Italian lemon pudding

Italian lemon pudding
  • Serves icon Serves10-12
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 mins, cook time 40 mins plus 1 hour steeping

In Italy this dessert is known as ‘sbriciolata alla crema di limoni’. The literal translation of which is ‘crumbs around a lemon cream’ which really is the best description. The lemon cream is typically southern Italian and therefore thickened with a little flour, which gives it an old-fashioned and homely feel, especially if you are used to more elegant, butter-rich lemon curds.

Ingredients

For the crumbs

  • 300g plain flour
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 8–10g baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100g cold butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large egg

For the cream

  • 4 unwaxed lemons
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 35g plain flour
  • 35g potato starch or cornflour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and grease and dust with flour a 28cm shallow cake or tart tin. Pare the zest of 3 lemons in strips. Put the milk and zest in a small pan and warm it. Leave to sit for 1 hour, then lift out the zest.
  2. Meanwhile, make the crumbs. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Dice the butter and add it along with the lightly beaten egg, then use cold fingertips to rub the butter and egg into the flour until the mixture resembles fat breadcrumbs. Sprinkle half the crumbs over the base of the prepared tin to make a nice, even layer that covers the base.
  3. Bake on the bottom shelf for a few minutes, or until the crumbs are firm and very pale gold. Remove and leave to cool.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar to a thick cream, then sift over the flour and starch and mix until smooth. 
  5. Warm the milk a little, then, whisking constantly, add the warm milk to the egg and flour mixture in a thin stream. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, whisking, until it coats the back of the spoon, which takes about 15 minutes. Grate the zest of the final lemon into the cream.
  6. Spread the cream over the crumb base, leaving a 1cm border. Cover it with the rest of the crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crumbs are firm and golden.
  7. It must be absolutely cool if you want turn it out, and even then you must do so very carefully by inverting it onto a plate, then onto another plate so the golden crust faces up. It is very nice at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe from: Two Kitchens, £25, published by Headline Home. 

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  1. I have just made the Italian Lemon Pudding from your site and am sad to say the cream has zero taste of lemons. Where did I go wrong? Should lemon juice have been added somewhere and not just the zest? I used unwaxed lemons from a top store…help!

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