When life gives you lemons…..

There’s a song where a father teaches his son about love, using lemons as an analogy:

Lemons 2

                                                   Photo credit: http://bit.ly/19k2XyU

“I fear you’ll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.”

Impossible, shmossible! It’s an old song by Peter, Paul and Mary, but the chorus sticks in my mind. It’s quite a cynical, pragmatic view of love. I can’t give advice about loving someone others think is a ‘lemon’.  I can only defend my favourite citrus fruit. One sniff of this humble flower’s marvellous scent is never enough for me.

lemon flower

                                                  Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1fAowg3

Lemons also prevent scurvy and offer many health and cosmetic benefits; mixed with sugar, the juice tastes divine. When life (or a lovely neighbour or friend) gives you lemons, I suggest you make lemon pudding. Why?

lemon self saucing pudding

                                              Photo credit: http://bit.ly/19k36SJ

Before motherhood and when I was thin, I whipped up and consumed a lot of desserts. It is a mystery to me now how my metabolism coped with all those golden syrup dumplings, chocolate puddings, lemon meringue pies, and combinations of lemon juice and condensed milk in a tart. One of my favourites was lemon delicious pudding.

Around the time I acquired a heavier post-baby body (my mother kindly called it ‘a woman’s figure, not a girl’s’ ) came the craving for a heavier self-saucing lemon pudding, one that didn’t require the extra fuss of beating eggs whites separately and adding only a few meagre tablespoons of flour. I think my long flirtation with lemon comfort food has ended with the following recipe. I’ve adapted it from Nestle – it has a respectable, stodgy amount of flour and very little butter, so it doesn’t feel tooooo naughty. I have it with cream, the extra sugar hit of vanilla ice cream spoils the tartness for me.

Easy lemon self-saucing pudding


  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour (or plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder)
  • 3/4 cup (165g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp (40g) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) skim or full-fat milk
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp or 40g melted butter
  • 2T cornflour

How to make

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Grease or spray a 6 cup (1.5L) ovenproof dish.

2. Combine flour and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a bowl. Add egg, butter, milk and lemon zest; beat with wooden spoon to combine. Pour into prepared dish.

3. Combine cornflour, and the remaining sugar and sprinkle over top of pudding.

4. Combine lemon juice with 1 1/2 cups (375mL) boiling water and pour over pudding. Don’t panic, this makes the lovely sauce and goes to the bottom during cooking. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with cream (or ice cream, for those who aren’t sweet enough).

Quickly back to love and lemons. The father in the song, like most fathers, would have warned Kat about Adam, “That guy’s a lemon. Don’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.” But not Kat’s father, Sam, in Arafura.

Arafura cover May 13

Sometimes mixing sweet with the sour can give a more satisfying result. Cooking may not be so complicated, but life and love are, and CAN be bittersweet!

Any random thoughts on lemons?

This entry was posted in comfort food, lemon self-saucing pudding recipe, lemons, love and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to When life gives you lemons…..

  1. So many things I enjoyed about this post. I love lemons and Limes (Tart Key Lime PIe is yummy)As you pointed out enormous benefits from the nutrition of lemons and that song.. took me back, but now I realize it was very negative… but catchy. Then the post maternal body…OH BOY …mine has been an amazing struggle! But I still love desserts 🙂

  2. Yes please Catalina. I’d love that! 🙂

  3. Lee-Anne says:

    Bit late to comment…I love this lemony post! Our family is a bit eccentric because we squeeze lemon over nearly every meal…(said we weird) and have 3 lemon trees growing in the back garden. Your recipe has revived my interest in Lemon Delicious Pudding which my mother used to make many years ago… Just drooling at the thought of it (or I should say “salivating” (only dogs drool!) 🙂

  4. Three lemon trees, that’s a lot of lemons! True lemon-lovers drool, a worthy reaction to all that tartness 🙂

  5. HazMo's Mama says:

    Oh I’m late to the Lemon Loving Party too, but I have to comment…..

    Having a Lemon Love Affair currently, thanks to generous work colleagues and a neighbours tree (it’s okay, she said I could help myself!). Lemon Curd. That’s where it’s at. Oh my lord, I could eat it from the jar with a spoon. Actually, I often do. I’m currently dreaming of lemon curd on a pavlova, or a lemon curd ice cream.

    Now I just have to get good enough at gardening to actually grow my own.

    • Funny you should talk about lemon curd. I didn’t dare mention it because its in my too hard cooking basket. Girlfriend gave me a jar and daughters boyfriend and I were eating it straight just as I noticed your comment. Too good to waste on toast!

  6. Nice post about lemons…..
    Didn’t Trenie Lopez make that song famous in the 60’s?
    I didn’t know you loved cooking too…glad I told you about “Cooking Up a Storm With Miss Polly” then.

    I love lemons, fresh lemon slices in water to drink through the day over ice
    My Lemon Sunshine Cookies and my Nanny’s Lemon Cake on Sundays after church…..

  7. Just followed your blog, Paulette. Never say no to a good recipe! 🙂

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