I couldn’t decide between making myself a sticky toffee pudding, classic in its stodgy saccharine comfort blanket, or a lemon drizzle, zesty and bright with its promise of sunny afternoons…so I took to the trusty barometer of reason, Twitter, to ask for help. The poll came back as a 52/48 split, and we all know how contentious those are, so in order to try to satisfy both sides of the pudding referendum, I mashed the two options together. The sticky warm component structure of toffee pudding, with the flavour profile of a rich lemon drizzle cake. I wasn’t sure it would work (but was willing to give it as many goes as was necessary for the name of, uh, research), but to my delight, it came out perfectly first time.
[I made mine in a 135mm wide x 55mm deep x 165mm long mess tin, as after six cookbooks and eight years my solitary loaf tin has finally given up on me, and the mess tin holds a third less than a standard loaf tin or 20cm traybake. I’m assuming you don’t have an identical one, so you may want to adjust measurements accordingly. In order to do so, multiply each quantity by 1.3 and add around 10 minutes to the baking time.]
Serves 6 generously from 30p each.
For the pudding:
70g butter or baking block, 15p (55p/250g, baking block at Asda)
100g caster sugar, 7p (65p/1kg, Asda)
100ml whole or semi-skimmed milk, 5p (48p/l, Asda)
2 medium eggs, 30p (89p/6, free range at Asda)
3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2p (69p/200g, Asda)
130g self raising flour, 4p (45p/1.5kg, Smartprice at Asda)
1 tbsp lemon juice, 2p (39p/250ml, Asda)
160g mixed citrus peel, 63p (79p/200g, Asda)
For the topping:
100g lemon curd, 29p (£1.20/410g, Gales at Asda)
2 tbsp (28g) butter or baking block, 6p (55p/250g, baking block at Asda)
40g mixed citrus peel, 16p (79p/200g, Asda)
First pop your oven on to 180C/160 fan/Gas Mark 4, and lightly grease your chosen tin.
Weigh the butter into a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar. Beat together until well combined – use a masher or a fork to get the butter started if it’s come straight from the fridge; this is where cheap baking block comes into its own as it never quite solidifies in the way that good quality butter does, making it perfect for the impatient baker. Add the milk a little at a time, mixing in well to form a smooth creamy paste. Crack in the eggs one at a time, and beat well to combine. It may look a little split or sloppy here, don’t worry about that, the flour will pull it back together in a moment.
Add the bicarb, and mix in well to evenly distribute, and then add the flour. When it forms a smooth and even batter, add the lemon juice a little at a time, and then fold in the mixed peel. Pour into your greased tin, and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until risen and lightly golden.
While the pudding is cooking, make the sauce. Spoon the lemon curd and butter into a small heavy-bottom saucepan, and place on a low heat on the smallest hob ring. Stir as the curd starts to bubble and the butter melts, then remove from the heat. If you are feeling extra indulgent, and you happen to have some kicking around, add a splash of cream as it comes off the heat as a nod to the original sticky toffee pudding, but this is by no means essential – the whole thing is rich enough without it. Set the sauce to one side to cool.
When the pudding is risen and golden, remove carefully from the oven. Poke around 12 holes in it with a small sharp knife, skewer or cocktail stick, and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle the remaining peel over, and carefully tilt the tin from side to side so the sauce coats the whole top and starts to sink into the holes.
Allow to cool and soak for an agonising 15-20 minutes, enjoying the heady citrus aroma that will permeate your home in the meantime, then dig right in.
This will keep for 4 days in the fridge, covered tightly, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Reheat to piping hot to serve.