Sussex pond pudding

Sophie Grigson makes a traditional British favourite, using limes instead of lemons for a delicious zesty pudding
By Sophie Grigson
Sussex pond pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 220 g self-raising flour
  • 110 g chopped fresh beef suet
  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 110 g unsalted or lightly salted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 110 g demerara sugar
  • 2 limes


1. Mix the flour and suet together in a bowl. Combine the milk and water in a measuring jug.

2. Pour the milk and water mixture into the flour to make a dough you may not need to use all the liquid. The dough should be soft, but not too soft to roll out.

3. Roll into a large circle and cut a quarter out, to be used later as the lid of the pudding. Butter a 1-1.5 litre pudding basin lavishly. Place the three quarter circle of pastry into it and press the cut sides together to make a perfect join.

4. Put half the butter, cut up, into the pudding basin, with half the sugar. Prick the limes all over with a skewer, so that the juices will be able to escape, then put them on top of the butter and sugar. Add the remaining butter, again cut in pieces and sugar.

5. Roll out the pastry which was set aside to make a lid. Lay it on top of the filling, and press the edges together so that the pudding is sealed in completely.

6. Lay a piece of foil, pleated in the centre over the pudding. Tie it in place with string and make a string handle over the top so that the pudding can be lifted about easily.

7. Put a large pan of water on to boil and lower the pudding into it; the water must be boiling and it should come halfway or a little further, up the basin. Cover and leave to boil for 3-4 hours. If the water gets low, replenish it with boiling water.

8. To serve, ease the pudding from the sides of the basin with a knife, put a deep dish over the basin after removing the foil lid, and quickly turn the whole thing upside down. Serve immediately.

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