A lemon softens slowly in a generous mound of butter and sugar that melts to a golden pool of sweet lemon sauce, all encased in a simple dough, making one truly delicious family pudding. Serve a little of the lemon with each portion if wished.
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 175 grams butter, chilled and diced or grated
- about ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 250 grams butter, chilled and grated
- 1 lemon, well-washed
- Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients. Place an upturned saucer into the base of the slow cooker. Generously grease an 8-cup capacity pudding bowl.
- Sift the flour into a second bowl. Rub in the butter until this mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Make a well in the cetnre. Beat the milk and egg together and pour into the well. Mix together with a knife to make a firm, scone-like dough. Add more milk if required.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and bring together. Roll out to a large 30-cm circle. Cut a quarter of the dough out in a wedge-shaped piece and set aside.
- Press the larger piece into the prepared pudding basin, pressing the cut edges firmly together.
- Rub the sugar and vanilla essence together and toss with the butter. Place half the sugar and butter mixture into the dough-lined bowl.
- Prick the lemon all over with a fork and sit it in the sugar and butter mixture. Scatter the remaining sugar and butter around and on top of the lemon.
- Gently re-knead the remaining piece of dough, rolling it out to a circle shape wide enough to cover the top of the pudding. Roll over the top and press the edges together to seal, firmly enclosing the filling.
- Lightly grease one sheet of baking paper and make a pleat across the centre. This will allow space for the pudding to rise. Place on top of the pudding bowl and secure with string. Make a pleat in a piece of foil and place on top of the baking paper. Secure with string.
- Sit the basin on top of the saucer in the slow cooker. Pour sufficient boiling water into the slow cooker until it comes three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pudding basin.
- Cover with the lid. Cook on high for 4 hours.
- Carefully remove the pudding basin from the slow cooker and remove the foil and baking paper. Turn upside down onto a serving plate. (The centre will drop in - don't panic). Dust liberally with icing sugar before serving with custard cream.
- Demerara sugar takes its name from Demerara in Guyana where sugar cane was grown in the early days of the sugar trade. It is a light brown sugar with a firm crystal.
- If possible, use a thin-skinned lemon such as Villa Franca or Meyer.