to use something like kale. The dark green colour works well with the spaghetti although it does sound an unusual combination.)

  1. Method
  2. In a large bowl mix together the pork, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, lemon zest, finely chopped onion, half the garlic and half the sage, a pinch of the crushed chillies and plenty of seasoning. Once everything has been well combined, shape into 30 meatballs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.

  3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the meatballs in batches to brown. Remove.

  4. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the chopped onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the remaining garlic and sage, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, stock, sugar, a pinch of crushed chillies, and season. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce a little. Return the meatballs to the pan and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water with a splash of olive oil, adding the cabbage or other green vegetable for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.

  6. Serve the spaghetti alongside the meatballs and sauce.


Fisherman’s Pie with Broccoli and Sweet Potato

Fisherman's Pie with Broccoli and Sweet Potato


This fish pie is made with mouthwatering chunks of salmon and prawns/shrimp with broccoli in a cheesy sauce topped with sweet potato sprinkled with cheese.


Fisherman's Pie with Broccoli and Sweet Potato
Prepares: 6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Equipment
  • A 1.2 litre/2 pint shallow ovenproof dish

  • Ingredients
  • 1kg/2 lb 4 oz sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 300ml/10 fl oz milk
  • 25g/1 oz flour
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 170g/6 oz small broccoli florets
  • 170g/6 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 700g/1½ lb cod or haddock, skinned and cubed
  • 170g/6 oz cooked tiger prawns/jumbo shrimp
  • Knob of butter
  • 3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

  • To serve
  • Serve with sugar snap peas/mange tout or peas

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6

  3. Boil the sweet potatoes in lightly salted water until just tender, about 20 minutes. Then drain and set aside.

  4. Place the milk, flour, and butter in a saucepan and, whisking continuously, cook over a moderate heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Season. Stir in 110g/4 oz of the cheese and the broccoli.

  5. Place the fish in the ovenproof dish and scatter the prawns/shrimp over. Pour the sauce over the fish.

  6. Mash the sweet potato with the butter and stir in the parsley. Season well. Spoon on top of the fish and then sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

  7. Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes until golden and bubbly.

  8. Serve with the peas.


Simmered Tuscan Chicken

Simmered Tuscan Chicken


Chicken is cooked in one pan in a Tuscan sauce with diced potatoes, red peppers, and whole green beans. It is a very tasty dish is quick to prepare.


Simmered Tuscan Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jar Tuscan-style olive and garlic pasta sauce (Classico)
  • 450g/1 lb fresh or frozen French beans or fine beans/whole green beans, cut in half
  • 1 tsp dried basil or fresh basil leaves

  • Equipment
  • A deep sided sauté pan with lid

  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the sauté pan over a medium heat and add the chicken and garlic. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the potatoes and pepper and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the pasta sauce, green beans and basil. Bring to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.


Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup


A refreshing way to end a rich meal. Slices of juicy oranges, steeped in a caramel sauce, and given an extra kick with the addition of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.


Oranges in a Boozy Syrup
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 2–3 hours

  • Equipment
  • A large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 medium juicy oranges
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 15ml/1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

  1. Method
  2. Thinly pare the rind from one orange and cut into very thin julienne strips. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remainder oranges. Make sure all the pith has been removed. Slice the oranges into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange in the serving bowl or individual dishes.

  4. Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz water in a saucepan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and continue boiling until the syrup is a light caramel colour.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml/1½ tbsp water and return to a low heat. Then stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

  6. Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges. Top with the julienne strips.

  7. Chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.


Iced Lemon Meringue

Iced Lemon MeringueIced Lemon Meringue


Iced lemon meringue is a light refreshing dessert for a special occasion, which can be made ahead of time. Layers of frozen meringue and creamy lemon filling topped with raspberries and coulis.


Iced Lemon Meringue
Prepares: 8 good portions
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 45 minutes, plus freezing time
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 4 egg whites, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only – you will need the yolks for the filling
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz light muscovado sugar/yellow sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 25g/1 oz flaked almonds

  • For the lemon filling
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
  • 4 egg yolks, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 115ml/4 fl oz milk
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping cream

  • For the raspberry coulis
  • 200g/7 oz frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120° fan assisted/275°F/gas mark 1

  4. Draw three rectangles, 25.5 × 10cm/10 × 4 in, on baking parchment. Cut round each, leaving a 10cm/4 in border. Turn the paper over and put each piece on a baking sheet.

  5. Measure out the two sugars and mix together. Set aside. Whisk the egg whites until the mixture stands in soft peaks. Add the lemon juice and whisk until stiff. Add the sugars, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and stands in soft peaks.

  6. Beat in 1 tablespoon boiling water, then fold in the cornflour and almond essence.

  7. Use a little of the meringue mixture to dab between the corners of the parchment paper and baking sheet to prevent the paper slipping. Then divide the mixture evenly between the parchment rectangles and lift into peaks with a metal spoon.

  8. Put 1 level tablespoon of the flaked almonds to one side and sprinkle the rest evenly over the meringues.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 110°C/90°C fan assisted/225°F/gas mark ¼ and bake for a further 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave for 45 minutes to dry out.

  10. For the lemon filling
  11. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon water. Then stir in the egg yolks, sugar, lemon and lime zest and juice until combined. Bring the milk to the boil, gradually stir into the cornflour mixture. Return to the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until it is very thick. Tip into a bowl, cover with cling film, and leave to cool.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Once the lemon filling is cool, carefully fold it in until well incorporated.

  13. To assemble
  14. Lift the meringues off the parchment and sandwich the layers together with the filling. Put on a baking sheet and open freeze until firm. If making ahead of time, place the baking tray in a freezer proof bag at this stage.

  15. For the raspberry coulis
  16. Reserve eight of the raspberries and put the rest into a pan with the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Heat gently for about 5 minutes until the raspberries have defrosted. Cool a little, then push through a sieve to make a smooth sauce. Set aside.

  17. The dessert can be made ahead of time up to this stage.

  18. To serve
  19. Toast the reserved flaked almonds by heating a pan over a medium heat and then toss the almonds into it. Move them around until they have turned a golden colour, about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly.

  20. Put the meringue into the fridge for 30 minutes to soften a little. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the meringue with the eight reserved raspberries. Slice and serve with a swirl of the raspberry coulis.


Paprika Pork

Paprika Pork


A delicious combination of spice, herbs and sweetness. Strips of pork tenderloin, cooked in a paprika and herb sauce, with red peppers and mushrooms. Just add a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle with more paprika.


Paprika Pork
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 200ml/7½ fl oz milk
  • 200ml/7½ fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 450g/1 lb pork tenderloin cut into strips
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 170g/6 oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 tbsp natural greek yogurt

  • To serve
  • Brown rice and seasonal green vegetables

  • Equipment
  • An ovenproof dish

  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4

  3. In a bowl mix a little of the milk into the cornflour and then gradually stir in the rest of the milk and the chicken stock. Set to one side.

  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the pork and cook for 3 minutes to brown the meat. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.

  5. Stir in the paprika, thyme, coriander, honey and tomato purée. Add the cornflour mixture and bring to the boil, stirring.

  6. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour.

  7. Stir in the mushrooms and red pepper, cover and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until tender.

  8. Serve on a bed of rice and garnish with the yogurt and a sprinkling of paprika.

  9. Accompany with seasonal green vegetables.


A Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding

Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding


A really zesty taste of lemon comes through with this take on a basic steamed sponge pudding.


A Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time:
  • For the lemon curd: 25 minutes
  • For the sponge: About 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Equipment
  • 600ml/1 pint pudding basin

  • Ingredients
  • For the lemon curd
  • 2 large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) eggs, yolks only
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice, about 1½ lemons*
  • 2¾ oz sugar
  • 1 oz butter

  • *1 average sized lemon produces 3 tablespoons of juice.

  • For the sponge
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • 50g/2 oz butter, softened
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar, fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 5 tbsp extra thick double cream*

  • *The only thick double cream sold in Canadian supermarkets is imported and so it's expensive. Regular double cream whipped to a stiff consistency will work, but serve it in a separate dish to add on the side. The heat of the pudding will melt the cream if it is spooned over the top.

  1. Method
  2. For the lemon curd
  3. Put egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and whisk gently together. Add butter.

  4. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir continuously until the curd thickens enough to hold a trail. This will take 20–30 minutes. It takes a while before the curd starts to thicken. (A great time to pick up that novel you may be reading, check those e-mails, or phone a friend. As long as you have one hand free to stir the mixture!)

  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool. It thickens further on cooling.

  6. For the sponge
  7. Butter the base of the pudding basin and add 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd.

  8. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  9. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  10. Fold in the lemon zest.

  11. Pour into the prepared pudding basin. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  12. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  13. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  14. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil. The sponge should spring back when lightly pressed. Run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it onto a plate. The lemon curd will have become a sauce.

  15. To serve
  16. Swirl the remaining lemon curd into the cream and spoon over the sponge.

  17. Or whip a little double cream to a stiff consistency and fold in the remaining lemon curd, but serve it in a separate dish to add on the side.

  18. Serve immediately.