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Thursday 6 September 2012

Gluten Free: Sussex Pond Pudding

When I heard the name, Pond Pudding, I immediately thought of that horrible frogspawn-like pudding they used to force on us at school dinners (sago, if I remember correctly...) but, fear not! This is actually a delicious lemon and butter steamed pudding that gets its name from the pond of syrup that floods the plate when you cut it open.

Traditionally, the lemons are left whole and if you want to do that make sure you pierce them with a skewer before adding them, to let the juice out. I cut mine up because I found it easier to slice and serve that way. Don't worry about eating unpeeled lemons (I was a bit wary) because they're steamed for hours so the skins are soft and sweet when you do eat them.

You'll need:
  • 250g gluten free self raising flour (I used Doves Farm)
  • 125g suet (if you can't find gluten free suet you can grate a block of lard and toss it into rice flour to make your own)
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml milk
  • 200g butter, cut into cubes
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, cut into wedges
Make it!
  • Mix the flour and suet in a bowl. Pour the water and milk into a jug and mix into the flour and suet until you have a soft dough. You might not use all the liquid, that's ok.
  • Roll the dough out into a circle between two pieces of cling-film until it's 1/2 cm thick, cut a quarter of the circle out and re-roll that into another circle the same size as the mouth of your pudding basin. 
  • Grease a 1.5 litre pudding basin, or heatproof bowl, well - stuck puddings are not funny (I speak from experience!). Use the 3/4 piece of dough to line the basin.
  • Mix the butter cubes and sugar together and put half into the bottom of your pudding basin. Place the lemon pieces on top. Add the rest of the butter and sugar and top with the pastry lis you rolled out earlier.
  • Fold a pleat in a piece of foil, so it can expand with the pudding and tie the foil over the top of the basin with string (you can loop any extra string to make a handle to help you lift it). Bring a pan of water to the boil and place the pudding into the water (make sure the water doesn't come more than halfway up the side. Simmer, with a lid on, for 3-4 hours. Make sure you top up the water if it needs it.
  • When the pudding is ready, turn it out onto a deep plate, when you cut into it the lemony syrup will run out so you plate needs to be deep enough to catch it!
If you're too impatient to wait 4 hours, you can make individual puddings which will steam in about 30 minutes.


  1. Every single image of this (and the thought of eating lemon peel) has put my off. This looks so tasty.

  2. This is my fave pud ever - but your looks a bit anemic - it needs brown sugar to go all caramely...

    1. I used brown sugar in a few attempts but I thought the caster sugar one was lighter. Clearly mine is not totally authentic!

  3. I will let you off, Caleigh, as the huffed chicken whatsit looks v good. :-)

    1. 'Let you off'?! I think it's expected that recipes will vary from time to time...

  4. I actually really like sago... But I guess the way we have it in asian desserts are quite different, covered with coconut milk and gula melaka (raw palm sugar syrup).

    the pond pudding sounds wonderful, I've never heard of it before, really intriguing! esp love what a happy cheery yellow it is, and can just imagine all that delicious lemony flavour. yum!

    1. That sounds like a brilliant way to eat sago, I'd be willing to give it another chance if it made that way!

  5. I suspect that is what they served to us at college as "Sir Watkin Williams Wynn Pudding"... only their version always tasted of washing up liquid. I *may* have to try this recipe, if only to reassure myself that, cooked as it should be, it is not actually horrid.


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