The recipe is incredibly simple, a classic pudding with a little culinary alchemy; it goes into the oven as one mixture yet emerges a short time later as a light fragrant sponge, with a creamy, lemony sauce underneath. Instead of cooking in one large dish, we’ve made it a little more celebratory and used individual jam jars, so you can see that delicious separation. We've added a little lemon thyme to lift the flavours … in the ancient language of herbs, thyme represents affection & love so it is entirely appropriate for your Valentine dessert. This recipe makes four, so save two for tomorrow they are equally 'delicious' cold.
- 45 g soft butter
- 150 g caster sugar
- finely grated zest & juice of 2 lemons
- 2 eggs, separated
- 200 ml milk
- 50 g self-raising flour
- 4 sprigs lemon thyme
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Double cream to serve
Oven 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3
- With an electric hand-mixer, cream the butter and 100 g of the caster sugar with the lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks. Gradually add the milk, lemon juice and flour in turns, mixing well between each addition to make a smooth batter.
- Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk with the remaining 50 g caster sugar to soft peaks, add the picked leaves from two sprigs of thyme, then gently fold through the batter.
- Divide the batter among four 175 ml jars, then place the jars in a roasting tin lined with a tea towel and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the jars.
- Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top and springy to touch. Turn the oven off and let the puddings rest in the oven for another 20 minutes, so the custard firms slightly.
- Decorate with the remaining thyme sprigs, dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.