Monday, August 29, 2005

Lemon Surprise pudding indeed

Today I actually got round to reading the Sunday paper. And the Saturday paper (broadsheets - not 'dreadful' ones of course). I read all the sections. I even read the home design, the gardening and the cookery pages. And I felt so pleased with myself.... " Don't I have a nice life... Shouldn't I be pleased to be me... I can do whatever I want to on this Bank Holiday... I only need please myself. I know, I will make 'Lemon Surprise pudding' (p.47 Sunday Times Style magazine it has nursery food qualities - the soft sponge topping and lemony custard beneath is a sublime combination)... How fabulous to be able to do just what takes my fancy... Excellent, I can use U.C's double ended silicone spatula... Well that was simple... pop it in... ready in 45 minutes..."

Well here's the surprise... It was BLOOMIN' DIGUSTING

Here are the ingredients:
50g butter
grated rind and juice of one lemon
90g caster sugar
2 eggs separated
15g plain flour sifted
300ml milk

Basically, you cream bits together, then add the milk and stiff egg whites, then cook it for 45 minutes at 180.

What did I do wrong? FORGET creamy custard. Mine had water under a soggy curdled sponge that tasted unspeakable. I am not that good at puddings - but this was meant to be a good, SMUG kind of day. And it wasn't good any more.



Blogger Mary Plain said...

SimplyClare, I wish I knew. When my chocolate icing went wrong the first time, I had muddled grams and millilitres for my liquid glucose but I can't see how that kind of mistake could happen here. I rang the magazine the recipe was from and got to talk to the person there who had tried it out- she was amazing and helpful. And the end result (now in the bearpit in glorious technicolor) was fine. Do you care enough to ring the paper and ask them? What a pity it had to happen when you were having such a nice day. We went for a walk yesterday so I was feeling smug then I got nettle stings all over my legs because I wore a skirt, so you did not suffer alone.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Simply Clare said...

I think that the problem is the flour. 15 grams can't be right. I am going to ask the oracle of cake making Di next door in a minute

5:15 PM  
Blogger Mary Plain said...

15 grams does sound weird. That is about half an ounce.. maybe the Times made a mistake, shock horror? 150 grams perhaps?

9:36 PM  
Blogger Mary Plain said...

Found a very similar recipe online via Google:
from Exeter!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Simply Clare said...

So did I!! but I don't have an Aga - so won't risk it. I found another which warned about a curdled appearance too. I am going to give up and return to the WI cookbook for their chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce instead.
Thank you for your help though!

7:58 AM  
Blogger Mary Plain said...

sounds good!

3:09 PM  
Blogger Joolz said...

Definitely not enough flour, I used to make this a lot - albeit that my recipe called it Lemon Dainty!!

I got the recipe from my Mum so can ask for it again. It is yummy when the ingredients are right!!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Mark, Bangor NI said...

What a laugh, eh? I found this blog by accident because i was trying to find the right amount of flour. I agree with all the comments. I was making this with my kids and when i measured out the flour i thought, hold on, there is no way that is right, could it be 150, so i tried that - definitely too much so i settled on about 100 ie twice the milk. looked great - tasted rubbish - i also thought the juice of one lemon was too much so i used half - that was just right. i got a half decent sponge. the surprise was a couple of teaspoons of lemon scented scrambled egg underneath!!

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Sally, Co.Clare, Eire said...

I too found your blog by accident looking for the right quantities of flour! I got the recipe from Simon Hopkinson's book 'Roast Chicken and Other Stories' I thought that half an ounce couldn't possibly be right so went for three and a half ounces, same as for the sugar. This yielded a lemony sponge with a slightly soggy bottom and no sauce at all. I might try contacting the publisher, Ebury Press to see if they can give me the correct amount. I mean, how can you realistically stir in half an ounce of sifted flour alternately with half a pint of milk?!
BTW, I did my Masters at Exter University ;-)

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made a lemon surprise pudding from Jamie Oliver's Book, it promised a yummy custard was horrible. My advice is just stay away from this kind of pudding. I hate it when you try to make something and it goes wrong. then i just end up eating it anyway! O no!!!

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are still interested but this is my recipe and it works for me. The amount of flour is small. 100g butter,175g caster sugar,4 eggs,50g flour and 4 fluid ozs milk. Give it another try

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry re above forgot juice and zest of four lemons

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Chicago Yankee said...

Well, this issue is long done, but I luckily came across this before attempting the identical recipe myself. I had good success, but only because I intentionally used every method I knew in order to insure success with a 'custard-like' substance. These things (puddings) are somewhat foreign to Americans...

This recipe clearly assumes the reader will magically know everything about custard, but, in any case, the following precuations produced a decent result:

1) Be sure you add the ingredients in the order listed, beating each one in properly. This helps to prevent the dreaded 'scrambled-egg' effect.

2) Make sure to beat the egg-whites super stiff. This will help to make sure they rise to the top and do their job.

3) The whole concept of folding is such a mystery: will anyone ever explain it? Anyhow, experience has taught me to ently fold in the whites until the chunks of egg white are around 1-2 inches at the largest. Then carefully smooth the mixture into the dish with your spatula.

4) FINALLY THE POINT: BAIN-MARIE: this is the main thing to ensure you DON'T COOK THE EGGS like scrambled eggs. Either fill an outer dish half-way with water, or put the dish in the oven, place the custard dish in this dish, and then pour hot water in it... if you are afraid of spillage.

5) ALSO: WHEN YOU SMELL EGG (around 45 minutes) PANIC! Check the top, see if its browned.

6) ALSO AND FINALLY: LET THE CUSTARD SET. Take the custard dish out of the hot water and let it rest a bit. This will also help any unwanted 'gooeyness'.

My overall impression: this is nice for kids and close friends, but too eggy for me: I'd rather leave the egg whites out and serve the lemon custard with whipped cream.

Hope this helps some weary soul...

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful to find so many people out there who can't make a lemon pudding!! I have my very own scrambled lemon egg mixture sitting in the kitchen - oh well the roast turned out OK! I think I'll leave the baking to my mother!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Simply Clare said...

Two years and eight months later and I have only just discovered the fabulous and helpful comments posted here! Thank you so much. Personally I am going to never make the horrid thing gain... but can anyone help me to make the perfect Victoria Sponge please? Mine seems to reliably turn out like biscuits.
Thank you....

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find Delia Smith's recipe for lemon surprise pudding is delicious. I would give it another attempt as it is worth it when made right. She uses 2 eggs, 2oz butter, 4oz sugar, 2 large lemons (rind and juice), 2oz self raising flour and 150ml milk.

10:36 PM  

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