Saucy Bottom Lemon Pudding

My grandmother, Elizabeth Maud Davis, was still young in body and spirit when my grandfather left her a widow. In those days before pensions, she needed to work, and so she became a housekeeper. Always a storyteller, her letters were full of news about the people she worked for – a retired general, a Great Lakes sea captain and Dr. and Mrs. Lindsay, back in Canada from lifetime careers in the service of the United Church in China. In each of the households, she added to her repertoire of recipes and passed them to my sister Janey and me. The biggest hit, a lemon pudding with a light spongy cake on top and a saucy bottom, remains a favourite to this day, and my grandmother’s handwritten recipe, used so often it’s batter-stained, is framed and has a place of honour in my kitchen.


  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar divided
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter melted
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) fresh blueberries or raspberries
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) icing sugar


  • In a large bowl whisk together ¾ cup (175 mL) of the sugar, the flour and the salt.
  • Add the milk, butter and egg yolks; whisk to combine. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form; beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, beating until stiff shiny peaks form. Stir about one-quarter of the egg-white mixture into the lemon batter. Fold in the remaining egg-white mixture.
  • Scrape into an 8-inch (2 L) glass baking dish or metal cake pan. Place the dish in a large shallow pan. Pour enough boiling water into the outer pan to come halfway up the sides of the dish holding the batter. Bake in the centre of a 350° F (180 ° C) oven until the top is lightly browned and the pudding has pulled away from the sides of the dish, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove the dish with the baked pudding from the outer pan and cool on a rack to the desired temperature (still a little warm or at room temperature.) (Make-Ahead: Cover the pudding and refrigerate for up to 1 day.) Spoon into dessert bowls; top up with a scattering of blueberries and a dusting of icing sugar.


SOURCE: Canada’s Favourite Recipes by Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray. BGO thanks the authors for allowing us permission to share this recipe.
Photo: Marcella DiLonardo
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