Sunshine in a Bowl: The Ultimate Lemon Pudding Recipe

Lemon Pudding Recipe


1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

2 cups (473 ml) whole milk

1/4 cup (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup (75 ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

These ingredients are your building blocks for a luscious lemon pudding. We'll start by whisking together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. This dry mix is our base, ensuring a smooth texture. Next, we'll whisk in the eggs until the mixture is light and creamy. This is where the magic of thickening begins.

Now, it's time to introduce the milk to the party. Gradually whisk it into the egg mixture until everything is well combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding thickens and comes to a boil. This step is crucial for achieving that perfect pudding consistency.

Once the pudding is bubbling, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. These ingredients infuse the pudding with its signature tart and refreshing flavor. Finally, strain the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps and ensure a silky smooth texture.

Equipment needed

To whip up a batch of sunshine-y lemon pudding, you'll need a few essential tools to make the process smooth and enjoyable. First and foremost, a trusty saucepan is key for cooking the pudding on the stovetop. Opt for a heavy-bottomed one to ensure even heat distribution and prevent scorching. A whisk will be your best friend for combining the ingredients, ensuring a silky smooth texture. Measuring cups and spoons are crucial for accurate measurements, guaranteeing consistent results every time. A fine-mesh sieve comes in handy for straining the lemon juice and catching any pesky seeds or pulp. Finally, you'll need a collection of bowls for mixing ingredients and chilling the finished pudding. Whether you prefer individual ramekins or a larger serving dish, make sure they're chilled in the refrigerator beforehand to help the pudding set quickly.

Zesting lemons

When life gives you lemons, make lemon pudding! And the first step to unlocking that bright, citrusy flavor is zesting your lemons. But before you grab the closest knife, hold on! Zesting is more than just removing the yellow part of the peel. It's about capturing the essential oils, where the real flavor magic lives. A microplane grater is your best friend here. It creates fine, almost fluffy zest that melts into your pudding, leaving no bitter pith behind. Wash and dry your lemons thoroughly. Then, gently run the microplane grater over the lemon skin, rotating the lemon as you go. Remember, we're after the yellow part only! The white pith underneath is bitter and can ruin your pudding's delicate flavor. Once you've zested your lemons, you're ready to proceed with the recipe. This fragrant zest, bursting with natural lemon oils, will infuse your pudding with a vibrant, fresh flavor that's simply irresistible.

lemon pudding recipe

Juicing lemons

When life gives you lemons, make lemon pudding! And the first step to creamy, dreamy lemon bliss is juicing those lemons right. Start by washing your lemons under warm water. Give them a gentle roll on the counter to get the juices flowing. Now, you have options: a good old-fashioned juicer, a fork, or even your hands! If you're using a juicer, slice the lemons in half and follow the manufacturer's instructions. For the fork method, roll the lemon, cut it in half, and squeeze it with a fork, rotating it inside the lemon half to extract the most juice. No matter your method, aim for about 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice for a standard lemon pudding recipe. Remember, fresh juice makes all the difference in flavor compared to the bottled stuff. Once you've got your sunshine-yellow juice, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any seeds or pulp. Now you're ready to add that zesty goodness to your pudding and get whisking!

Whisking ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. This will help prevent lumps from forming when you add the hot milk. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture into the dry ingredients, making sure to incorporate everything thoroughly. Place the saucepan back on the stove over medium heat and cook the pudding, whisking constantly, until it thickens. This should take about 5-7 minutes. The pudding will go from a milky consistency to a thick, custard-like texture. To test if it's done, run your finger across the back of a spoon coated in the pudding. If the line remains, it's ready. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice until the butter is melted and everything is well combined. The butter adds richness and a glossy finish to the pudding, while the lemon zest and juice provide a burst of fresh, citrusy flavor.

Cooking the mixture

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan to combine. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent any lumps.

Once the mixture is bubbling, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. This allows the cornstarch to fully cook and will result in a smoother pudding. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice until the butter is melted and everything is well combined.

lemon pudding recipe

At this point, you can decide whether you want a traditional pudding or a smoother, more decadent version. For a traditional pudding, simply pour the mixture into serving dishes and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. If you prefer a smoother texture, strain the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve before transferring it to serving dishes. This will remove any bits of cooked egg or lemon zest, resulting in a silky-smooth pudding.

Straining the pudding

Straining your lemon pudding might seem like an unnecessary extra step, but trust us, it's the secret to a silky-smooth, luxurious texture. No one wants to find lumps of cooked egg yolk or bits of lemon zest in their dessert!

To strain your pudding, you'll need a fine-mesh sieve and a heat-proof bowl. Once your pudding has thickened, carefully pour it through the sieve, using a spatula or ladle to push it through and remove any lumps. The result? A perfectly smooth and creamy pudding that's sure to impress. Don't worry if a few small lumps remain in the sieve, you've captured the majority and your pudding will be noticeably smoother.

This step is particularly important if you're using a recipe that calls for whole eggs instead of just egg yolks, as it ensures a perfectly smooth consistency. So, the next time you're making lemon pudding, don't skip the straining step – your taste buds will thank you!

Feature Homemade Lemon Pudding Instant Lemon Pudding Mix
Preparation Time ~20 minutes ~5 minutes
Cooking Time ~10 minutes None (just boiling water)
Flavor Complexity High (more nuanced, fresh lemon flavor) Medium (sweeter, artificial lemon flavor)
Ingredients Fresh lemons, sugar, eggs, butter, cornstarch Powdered mix (sugar, modified cornstarch, artificial flavor, etc.)

Chilling and serving

After your lemon pudding has finished cooking, immediately pour it into your serving dish or individual ramekins. To prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the pudding to create a seal. Allow the pudding to cool to room temperature on the counter. Once cooled, transfer the pudding to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or preferably longer, for optimal flavor and texture.

Chilling the pudding allows it to fully set and the flavors to meld together. When ready to serve, remove the pudding from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. This will make the pudding easier to scoop and create a creamier texture. Garnish with your favorite toppings, such as fresh berries, whipped cream, or a sprig of mint. Enjoy your refreshingly tart and creamy homemade lemon pudding!

lemon pudding recipe

Published: 26. 06. 2024

Category: Recipes

Author: Eliana Thatcher

Tags: lemon pudding recipe | instructions for making lemon pudding