It is a sharp, lemony sponge that produces its own sauce and is easy to make. I like to serve this dish in the summer with a bowl of whipped cream, flavoured with fresh vanilla seeds from a vanilla pod, and let people help themselves to a bowl of deep red raspberries sprinkled with a little icing sugar and the juice of a lemon.
Raspberries and lemon are a wonderful combination. Another lovely dish to serve with this pudding is raspberry fool, the recipe for which is also included here. In a fool I like pieces of the fruit among the cream, but those who prefer a smoother texture can work the berries to a purée in a blender or push them through a sieve.
Sharp lemon pudding
Ingredients (serves six)
3oz butter, softened
6oz demerara sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
4 large eggs, separated
8 tablespoons milk
1. Grease the inside of a seven-inch soufflé dish with a small knob of butter. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C.
2. Using an electric or hand-held beater, cream the butter with the sugar until they form a creamy white, fluffy consistency that will form soft peaks.
3. Add the lemon zest and juice and then add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. The mixture may curdle here, but that’s fine. Beat in the flour and then add the milk one tablespoon at a time.
4. With a wire whisk or an electric hand-held whisk, beat the egg whites until they are stiff and form peaks. Fold them gently into the mixture, ensuring they are thoroughly mixed until all the white disappears.
5. Pour the mixture into the buttered soufflé dish. Place the dish into a roasting tin and pour hot water into the tin until it comes half way up the sides.
6. Bake until the top of the pudding has risen and is golden brown (it should take about 45 minutes) and serve hot.
1. Crush the berries in a bowl with a fork.
2. Fold in the fromage frais and creme fraiche, slowly but thoroughly. If desired, sweeten the fool with a tablespoon of icing sugar.
3. Spoon into glasses and chill for an hour in the fridge before serving.
Kevin Thornton is a Michelin-starred chef and owner of Thornton’s Restaurant on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. www.thorntonsrestaurant.com